Thursday, June 30, 2011

On Sunday mornings my father took me and my brother and sister to the congregational church. The "Congo" church as he called it, and I thought of Africa. But everybody was from Wisconsin. So that couldn't be right. I later learned that a congregational church is a church with no denomination. Anyone is welcome, and you don't have to be a part of a particular group, or believe in a particular way. I didn't like going. This I believed; that it was boring, and so I met the requirement. Instead of sitting in the pews with my father and siblings, I opted for Sunday school, an opportunity to hang out with other kids.

Because Sunday school started an hour before church, I never got to see the last ten minutes of Jem and the Holograms. I also didn't get to eat Pillsbury biscuits and eggs. Instead I sat at the two low tables pushed together with the other kids. The Sunday School teacher talked about the bible for forty-five minutes, and then we went up stairs to a little room above the main chapel and sang. I didn't know anybody, and they didn't know me. I just tried to get through the hour and a half without attracting attention so I could be done with it. Had I chosen to go to real church, my dad would of made me interact. On my own, mingling was not an issue.

One morning I wore a Gumby basketball sweatshirt I had gotten from my aunt. I thought it was pretty cool, especially since the small town kids weren't hip to Gumby. I had a snotty cold that morning, and when I sneezed a wad of yellow sticky snot came out of my nose and stuck to my fingers. Too shy to get up or ask the teacher to get a tissue, I wiped the snot in the armpit of the shirt and tucked my arm in like a chicken wing. I assumed nobody saw me because I assumed everybody was in the same boat as me, just trying to get through. We continued singing but I heard some of the kids laugh. One of them said, "Gumby got gummed." I pretended they were talking about something else.