Over a year ago now, I was in a poetry writing group in a poetry writing class with three people that I opted to give blog pseudonyms of Glasses, Redhead, and Bracelets. The first two were never mentioned again as far as I can remember, though Bracelets became a regular character here. But now she's long since disappeared off the face of the earth for most intents and purposes, while Glasses and Redhead are still around. I kind of regret giving them these pseudonyms because they sound kind of dumb. Redhead's pseudonym doesn't even make sense now that her hair is no longer dyed an unnatural shade of red. Lesson learned. Glasses, Bracelets and I are all LDS. Glasses is a culturally unorthodox Mormon who hates society, speaks his mind and swears a lot, so we get along just great. Bracelets is a "good" Mormon minus everything that's wrong with Utah. Redhead is an ex-Mormon. She left because she never felt any sort of spiritual confirmation and allegedly was bullied in Young Women's, but that part can't be true because all Mormon females are perfect angels who can do no wrong.
I never thought I would be very friendly with Redhead after she said blog writing seems kind of egotistical, but that's behind us, I guess. She has low self-esteem and anxiety and drinks to get away from it. I have another friend whose life drove her to heroin (she's clean now, thank God), so next to that drinking seems like a positively healthy solution. One time I contacted her to tell her that she should read my blog, and found her experiencing a severe hangover. We talked a bit and I said something to the effect of, "I'm always here for you." And she was like, "Want to go get food?" And I had to be like, "Crap, I'm in Idaho." I felt so guilty, even though I was there for my great-grandfather's funeral.
She mentioned recently that she never invites me to hang out with her and her friends because they're always drinking and she doesn't want me to be uncomfortable. I said I didn't care. The only drunk person I've spent a meaningful amount of time around was my friend Ashwin, and being in that state just exacerbated his sweet and friendly persona, so I actually liked it, as awful as that is. Anyway, she invited me to watch a movie with them, but I wasn't able to go. She thought I had bailed on her and I could tell she was mad even though she said she wasn't. A couple weeks later she invited me to "beer and board games", and she said she could pick me up but she wouldn't be able to take me home but one of her other Mormon friends probably could, and if not I could sleep on her couch. As innocent as I am, it took me a while to figure out why she couldn't take me and why a Mormon would have to do it. I gave her the address and she went to the wrong side of the street and we didn't see each other, so she thought I had bailed on her again and she sent me about fifteen angry messages.
We got that straightened out and during the car ride she said she was just feeling super stressed because a guy she liked was coming and she hadn't had time to clean yet. I said she seemed happier than in class, and she said that was just because of the anxiety attack making her talk fast. We arrived and she asked if I could carry some stuff. I said sure because I'm just that nice. The back seat was full of stuff so I assumed it would be some of that. Instead, she popped the trunk and brought out a bag of limes and a case of beer for me to carry. As I followed her up the stairs to the apartment, I almost wished someone from church would see me and think that I was being bad. Then I could reap the benefits of society's warped admiration of vice without actually doing any of it. Alcohol holds no temptation for me because I know that if I ever touched a drop I would drink myself to death.
We were the first ones there, and the guy she likes showed up a few minutes later. With the gift of foreknowledge I paid attention to her interactions with him to see what sort of indications she gave of her interest. Result: nothing, zilch, nada. Afterward she asked me what I thought of him, but my opinion is totally neutral. The most I can say is that, other than being human, he didn't give me any reason to hate him during our brief time together. She said I was no help and I asked why she needs my opinion anyway and then she stopped responding to me. But going back to that night, we played several rounds of Jenga and then we played this game called "Aggravation" which was particularly aggravating for her because the other five people there chose to gang up on her. It was probably about halfway over by twelve thirty when my ride and I left. Throughout the night, of course, Redhead and the other two non-Mormons drank beer with limes, and she gradually started to smile more and laugh more and just generally seemed relaxed and happy.
Until the next morning, I'm sure. Sigh.
Mormonism: Inside and Out
This new weekly blog features Mormon scholar Patrick Mason and ex-Mormon podcaster John Dehlin engaging in a dialogue to build bridges of understanding and avoid the polemics and propaganda of the internet era. I have said before that John Dehlin is a coward and a hypocrite, and I still think that, but whether he's sincere in this endeavor or not, the result has been most enjoyable so far. It's a really important task with the potential to do a lot of good or a lot of damage depending on whether or not Patrick Mason screws it up. And so far, he's not screwing it up. Some people think he's conceded too much already, but I'm biased since I agree with him on those points. Yes, people of other faiths have legitimate visions and revelations. Get over it.
Today and tomorrow are General Conference, of course. I'll probably write about it next week if I feel like it.
Buddy Holly/William Onyeabor - Everyday
In our class, Redhead wrote a poem called "Every Day" that was about regret and depression and self-loathing. And as awful as that is, I found it kind of funny because it reminded me of two almost identically titled songs that are both super cheerful and about love.
"Guys. Chris's blog is the stuff of legends. If you’re ever looking for a good read, check this out!"
- Amelia Whitlock
"I don't know how well you know Christopher Randall Nicholson, but... he's trolling. You should read his blog. It's delightful."
- David Young
About the Author
C. Randall Nicholson is a white cisgender male and a Latter-day Saint, so you can hate him without guilt, but he's also autistic, so you can't. Unless you're an anti-vaxxer, in which case the feeling is mutual. This blog is where he periodically rants about life, the universe, and/or everything.