Now that we’re in Austin, I’m getting to know my apartment complex better. As I walk around with my dog or taking Kidlet on her daily walk to the mailbox, I’m seeing more of my neighbors. One of my neighbors has a sign on his door that says “Please do not knock on this door to tell me the good news about Jesus. I am a proud Satan worshipper.”
And he also has voo doo doll attached to the sign. I’m not sure how serious he is, especially considering that I think he has his alternative religions mixed up. Either way, I like where his head is at.
I don’t want anybody knocking on my door to talk to me about their religion, either.
I have a firm rule about Jehovah’s Witnesses. Whomever lets them in the house has to talk to them. This rule applies to all ages. If you are five years old and you let a Jehovah’s Witness into the house, you should spend the next three hours discussing the Watchtower with them. And I betcha that’s the last time you do that shit, too.
It’s not that I have anything against the Jehovah Witnesses. I actually lived with a couple of them once. I was staying with my boyfriend and his grandparents in the country outside of Lake Charles, Louisiana. They were sweet people who took us in when we needed it. But they also were constantly try to convert us. They took us to the Kingdom Hall and I went because I wanted to eat that evening. They were always trying to push those Watchtowers on us.
At one point, I was trying to connect with the love of my life–television–but was finding it hard. They didn’t have cable so I had to watch what was available. Most of the time that wasn’t anything I’d like to see. But one afternoon, a TV special about magicians came on. I was so excited to see something, anything I was actually interested in. The grandmother came in the room, glanced at the TV, and turned it off. “Oh, that’s Satan,” she said as she walked out of the room.
And that’s when she lost me. Any religion where I couldn’t watch the Great Santini and his lovely assistant was not going to get me to sign up for membership.
Cut to many, many years later. I was walking up to my building in Chicago, where I shared an apartment with Hubs. (TV was still the love of my life but he was a close second.) As I walked in the foyer of my building there were two well dressed people in it.
That stood out in itself. I didn’t live in a great neighborhood in Chicago. The only time people were this dressed up was church or court. And it was Saturday. The courts were closed.
It was a small foyer but I was prepared to walk past them like I hadn’t seen them. But then one of them said, “Hey are you PJ?”
I wanted to lie but they caught me off guard and I ended up saying yes.
“Oh great! We met your husband a while ago and he said that he didn’t have time to talk but that you would be home soon. Have you heard of Jehovah?”
I’m not sure what I said because I blacked out then. I don’t remember anything else until I got up to our apartment and woke Hubs up. “Hey! Why the fuck did you tell those Jehovah Witnesses that I would talk to them?!”
“I don’t know,” he said through his sleepy haze. “They were asking too many questions. I just told them what they wanted to know.”
“Well they rolled up on me downstairs. How did they even know it was me?”
“I told them what you looked like.” I stared at him in disbelief. “I had to. They have their ways of getting info from you!”
“They’re downstairs waiting for me!”
“Still? They came up here like seven hours ago!”
“THESE ARE JEHOVAH WITNESSES WE’RE TALKING ABOUT!!! THIS IS WHAT THEY DO!!! THEY HAVE NOTHING BUT TIME ON THEIR HANDS!!!”
“I’m sorry,” he said in a small voice. “It was either you or me.”
At that point, I had all the grounds for divorce I needed. But I still loved him. (Less than TV, though. A lot less than TV now that he had betrayed me.) So instead, I made sure my apartment door was locked. I put a piece of paper in front of my peep hole. I closed the blinds and I turned off all the lights.
And I waited them out. Because spending the night on the floor of my apartment with Hubs being perfectly still was better than letting a Jehovah’s Witness in.