I’ve missed my handwriting

by Griffin O'Hara

I decided to become a monk at a Wendy’s in Wyoming. I thought about it a little before. And I’ve thought about it a little since. I must have been twelve or some similarly precocious age. I announced my intent over a baconator, with a captive audience that consisted of my parents and my sister.

The baconator was not very good, with cheese similar to the kind that goes on plastic patties in a kid’s kitchen-set. The bacon was limp and did not live up to expectations.

I’m not sure which is more interesting, that I wanted to be a monk, or that I am not. Why did I want to become one? Why am I not?

Memory doesn’t unspool like thread, but condenses, more like dew. Or perhaps freezes, frost before the sun. There is no neat order to recollection, so I am not sure whether I’ve wanted to become a monk before that. Though I must have. The thought must have grown in my mind somehow. I think I wanted to become a monk through a gradual accretion, like the skin on warmed milk, thought growing over time, becoming something I could use to justify these feelings inside of me.  Feelings of inadequacy, greed, a fear of loss and death.

I remember church. A warm basement, potlucks, everything stripped by my discomfort. When people went up to the podium to read from the bible, how much was genuine? Felt like things were staged, for some sort of christmas postcard. False cheer, smiles. I wasn’t there for the right reasons. All of us wanting recognition, praise, couldn’t help but be helplessly smug—to at least hint that they were there… in the right place, mentally, spiritually.

Spiritually. Spirituality. The spirit. I don’t believe in it. I don’t care if you do. You shouldn’t care if I do.

To be continued? If I can step off my podium long enough to write another one. Thanks for the read.