God: The Fine Art of Letting Go
As the lights dimmed, the crowd’s dull roar grew to an untamed wall of sound. The band took the stage. I was lagging behind as I always did, trying to make my entrance count. Staring out at the throng, I wondered what they were all about. How many were fifteen-year-old girls getting trampled in the pit because of their crush on me? How many were forty-year-old men grasping onto the last vestiges of their youth, trying not to notice they were losing their hair? I wondered if anybody gave a damn what the music and the words were about anymore. It was all about the image now, the “dark industrial band” visage the record company had created for us. It didn’t matter what I was singing. We could have played Barry Manilow covers.
Boris took to the drums and threw himself into the opening march of “Divine Hatred,” our latest single. The lights pulsed, following the lead of his toms, and smoke from the dry ice filled the stage. I ran my fingers through my hair, pushed it back from my face, and gave myself a “fuck it” speech, orating to the voices in my head. I stepped out into the light, vinyl pants, leather jacket, and all.
I stepped out into the light as I had every night for the past year, but this time it was different. I never wanted to believe the bullshit about a great white light and no turning back. When I was six, Dad fed me a line. “It’s glorious moment son, like being born again.” My father was full of Catholic bullshit. I was there when the cancer took my mother and he wasn’t. She screamed her fucking lungs out. It wasn’t a glorious moment. There was no God, no savior. Wouldn’t he have spared her the pain?
Trouble was, I met God when I stepped into the light for the last time. It was a pretty humbling experience. I’d pompously named myself Johnny Baptist and gone on tour to convert the masses, to Atheism that is. I’d earned my money singing God was dead only to end up on the other side and be proved quite wrong.