We never had any money because my dad didn’t believe in a gospel of prosperity. He didn’t believe a benevolent force in the sky doled out small and large gifts with indiscriminate whimsy.
But our house was always open to our friends. There was always something to snack on even if it came from the health food co-op.
I knew other preachers’ kids from camp, they wore designer sneakers, yet didn’t think their souls were depraved.
The truth. My soul was depraved. I sold girly magazines in the back of the bus for twenty dollars to the popular kids who could afford it. It’s true what they say about God.
I found the magazines in a brown bag with shoe-print stomped on it in a parking lot behind a liquor store near Haymarket Square. This was during a school trip to the big city.
During the long ride out of the suburbs, a friend swore to me he would jump in front of the bullet if someone shot at us. He would die for me, he said. That was why he took the window seat, he said.
The class wandered an art museum that day. I stopped at a painting of a beaten man in tattered clothes trying to climb out of hell. My friend wanted to sneak off from the rest of the group. He didn’t have a plan. He just thought it would be fun to escape the chaperones. But I couldn't pull myself from the picture. I needed to know if the man would ever get out.
Nobody shot at us that day.