stories, lessons, and a lot of nonsense

i hear rock & roll

My mom had surgery yesterday. She’s doing good, but she’s out of it. Drugs will do that to a person. Sometimes, when a person is on drugs, they do not have full use of their senses. Maybe they can’t see straight. Sometimes the sense of taste disappears, especially when the sense of smell is out of whack. And sometimes, they just can’t hear you. But when she comes off of the drugs, she’ll be just fine. Just fine for her includes supersonic ears. She may not hear everything you say, but she will hear your rock music if you’re playing it. She heard mine. And in honor of my mom, and her quick recovery, I will repost this story of her ears for rock and roll.

I am an emotional sleeper. I blow everything out of proportion when I am half asleep to all the way asleep. For instance, one time Sarah was doing laundry, and wanted my white undershirt for the white load. I had fallen asleep on the couch, so she had to wake me a little to get it from me. I squirmed and grunted, but I wouldn’t give her the shirt. At one point, I sat up and turned my head right towards her. She thought I was giving her my shirt. Nay, nay. I had only sat up to move my head to the other side of the couch to get away from her. She tried again, and I really got agitated. I said very rudely to her, “LAY OFF ME, CHUMP STAINS!,” but I was still sound asleep. I don’t remember any of this; I only know what she told me. Oh, and I did eventually give her the shirt. Now I say all that to preface what I’m going to post. I’m sure my recollection of the story is blown way out of proportion, but I’m going to tell it how I remember it, cause it’s way better than what is most likely the truth.

My parents were a little legalistic when I was younger. They’re not now, but it was a long journey from where they were to where they are. They had no ill intentions. My mom grew up an orthodox Jew, and my dad a very unorthodox Catholic. Both had a good-works view of redemption. So they were easy marks for the Baptist legalist movement. It seemed natural enough, I’m sure. They were taught in church(es) what being a good Christian meant, and they afflicted…I mean instructed us on how this went. I’ve never had a problem with them, though, cause they were only trying to do what was right by God and us. They’re awesome parents, and I knew the whole time they loved me. But that doesn’t make some of the things they did any less funny…

Christian rock was a big no-no in our house. My brother Steve had wandered from God, and yes, music did play a roll, but my mom had a misunderstanding of how this worked. She thought Christian rock was a stepping stone to “bad rock,” when in reality, the Christian rock of Steve’s teen years just sucked. If he wanted to listen to good music, it would have had to be secular. Still, rock and roll became the devil’s #1 tool, Christian or otherwise, as far as she was concerned (and many of her church cohorts, too). This led to one of the funniest moments in my life, which is, as mentioned, probably exaggerated.

I had a friend that gave me the Newsboys’ “Not Ashamed” tape, because he didn’t like it. I wasn’t supposed to have it, but I wanted it anyway. I listened to it on my little black tape player when I was going to sleep at night. One night, however, my tape player fell down next to my bed and next to a heat register, taking the sounds right up into my parents’ room. Here I am asleep, and all of a sudden, the door flies open as though my mom had kicked it open. She threw on the lights and fumed “I HEAR ROCK AND ROLL!” I was half asleep at this point. I had no idea what she was talking about. I mumbled the word what, and she rabidly repeated those five words again. Sorry I had asked. “WHERE IS IT?!?” I finally realized what she was talking about and reached for my tape player. I took out the tape and sheepishly said, “It’s Christian,”…like she cared. With fervor and unbelievable speed, she ripped the whole tape from cassette. It was almost cartoon like. Her arms were flailing all over the place, and the tape was soaring like streamers at a New Years party. And I swear, I can remember her taking that little cassette and snapping with her hands, like it was a pencil, like it was nothing. I’ve never been more afraid of my mom in my whole life. Fortunately, I cannot stay up long if awoken from deep sleep like that, so I quickly got over my mom’s intimidating display and fell fast asleep.
But I never forgot it, and now, maybe you won’t either. As a side note, I have a ton of Christian rock CDs in my collection now, but guess which CD I could never bring myself to buy: Newsboys’ “Not Ashamed.” That album scares the crap out of me.


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