I had a sad little epiphany today. Well, technically, last night, but whatever. I went out, as I am wont to do when I don't feel like staying in playing video games and there's damn little else to do all night, and found myself at a gay bar, where a pair of out-of-towners tried very hard to get me to come to their hotel with them. While I did ineptly flirt back (I am morally opposed to buying my own liquor), pssh, like that'll happen, but along the way, one asked if I was going to college, and if so what was I studying. I laughed, and without thinking told him that I graduated college about ten years ago.
Then the words processed, and I realized I wasn't exactly exaggerating. I graduated with the class of 2005. My eyes must have bugged out comically as the number sank in. I couldn't help but say aloud, "Wow I'm starting to age."
Seeing as they were both a couple years older, this did not go down well, but whatever. I got my free drink, and didn't even have to deflect much.
I don't have one of my own dreams to share, but instead I am going to tell my sister's. Around the time one of aunts passed away, she had this dream: It was after the rapture, when we'd all been dead and buried for years. My entire family, all of us back and back and back (it was a very large courtroom, so large we could only see our immediate closest couple hundred or so), were in a court room being weighed against our own sins. The devil was the prosecutor, slamming us left right and center, providing video evidence to go along with his accusations, branding us the worst Christians since anything. His litany went on for hours, uncovering every detail and transgression, turning bright red in his fervor. And did we, my family, cower under this onslaught of our own misdeeds? Oh my no. That's not how we were brought up, and not how we lived. We REVELED in it. We patted each other on the back "Damn bro, how the hell did you pull that one off?", nudged each other when a particularly good one was coming up "Oh, you can't miss this, this is the best part!" and occasionally peacocked when our various mothers cried out "You did what!", meaning we really had gotten away with it until that moment. Look, there's a reason almost none of us will take communion, while we try to be good people, ain't none of us good Catholics, and it has long since stopped bothering us. And even there, in the literal moment of truth, we could only be what we were made to be.
Finally, it was over. Jesus, our defender, rose soberly, although to a great amount of tittering from the crowd. He looked God, the judge, straight in the eye, and said, "I don't know what he means. It didn't happen."
God nodded. "Very well, case dismissed."
The dream ended there. We aren't sure if, in the end, we were admitted to paradise. It is one thing to not let us be sent to our damnation, but quite another to let us party with the angels. Perhaps there is more than one paradise, and the one we got sent to has a two drink minimum. And extremely durable construction.