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GLOSSOLALIA

“Are you interested in me because I’m a girl or because I love Jesus?”
“I am interested in you because I like you.”
“But if I didn’t love Jesus, would you still be interested in me?”
“I would like to think that I would be interested in you no matter what.”
“But if I didn’t love Jesus, I don’t think I would be the same person.”
“If you didn’t love Jesus, I think in some ways
you would be the same person.”
“But I wouldn’t see the world the same way, I wouldn’t read the same things, I wouldn’t make the same choices, I wouldn’t be around the same people.”
“But I think you would still like a lot of the same things. You would still be a ski instructor in the winter. You would still spend the summer here on the beach. You would still run. You would still bodysurf. You would still be physically very beautiful. You still would be a person who cares about other people, and you still, probably, would have taught me to bodyboard.”
“But I used to be a person who didn’t love Jesus. I used to make different choices. Like when I was a freshman in college, there was this older guy, and he used to come into my room and sleep in my bed and he knew how to do things with his hands and his mouth. He knew how to make me feel things.”


“You didn’t have sex with him even though you didn’t yet love Jesus.”
“I didn’t have sex with him because I had an idea of Jesus, but I didn’t yet really know Jesus. I thought I did, but I didn’t.”
“But you prayed to Jesus, didn’t you?”
“I did pray to Jesus, but not in tongues.”
“When you start to pray in tongues?”
“When I was filled up with the Holy Spirit.”
“Is that when you stopped messing around with this guy?”
“No. It was later. There were other guys. In Madrid, this one guy took me to an R.E.M. concert.”
“Did it make you feel dirty to mess around with him?”
“No. It made me feel good. But I still felt empty inside.”
“How did you learn how to pray in tongues?”
“I prayed to be filled up with the Holy Spirit, and then I was given the gift.”
“Can you do it on command?”
“I can do it anytime, if that’s what you mean.”
“Can I hear you do it?”
“Would you like to pray with me?”
“Will you do it if I pray with you?”
“When I pray I do it. It comes naturally.”
“How do you know what it is you are saying if you are speaking a language you don’t know?”
“I don’t know what I am saying. It is my spirit that knows what I am saying. My spirit is communing directly with God’s spirit. I can’t explain it, but I can feel it, like this energy pulsing through me.”
“If I held your hand, could I feel the energy, too?”
“I feel like you are being glib.”
“I am not being glib. I just feel like this is something I don’t understand but I really do want to understand. I want to be a person who is open-minded to new experiences.”
“Take my hand. Here. Take my other hand. Let’s pray.”
 “What did you think just now, when I was speaking in tongues?”
“I thought a lot of the sounds were repeated and there were a lot of consonant clusters. I heard maybe some sounds that sounded like German and some sounds that sounded like Hebrew or Arabic maybe. There were also a lot of sounds that you don’t make when you speak in English, like rolling your R’s and flattening out your O sounds.”
“That’s true. I have noticed those things, too.”
“Do you ever try to think about recording what you say when you say it? Like, maybe you could do some code-breaking and make a dictionary.”
“Again, I feel like maybe you are being glib.”
“Hear me out. I’m being serious. The idea is, you are speaking a language that people don’t speak on Earth, except people who speak the language of angels. So consequently, if you follow the logic, it’s a real language. So wouldn’t it have the things a real language has, like grammar and syntax and vocabulary? And if that’s so, couldn’t you study it just like you could study any other language?”
“That’s movie stuff. That’s like something starring Patricia Arquette.”
“Why not, though? There’s people who do this for a living. They go over to Papua New Guinea or wherever, and they spend time around a language, and then they reconstruct it, even though when they first get there they don’t know the first thing about it.”
“That’s missing the whole point.”
“Why?”
“Because if you knew the language, then the purity of the communication would be lost. You’d start crafting all the words instead of the spirit that indwells in you crafting the words.”
“But—and here I’m not being glib, I’m just trying to understand—don’t you want to know what it is you are speaking to Jesus or the angels or whatever?”
“You don’t pray to angels.”
“But it’s an angel language, right?”
“The idea is that you’re not in control. You’re giving yourself over to it.”
“Is that why you jerk your body to the left when you pray in tongues?”
“That’s a manifestation.”
“Why do you do it?”
“I don’t do it. It comes over me when I give myself over to the
Spirit.”
“Does it happen to everyone who speaks in tongues?”
“Some people fall down like they are dead.”
“That’s slain in the Spirit.”
“Right. Some people fall into fits of laughter. Some people bark like dogs, but not too many people. I don’t want to judge, but I think sometimes when that happens a lot it can be for show. But I don’t know.”
“That’s something that worries me. It’s a little bit frightening, don’t you think, like on TV, when a lot of people are doing it all around, and there’s this ungodly cacophony?”
“That’s the fear of the Lord you’re feeling.”
“How can you be sure?”
“How can you be sure of anything? You know. I know. I know that
I know that I know.”
“Here this stuff is at odds with logic, maybe, I think.”
“I think that’s a wrong way to think about it, but tell me what you’re thinking.”
“I took this philosophy class. Dr. Willard Reed. He was talking about the distinction between belief and knowledge. He said that knowledge is problematic. You can’t really know stuff that isn’t somehow verifiable. Like you didn’t see it with your own eyes, or experience it yourself, or there hasn’t been some kind of consensus among the people who study the thing. And even then there’s problems. How do you know you aren’t fooling yourself? Or how do you know the consensus might not be wrong? Like the consensus used to be that the earth was flat. And on top of that, how do you know that the universe didn’t just begin two seconds ago? After a while, everything starts to be belief.”
“I don’t guess it matters much which is which, then, if it’s all so slippery.”
“I don’t guess it does.”
“But what kind of way is that to live? Walking around not being sure of anything. Everything tentative. No place for boldness. No place for meaning. Wouldn’t that just throw you into some kind of paralytic feedback loop or something? Wouldn’t you just be staring at your navel forever?”
“Not necessarily, but I don’t know. You just described a lot of the way I think a lot of the time.”
“That’s why you have to let go control. That’s what praying in the Spirit is. You’re letting go that control and giving yourself over to your Creator. It’s an act of faith in the unseen. Although, I have to tell you, there are things I have seen.”
“What kinds of things?”
“Visions. Gold dust.”
“Gold dust?”
“There have been meetings where the Spirit of God has come down and the manifestation was gold dust that began to appear on everyone’s shoulders.”
“Manifestations, like the jerking to the left.”
“I’m not going to say any more if you’re going to mock everything.”
“Honestly, I’m not mocking. I really want to know. Tell me about the visions.”
“Once I was praying in the Spirit, and I had a vision of a golden vessel.”
“Like a ship?”
“Like a vase or a container. It was on a cloth of purple silk. There was an angel there, and he was holding out his hands.”
“What did the vision mean?”
“For a long time I didn’t know what the vision meant. But then my friend who is a prophetess—quietly, quietly a prophetess, like, literally, hardly anybody knows. She said it was a message about being a vessel for the Spirit, and about a royal calling, but I had to give myself to it.”
“That’s why you write the magazine articles?”
“That’s why I’m writing the books. That’s why I’m traveling around so much. To speak into people’s hearts and lives.”
“But you like it, too. You’re good at it. You don’t want to work at a desk job.”
“That’s true. I don’t want to be chained to a desk. I was made this way for a reason.”
“Any other visions?”
“Yes.”
“Tell me.”
“Another time. Later.”
“All right. It’s a lot to risk, right? Telling me all these things?”
“It’s nothing to risk. I already have given myself over to all of it.”
“I can wait. I want to get to know you.”
“Would you hold me now?”
“Yes.”
“Don’t come over here inside my blanket. You stay inside your blanket and I’ll stay inside my blanket, and you can hold me that way, with the separate blankets.”
 “Do you like it here?”
“I’m uncomfortable here.”
“Why?”
“I don’t like the cold, and I don’t like all the soldiers in their uniforms, and I don’t like all the military songs. I think I might be a pacifist.”
“But these are the men and women who give their lives to keep us free.”
“I like watching the football game, and I don’t mind cheering for Air Force, but I am uncomfortable with the whole martial atmosphere. It seems to me to have a lot to do with death and killing.”
“But sacrificial death and killing, don’t you think? Not death or killing that anyone wants to do.”
“I don’t know if that’s true. That’s what basic training is for, I think. To break down the part of a person’s conscience where they have this inhibition against killing, so they can want to kill, so they can kill at will, to save their lives or save their buddy or fulfill their mission.”
“I think that’s a selfish way to think about it. Because it’s because of these guys and gals here that you have the freedom to say something like that.”
“I can’t deny it. I know that’s true. That complicates the way I feel about it.”
“You are shivering. Here, let’s combine our blankets.”
“Can we put them under our legs, too, because these bleachers are so cold.”
“You know, if you moved out here with me, I wonder if you could take the cold all winter, if this is what it does to you.”
“Are you really here for good? I mean, you were in Florida, and now you’re here, and you’ve been back and forth. But maybe you would just end up back in Florida.”
“I don’t want to be anchored anyplace. I want to be free to move around. But I like cold places. I wouldn’t mind moving to Alaska. My aunt has a hotel in Alaska. I like the idea of spending some time there with her, helping her run it for a while.”
“What if you—even we—had children? Wouldn’t you want to stay put for a while, for the sake of stability?”
“I don’t want to have children, ever. I mean, I love children. I think I would be an okay mother. But the things I’m meant to do with my life would, I think, make it very difficult to have children.”
“I didn’t know this about you, that you wouldn’t want children. It surprises me.”
“This is why it’s good, I think, you came out here. We need to sort these things out. We need to find out if we love each other.”
“I feel like you’re holding some things back.”
“That’s true, but here we are, and I want to watch this football game since I paid forty bucks each for the tickets.”
 “Is it okay with you if I put my hand on your knee while I drive?”
“Yes. I’m very happy that you put your hand on my knee.”
“It’s interesting, you know. Whenever I relate to you in a physical way, you respond very positively. But whenever I relate to you in a spiritual way, it gets complicated, and I don’t know how to read you, exactly.”
“I feel like in some ways they are different issues.”
“I don’t think they are in any way separable.”
“I feel like the physical expressions of love are very important and they mean something.”
“I don’t disagree. That’s why I won’t let you kiss me.”
“But it’s strange. You will let me do other things that seem to me to be more intimate than kissing is.”
“I feel like, if you and I were kissing, I would be giving myself over to you in a way that I’m not ready to do.”
“Why is that?”
“Because I think that spiritually we are in very different places. I think you’re open to spiritual things, but I don’t think that you are really very far along. And I can’t tell if you are open to them because you really desire them or if you are just open to them because you want to be closer to me.”
“That’s a fair question to raise. I don’t know, either, sometimes. There’s a lot of things going on very quickly, and it can be confusing to me.”
“Also, I don’t know if I love you.”
“Do you think love is some kind of lightning flash? Like it strikes you and then the reverberations just ring out forever?”
“That’s how love is with God, I think. And I think that’s one thing you haven’t really entered into the fullness of.”
“I think that maybe love is a choice that people make.”
“That’s not very romantic.”
“I don’t know what good romance is, sometimes. I mean, it’s good to be romantic, and it’s good to have feelings. But I’ve had feelings for people before, and they’ve had feelings for me, but what was lacking, I think, was a choice to make a life together. A commitment.”
“It’s very scary to me to hear you speak that way. Because it seems very mechanical to me. It seems in keeping with many of the things that seem cold about you, to me. Everything seems so reasoned, so calculated. It makes me think that everything about the way you approach me must be some kind of calculation.”
“If that were true, though, wouldn’t I just tell you everything you wanted to hear all the time? It seems to me evidence of good faith that we have these kinds of conversations all the time, and that we have these, for lack of a better word, arguments, or disagreements.”
“I don’t enjoy arguing or disagreeing.”
“Me either.”
“I’m just going to keep my hand on your leg here, except when I have to shift gears, until we get up to the top of the mountain, okay? I just want to enjoy the ride and enjoy you and enjoy this kind of closeness while we look at the mountains and enjoy the creation and all its wonder. It’s not a slight to you. It’s just something I need right now, if it’s all right with you. But I want to keep my hand on your leg, okay?”
“Of course. I love that you have your hand on my leg. It is really nice.”
 “That right there is called Witch’s Titty.”
“Why?”
“Because look at it. It looks like a Witch’s Titty.”
“Yeah. I guess it does.”
“You know what I think whenever I pass this place?”
“Tell me.”
“There was this dance in high school, and there was this boy, let’s call him Bob, he asked me to this dance. He was a senior and I was a freshman. I got all dressed up and he got me a corsage. When you go with a senior and you’re a freshman, it’s exciting, you know, because he picked you. You’re the one he picked, and he passed over older girls to pick you. And before I left, my dad told him he could keep me out until midnight but no later. And he kissed me on the cheek, my dad, and he said I love you and we trust you, me and your mother. So we went to this dance, and it was all right. There was music, there was food, there was dancing. And afterward, I wanted this guy, Bob, to kiss me. It was something I really wanted. I had built it up big-time in my mind. He drove me out to this park I’m going to take you to later, out by the ski lifts. It was the place where all the kids went to sit in their cars and make out. We had to drive past Witch’s Titty to get there. And I knew that was why we were going to this park, and it was okay with me. But when we got there, this guy, Bob, he started acting really nervous. He was staring straight ahead and he started sweating at his forehead. I felt sorry for him because I could tell he was very nervous. Then he said, like he was apologizing, “This is just something I really have to do.” And he leaned toward me and I thought he was going to kiss me. But then he put his hands up my dress. I wanted to say no to him, but I was so surprised I guess my voice caught in my throat. And then I put my hand down there to push his hand away and he grabbed my wrist and held it so hard that it bruised a ring around my wrist where he was holding it. Then he put his hand in my panties and he stuck his finger up inside me and poked around. It didn’t hurt. It didn’t feel good, either, but it didn’t hurt. Then he just held his finger in there like that for a while and moved it around.
Then he drove me home.”
“What did you do?”
“I didn’t do anything. I went inside and went to bed and stared at the ceiling for a long time. It wasn’t until a lot later that I cried.”
“So nothing happened to him?”
“He’s still around. We became friends again later. I forgave him.”
“I don’t forgive him.”
“You don’t have to. But that’s something you’ll have to work on. Unforgiveness. Like the things you sometimes say about your mother.”
“I just feel protective of you. I don’t like it that for him there were no consequences.”
“You carry the consequences around inside yourself, don’t you?”
“Me or him?”
“Something about you reminds me of him sometimes.”
“That makes me feel terrible that you would say that.”
“I just think there’s things you should know about me if we are really going to think about being together.”
“Is that what we’re doing?”
“It’s just something I thought of because we were driving by Witch’s Titty. That’s all.”
 “When a long time passes like this and you’re so quiet, I wonder what you’re thinking.”
“Do you think you have the right to know what I’m thinking?”
“I had a girlfriend in college one time who used to say things like that. She used to say, ‘You know what I like about my thoughts? They’re mine. I don’t have to share them with you.’”
“Did she say that after you were prying at her to give up her thoughts?”
“Usually, yes.”
“All right. What do you want to know?”
“So many things.”
“You choose one thing. Any one thing. I’ll tell you.”
“One thing. Okay, the visions. You told me one time you would tell me more about the visions.”
“You see this here?”
“What? The road? The mountains? The sky?”
“The motion, through space. Through time, too. Once I was driving this road, and I had a vision of motion through space and through time.”
“While you were driving?”
“I saw all of creation as though it were a liquid, and we were swimming through it. Me, and all the creatures, land creatures and water creatures, too. The water was a deep blue, sparkling, but also translucent. You could see through it. And the rock faces were shimmering like precious jewels.”
“Was this a distraction while you were driving?”
“It was almost as if I were no longer driving anymore. I had given up control and although in the physical world my hands were on the wheel, and even though in the vision I was moving through a space not unlike the one we are moving through right now, and even though I had given up control, and even though there was that dropoff there just out your window, a couple thousand feet, maybe, I wasn’t afraid. What I was mostly was in awe.”
“Was it like you imagined seeing these things, or was it like you actually were moving through these things?”
“It was physically real. I could even smell the perfume of it.”
“What did it smell like?”
“There was a sweetness to it. There was a honey-and-almond quality to it.”
“Was the car moving through it, too?”
“The car went away. It was just my body being carried forward on the current of it.”
“Sometimes when you talk about these things, I want to believe you, and I want to understand, because I do believe you, but it is very hard to believe you, and it is very hard to try to know how to understand.”
“Because you aren’t yet seeing with the eyes of the Spirit.”
“Because I haven’t had experiences like this, and I’ve never known anyone else who has. There is a certain light that gets in your eyes when you talk about them, and it is a little bit frightening to me.”
“That’s something you have to let go.”
“Maybe so, but I don’t know how.”
“You do it by doing it.”
“That’s easy to say, but if it were easy to do, wouldn’t many other people do it? If nothing else, to speak the tongues of angels and harvest the gold dust and sell it at market rate?”
“When you speak of it that way, it makes me angry.”
“I don’t mean to make you angry, and I am not making fun. I like you and possibly want to love you. I’m just trying to look at what you’re saying from all different directions and turn it over in my mind that way.”
“That’s not letting go. That’s holding on to control.”
“I don’t know what to say.”
“Maybe it would be better not to say anything else for a while.” “Okay. All right. Okay.”
 “Rise and shine.”
“I’m so tired.”
“It’s morning.”
“It’s dark.”
“The idea is to hit the slopes early.”
“Really, I’m wiped. I’m sorry.”
“I’m turning on the light.”
“Please don’t. Really. I don’t know if it’s the altitude or the nonstop going or just maybe general emotional exhaustion. I’m not trying to bail out on you. I’m still willing to ski. But my body doesn’t want to get up so early right now, and I feel like I should listen to it so I don’t get sick.”
“It smells like sickness in here. Your breath has a sinus quality to it.” “That’s what I’m talking about.”
“The only way out is through. Please, get up. Let’s ski.”
“You know people there. Why don’t you go on without me, and let me catch up with you this afternoon.”
“Really?”
“Please understand.”
“Really? This is really the choice you are making?” “Please?”
 “There are many ways in which I feel more like your mother than like a person with whom you might be falling in love.”
“This is because I didn’t go skiing this morning.”
“It’s so many things. You are, I have come to believe, a fundamentally passive person.”
“What do you mean?”
“Like it was me who drove all the way here from Colorado Springs.”
“I can’t drive a stick shift.”
“I offered to teach you.”
“Don’t you think it would be horrible to try to learn while driving up the steepest mountains in the whole country?”
“Those are in Alaska.”
“Those drop-offs, though.”
“But that’s a spirit of fear.”
“That’s a spirit of safety. I want to be safe. I want you to be safe. I don’t mind learning to drive a stick, but I want to learn in a parking lot.”
“I have to ask you to clean up after I make dinner, or to do the dishes.”
“We’re staying in all these houses where friends of yours are out of town for the winter. I don’t know what I should and shouldn’t be touching or when it is an imposition to take the initiative. It’s a situation where I feel like you’re in the driver’s seat and I’m mostly taking my cues from you.”
“I’m thinking about gender roles here. It seems to me like the man should be taking the leadership roles in a relationship. But you are always taking your cues from me. I am the de facto leader, even though I am a woman.”
“There have been many instances where I have tried to take the lead, but you have made it clear that you don’t like the choice I make.”
“That’s what I mean by passive. You just concede the high ground to me.”
“I don’t think you would respond well to being strong-armed.”
“With love you have to do it. With love.”
“To me, the more loving thing would be more of a give-and-take. More of a partnering kind of thing.”
“I feel like, because you are so passive, that one day the anger is going to come spilling out. I feel like you don’t tell me when you are really angry.”
“I have only one time been angry, but I knew it wasn’t right to be angry, so I didn’t say anything about it to you.”
“When?”
“When you were still living in Florida and you went to visit that guy in North Carolina and you rode on the back of his motorcycle and you called me and told me what a good time you were having there on the back of his motorcycle.”
“That’s true. That was fun. Really, truly fun. I loved visiting him, and I loved going for a ride on his motorcycle.”
“That made me angry, but I didn’t say anything because I didn’t feel like I had the right to say anything because I don’t own you, we aren’t committed, you have the right to make your own choices.”
“So why get angry?”
“Because I wanted you to be having fun with me and not that guy on that motorcycle.”
“You don’t own a motorcycle.”
“I don’t even like motorcycles. People I knew kept getting killed on motorcycles.”
“So you were worried about me getting killed?”
“No, I was mostly worried about you having fun. And one other thing.”
“What?”
“I know some women who had orgasms from riding motorcycles. I had a picture of you with your arms around his waist, riding those mountain roads, holding on to him, having an orgasm.”
“So you weren’t concerned about whether I was going to get killed?”
“Did you have an orgasm?”
“Of all of the questions you should never have asked, this is the number one question you never should have asked.”
 “Your flight leaves in six hours, so I think we ought to leave in three. That gives us an hour to get to the airport and an hour for security and baggage and another hour cushion in case we hit bad traffic.”
“Let me finish packing my things, and then do you want to have dinner together before I leave?”
“You can have dinner at the airport, and it’s too early anyway, don’t you think? I don’t think I’ll be hungry until much later.”
“The reason I was thinking dinner was I have a feeling that after today we may not keep seeing each other anymore.”
“I haven’t decided about that yet.”
“If that is what happens, I want to spend one last nice time with you and let you know that I cared about you and that I care about you.”
“That’s something I want, too. I’m going into the bedroom and lie down while you finish packing. I’m tired, and I know you’re tired. When you’re done packing, why don’t you come into the bedroom and lie down and rest?”
 “I love holding you.”
“Shh.”
“I mean it. This is something I will take with me when I leave.” “Shh.”
 “The reason I can’t let you kiss me is the same reason as always. Even though right now I want you to kiss me. Do you understand?”
“I don’t understand.”
“I want you to understand. I don’t want you to be hurt.”
“I will be hurt, but let’s not talk about it right now and interrupt what is nice.”
“Will you do one thing for me? When we get to the airport?”
“Yes?”
“When you go through the gate, and you want to turn around and look at me, don’t look back.”
“I know what it means, for you to say that to me now.”
“Shh. Put your face against mine. Touch your face to mine.”
“I don’t know what to say.”
“Don’t say anything. Just put your face against my face.”
“Language fails.”
“Just close your eyes and let go for a while. Let’s be together.
Let’s be.”
“But what does it mean?”
“You don’t have to understand what it means. I don’t understand what it means. It’s not less beautiful if you understand it.”
“I want it to mean when we get to the gate I’m going to turn around and take one last look at you.”
“Shh.”
“So I can remember you until the next time I see you.”
“Shh.”
“I love the way it feels, being so close to you.”
“No more words.”


by Kyle Minor

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