I am feeling especially good today,
like the pagans might have felt before the coming of the cross,
or a black man after the killing of his slave master.
The way a man feels
when he doesn't have to answer to a woman.
She's finally gone.
I can live and breathe and pee in the sink.
I can listen to Sabbath at obscene volumes,
watch the sun inch its way behind purple hills
and drink as many beers as my gut will hold.
In short, I am enjoying the hell out of myself
without taking a lot of shit for it.
And I miss her already.
I am about five beers into a twelve pack,
tending to some ribs on the grill when I hear the doorbell ring.
It's not my house but I decide to answer it anyway.
I peek through the blinds. Awesome. Mormons.
"Hello gentlemen. What'cha need?"
"Good evening. We're from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints."
"Sure, I'll join," I say. "Come on in and have some dinner.
Just move that shit anywhere and have a seat, I'll be right back."
I return to find them sitting with hands folded on laps,
trying not to look at the towering water pipe on the coffee table.
"Dinner is served!" I set a plate of ribs and two beers in front of them.
They eyeball the cans like they are live snakes.
"Oh shit. Sorry about that," I say and grab the beers.
"Not a problem sir. I'm Elder Barksdale and this is Elder Bell.
Did you just say you'll join?"
"Sure thing. I imagine you must endure endless rejections, or worse.
Where do I sign?"
I open a beer and tear into a rib. "I tell you what," I say with a mouthful,
"Leave the Book of Mormon with me, I'll ask for the burning in the bosom
assuring me that Joseph Smith is Christ's instrument of the restoration
of his church on earth in these latter days,
then I'll talk to the bishop at my local ward. How's that sound?"
The elders exchange looks of mutual bewilderment,
stand and hand me a Book of Mormon and a pamphlet
with a man kneeling before a pillar of white light on its cover.
"Badass painting," I observe. "You really don't want any ribs?"
They decline and I see them to the door.
"Hey, sorry about the beer thing," I shout
as they mount their bicycles and ride into the night.
I sit on the front step, watch the darkness consume the remaining light
and think about her -
the sound of her voice, the way she smelled,
her hopeless shopping addiction and violent temper.
I look to the sky and recall the last words she said to me before she left:
'I swear to God you're a worthless fucking retard.'
She was adorable.
Maybe she didn't care so much for me - yeah probably not.
But your identity isn't found in what loves you
but in what you love.
I head back inside, light a bowl
and think about how good it feels to be Mormon.