The Story of an Arkansas Atheist Pt. 3

I finally got laid, without prayer.  Being a steadfast young musician was to blame for it.  I met a girl buying PA speakers for my first band.  We spoke for a while over the phone, so I went to see her in Uniontown, AR, and a youthful relationship was born.  It was pretty long distance for being 17 years old, and I had only had one other girlfriend in the entirety of JR high and high school.  I was a football player, a musician, and was fairly outgoing, but alas, I was a fat fuck.  The girls loved to be my pal, but I imagine they couldn’t take the social hit of being with a grungy fat kid.  It caused me some emotional stress that shit up for me.  I only bring this up right now because when this ended it was devastating.  It was moments like this when I knew God was a piece of shit.  Bad stuff started to fling itself at me like a mini-gun.  Seriously, negative things were all around me it seemed, and I was right at the point of when life was supposed to be taking off with graduation on the horizon.  Instead, all of the things that seemed so permanent at the time started to dissolve into nothingness.  The family business, the band, the relationship, relationships with band mates, it was all gone before graduation had a chance to arrive.  I hit the ground after high school knowing that God hated me and not much would ever go my way.  I was dead wrong.

Once again realizing that God was a force of negativity opened the doors for personal growth that would set the tone for the coming years of my life.  The girl problems solved, the next order of business would come in the form of being able to take care of me.  This of course took a couple of years to execute.  I went through some failures, but eventually started to find my ability for business.  I became the manager for the Game X Change in Springdale, AR.  This was a general manager position really, monitoring the warehouse, the retail front, and new store set-ups.  I got the opportunity to travel some of the country, and had a relationship with a woman that had a daughter.  All of this coming to be after the turn of the century.  I didn’t even think about religion really until 911 and the death of my grandfather on my dad’s side. That funeral pissed me off. My dad read a beautiful eulogy he composed.  He spoke about how his father had affected his life.  Telling the gathered loved ones about his devotion to work and family, those words were some of the most heartfelt my father had ever uttered.  Then the preacher from the church I used to attend started in about how important God was in my grandfather’s life.  I tell you, it made me sick.  My grandfather, Harry Vinson, had never once spoken to me about religion and the importance of God.  That was my grandmother’s view.  She allegedly burned a photograph of her holding a bottle of Evan Williams bourbon while making tonic for one of my sick aunts or uncle.  Granddad never spoke against drinking either.  The only real speech about morality from him came while my father was having a complex surgery for a life threatening illness in his intestines.  I was sitting outside of the old Washington Regional Hospital smoking a cigarette by down from ER entrance by the some of the refrigeration units. I will paraphrase the story with my own telling here.

He was fighting in WWII and the Germans were sending children over the lines and into the Allied camps to steal gasoline.  The soldiers’ orders were to shoot the children and preserve the gasoline.  So, one day while he was at a guard post he saw a child running from the camp with a gas can.  He was well aware of the orders, but instead, chose to shoot the gas can letting the child escape with no loot.  Obviously the report on the live fire in from camp landed on the desk of his superior and he was called in to explain this disobeying of direct orders.  Once in the office his commander began screaming on him about being a bad soldier and harming the war effort.  He came after the officer over the desk and began beating him senseless.  Now the military could not afford to dismiss soldiers on the front lines because America had just entered the war, as this was before D-Day or any other major combat action for the US lead force of the Allied advance.  He was court marshaled and spent a few weeks in a jail cell before being turned loose again, and that officer, he was transferred far away from Granddad’s unit.

That is a story worth telling, and likely thousands of times more accurate than any story form antiquity.  The shit that the preacher said about my grandfather being a deeply religious man was a lie.  I left that funeral not only thinking that God was crap, but that his messengers were also full of crap.  What happens next is more of the same so I will try to be succinct with the telling. Eventually the relationship ended because she was a rampant cheater.  I still miss her daughter, badly some days.  She called me “Papa,” I tear up even now thinking about it.  Not that I was perfect, I lashed out by cheating on her.  Immaturity is one of the hardest things to overcome, in my opinion; obviously, it wasn’t my time yet.  The relationship after that would end up being my longest until my current, but music took the center stage at this point as I became a part of the local band Cover of Darkness that would last nearly six years and three albums.  I was yet to think much on religion other than I knew it was lame.  God sucked and his followers were judgmental and mean for the most part.  The band had a song called “Holy Babble,” which was an anti-religious track (would have embedded this but WordPress is a greedy site that won’t let me without spending money, greed is everywhere).   It wasn’t a major theme of the band, but the song was dear to me because of its message.  That time of life was an amazing ride that included shows with some major acts, one of which being Jackal at Bikes, Blues, and BBQ.   This would lead into my modern relationship, the birth of my daughter, starting college for the first time at 32, and the claiming of atheist values.  That would lead to new doors and new talents.

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