Fingers Crossed

A good friend of mine is in the hospital. His body is betraying him. He's young. Or as young as I am. But youth is a flimsy shield. A giant magnetic tube will create a map of his brain and a skilled team of scientists is going to assess, diagnose and undo what nature has done. I'm on the other side of the country impotently waiting on the outcome.

The day he told me I wanted to pray for him.  Wanted to call up God, arrange a meeting, and plead my case. He'd say, "I'll do my best, but I make no promises." Then I'd pound my fist on God's table and say, "Look, Buddy. He's my oldest friend and I don't have many." He'd have no choice but to intervene and fix shit. 

Except I don't pray. Not even a little. I don't understand atheists who are proud of their lack of faith. It's awful. I could really use God right now. I could use some help or peace of mind. But I got none. It's just me and him and brain shit and two thousands miles of uncaring space in between. There's nothing romantic about being an atheist. 

Instead of praying, I say, "I'll keep my fingers crossed." I doubt it helps. I imagine praying and crossing your fingers have roughly the same effect on brain ailments. The philosophical among you are shouting, "A brutal truth is preferable to a comforting lie," but it doesn't help me sleep.    

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