I did all the right things after he dropped me off. I crawled into bed, I prayed, I apologized. I cried (a little). I sent him that message, “breaking up” with a one-night stand and burning all possible bridges between us with a line about how I was a Christian (I am a C-H) “The kind who marries a girl”—(I am a C-H-R-I-S-T-I-A-N)— "or stays single”.
I sounded crazy. I was crazy. I could still smell him on my clothes and in my hair. I smelled like him.
And I went home. All the way back to Oregon, and told my parents. Accepted their shock and deep, deep concern. And I told myself I’d do better.
But I couldn’t.
I was already imagining talking to him on the drive to Oregon. It only took me hours for at least a little of me to want to turn around, go back and say I’d made a huge mistake.
And that part only grew.
I told myself “You can control this. If you don’t let the thoughts land they can’t take root, you can keep them from building a nest.”
It took two days and all my resolve broke.
Nearly the moment I collapsed back, on my filthy bed in Seattle, the fantasies were alive and wild and tangling up inside of me.
And I didn’t care.
David grudgingly meeting me for coffee, making some sharp quip and grinning, unable to help himself. Slowly relaxing and opening towards me as we talk, as I talk, as he gets to know me.
And then finally, coyly, inviting me back to his place.
I literally cannot imagine saying no. I try, I try to force the words out of my imaginary mouth, but every time, I cross back through the door and fall back on his bed.
I imagine him as my guide through the gay world, through clubs and bars and sex shops and douching, all these things I’m suddenly allowed to explore.
In my fantasy.
I rehash our initial encounter, juice my confidence, imagine I hadn’t said such stupid things, correct all my mistakes and embellish his responses. And I imagine I hadn’t sent him that message.
And I keep going to work, I keep idly chatting with my family and my friends, I keep going to church. But I’m dying inside. I’m rotting from the inside out and this fantasy is the only thing that makes me feel alive.
I can’t focus on anything. I space out while people are talking, imagining some cute thing for him to say. At work and in meetings I imagine doing that night over again and all the wild directions it could have gone.
And I imagine just talking. And him listening to what I have to say.
And God does nothing.
I’m going crazy.
My fantasies are so vivid, intruding on my waking life, walking into it like unwelcome house guests, tracking mud all over the floor. I’m terrified of the future— dead, damn certain I won’t be able to keep from having sex again, horrified and ashamed and terrified ahead of time of the encounter I will have, and the whole time, desperately wishing it would happen tonight.
I feel like each of these moments is an assault on my faith, an all out war, on how much God can love me. Each fuck a torpedo, each chat bubble and sent picture a burst of gunfire, each obsessive fantasy about David one more mowed down sailor.
I’m sinking, drowning, and I only barely want to swim.
I look ahead, and all I can see is 60 years of wasteland, of soul-eating loneliness and fetid encounters and endless tedium, slowly stretching on, as I drag my worthless, perverted self towards the limp ribbon of the finish line.
I am drowning.
I can’t take the thought of living like this,
Locked away behind the walls of my chastity, watching the years drone by like fat flies while I white knuckle the bars, trying not to fuck and be fucked, forever, for the rest of my life.
I want to die.
I don’t want to kill myself, that’s a different thing, I’m learning, separate. I’m not suicidal, but the thought of death—of being hit by a bus or caught in an earthquake or, best of all, mowed down by a crazed gunman— just fills me with relief. Finally, it’s done.
And I no longer have to fear the years ahead.
So I fuck David. I spend the night at his apartment, I sleep in his bed. On a Sunday morning I wake up and watch him sleep.
I am supposed to repent, and I do, I am supposed to have this be the last time, to ride off on wings of grace to new strength, where I am tempted no more.
I have one day of strength.
On Sunday night I already miss the smell of him on my clothes. But I push it back.
On Monday the fantasies start in earnest.
By Tuesday all I want is him.
And I know I can’t go on.
I tell God he has to fix this.
Because for the first time, I don’t want God to bend to my will, or to work some divine limbo to give me a way around a rule or commandment. I want out. I want to be done with this whole “Christian” thing.
Because I am furious with God.
I have tried so hard. I have done everything in my power, everything I can force myself to do and everything I can choke down, with my heart like a stone in me weighing me down, dragging me like an anchor.
All he has to do is reach down and flip His wrist, snap my heart back into place, flip it around.
And. He. Won’t.
I’m flailing desperately, trying everything I know in order to do what’s demanded of me, what He wants (right?) and He won’t lift one divine finger.
I’m so angry.
I speak in demands. In short, clipped, profanity filled rages of needs, because that’s all I can do. I demand peace, order strength and temperance and freedom from temptation.
I get none of it.
So I give God until the end of the week.
He has 7 days. 7 days to work a miracle, to change my heart and make this possible, or I’m out.
Because I can’t do this anymore.