Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Bible Girl and the Smoke-filled Car; Reprise

   They were the "cool kids."  So when they asked me to sit in their car, what was I supposed to do?  I was only sixteen and I was cold! 
    
    This is A VERY embarrassing story for me to write, probably because it shows how naive I was, and probably since it makes me look like the biggest nerd the world ever birthed.  So, it was sometime in November.  I know that because Thanksgiving rested on my mind and snow blew across the ground like fairies dancing to a crazy beat.  My Junior year stretched before me and I loved school mostly because of the Bible study I held during lunch.
    It was strange timing that specific day because we'd decided not to meet for Bible study.  Many of my friends went on an AP field trip and weren't around.  That meant I'd have to sit alone during lunch--not a pleasant thought since the rest of the kids sat in clumps at the cafeteria tables.  I figured I'd read my Bible and keep my head down, but as I walked further into the lunch room some of the kids yelled out "Bible Girl."  I usually didn't mind the nickname, but that day it really bothered me how those girls spit the words out, like something revolting.
    I guess I'd had enough.  Instead of getting pizza or Ben and Jerry's ice cream, I burst through the heavy lunchroom doors and ran to the front of the school.  It was so cold my breath wrapped around.  I shivered as I stood watching the cars glide past.
    The mountains loomed, bedded in mist and made me wish I could drive to them and play my violin.  Whenever I had a hard time I'd take my fiddle to a cave in the mountains.  It was fun jamming inside for hours.  The music would echo off the walls, an effect of sorts because while playing there I'd harmonize with my own melodies.  I was just longing for my cave, when a car appeared from the mist to my left.  It parked in front of me and the most popular skater in school stepped from the door by the back seat. 
    I couldn't master the bewilderment on my face.


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    It reminded me of those movies where the famous musician walks from the fog.  You get chills and have to catch your breath.  That's exactly what happened to me.  I wanted to tell him he'd make a great musician and could have been in Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video.  What's hilarious about "Thriller" is that it was the only secular music video I'd seen.  I wasn't allowed to watch MTV or listen to non-Christian music.  I could answer a million questions about DC Talk, Michael W. Smith or The Newsboys.  I was fine as long as nobody asked me about Metallica, Pearl Jam or Green Day.  I didn't know much about them except they weren't recommended listening at church.


    "Hey, dude.  You need a lift?" the skater asked, even though I wasn't a "dude."
    I looked around, making sure he was talking to me.  "Are you serious?" 
    "Absolutely."
    "Anything, for a pretty girl."


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    So, I got into the smokey car.  It was so foggy INSIDE that cab, I wondered if it was the source of the haze wrapping around our valley.  I squinted and realized two guys sat in the front seat.  
    "Where to, Bible Girl?" the driver asked.
    I coughed and waved my hand in front of my face.  "The mountains.  But is your car okay?  Isn't it a bit smokey in here?"
    "It's just this dumb engine, man.  We're gonna fix it in shop next week.  We'll make it to the mountains.  No problem."
    I paused.  "Okay . . .  Thanks for the ride."
    All three guys laughed then, giggling high and squealing loudly.  I had no idea what was so funny, but I shut my door and sat back into my seat anyway.  I cinched my eyes and willed the driver to go as fast as he could.


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    "Wanna brownie?" the driver asked.  "I made them myself."
    All three guys laughed again.  They really thought those brownies were hysterical.

    "You . . . like to bake?" I asked.
    He nodded.  It was shocking really, and even though I didn't want to be rude I didn't feel like eating something he'd made.  He did NOT look like the baking sort and their merriment made me think he'd put something horrible in those brownies, like cat poo or egg shells.  I suddenly worried that the whole ride was a prank they'd wanted to play on me for years.

    "Ummm . . .  Thanks so much, but no thanks."
    I sniffed.  The closer we got to the mountains, the more I realized how strange that cab smelled.  It did not smell like a malfunctioning engine.  It seemed like a strong cologne mixed with a woman's perfume.  Clues hung in the haze around me, but unfortunately I didn't have the knowledge to discern what really went on in that car.  I was too naive.  So, in an effort to dispel my concern, I opened my Bible.
    The handsome guy next to me said, "Oh dude!  She's opening her Bible."
    They all started laughing manically again.
    I didn't look up, and instead pointed me finger onto a verse in the Bible.  I'd opened to second John.  I read aloud, "For many deceivers enter into the world."
    "Deceivers, man!" the driver hooted with amusement and shoved an entire brownie into his mouth. He had Samson's appetite!  I looked ahead, then wondered how the driver could see through the fog outside and inside of the car.  He must have had a Biblical appetite AND Superman's x-ray vision.
    I thought of that brownie again.  The words I'd read rolled around my innocent mind.  I suddenly smiled, thinking I'd discovered their secret.  The thought hit me like a light-less train in the dark.  I sniffed the perfumy-stuff again.  Maybe those three skaters were hiding together in the back of a big-fat closet!  The driver liked baking; they drove in a car that smelled like potpourri.  The guy next to me held his hand out like a limp fish when he talked.  They all giggled despite the fact that most straight men chuckle.  I knew what was going on!  All three of those guys--were gay!
    I puffed so proud from my power of deduction, I had to grin.  Then a laugh burst from my mouth.  I laughed harder and harder.  The whole thing was like a crazy sitcom--or so I suddenly thought--and I LOVED it!  I was the cool girl--for once--friends with a bunch of sensitive guys.

    "What's so funny, man?" the driver asked even though I was still a girl.
    I blinked.  "I . . . don't exactly remember."  
    We laughed for a long time after that.  It was a blur really.  I had a great time with those gay guys.  I'm not sure how long we drove around, but we never made it to the mountains.
    It wasn't until the next day that one of my best Christian friends paled after telling me those horrible sinners weren't gay.  I had a very long debate with him and myself.  I didn't know what to think.  I felt horrible.  I HATE drugs, always have, always will and yet I'd unknowingly hot boxed!  After thinking about it for a long time I remembered John 8:7 about casting the first stone: "Those of you who are without sin cast the first stone."  I thought about what Jesus preached in the Bible.  
    "What would Jesus do?" I asked my friend.
    "If He'd been in your shoes He wouldn't have followed that skater and stepped in that car."  His motions were blunt, angular and exact, like he suffered from OCD.
    "But if He had ended up in that car . . . somehow, He would love those guys and not condemn them," I said.
    "You know they're headed straight to Hell," the guy said.

    I look back now and have to laugh.  I still can't believe those skaters did that to me.  They tricked "Bible Girl" into hot boxing!  I NEVER stepped into their car after that, and I'm so glad I never ate one of their homespun brownies.  I can say this though, they came to my Bible study a couple times after that and I never sat alone at lunch again.
    "You know.  You're all right, Bible Girl," one of them told me once.  He'd bought a Bible and everything.
    "So are you," I said and started giggling.  "I still can't believe you convinced me to get into that smoke-filled car."
    "That was hilarious," he said.
    "Yeah, especially since I thought you were gay."
    "What?!" he gasped, and I had to laugh harder than that day we never made it to the mountains.


    So, I have a question: If you were me, what would you have done after discovering those boys tricked you into entering that smoke-filled car?