It’s now 10:48 PM, out here on the North Coast. It’s Midnight :48 in Chicago. Another Christmas has passed and not one single phone call from my progeny. Zilch, nada, bubkes. What did I expect? I should know better. You see, years ago – I’ll bet around mid 1992 — their (Josh and the twins) mother made them all swear that they would never contact me, never visit me. Oh, I can call them, and in the past I have, but they’re not to initiate anything. I suspect it applies to my grandchildren as well. Actually, outside of Isaiah and Jalen (Joshua’s boys) I suspect the rest have never even heard that I exist.
Well, Cam (Jordan’s oldest) may know of me. I’ve taken a personal interest in him, and sent him loads of pictures and videos of bugs (he’s a budding entomologist) via Jordan’s Facebook. He doesn’t have a Facebook account of his own (of my grand kids, only Jalen has one (that I am aware of — the rest could have me blocked — how would I even know?). You know, I send birthday greetings to all nine of them. Are these greetings relayed? Maybe not. I have no way of knowing. Of the times that I have called on a holiday, I’ve only spoken to Jordan or Jesse direct. The words, “come say hi to your Grandfather” have never been uttered.
Joshua I have to give some credit. He breaks his mothers pact all the time. Joshua calls me pretty regularly, and a few years back he even brought his family out to visit me. On the other hand, he also fights with me about my spirituality — reacts to posts I make on Facebook or on my blog. He’s also hyper critical. I don’t mind really. At least I hear from him. That’s better than nothing. He does purport to be spokesperson for his twin brothers, and I have no idea whether or not to believe him on that score. Seems to me they would say something if they really thought I am wrong. Or so one would think.
I sometimes get Xmas cards. Joshua and Jordan mainly. Nothing from Jesse. I’ve never received a Fathers Day card or a birthday card from any of them. The first makes sense: I wasn’t a very good Father. Even though I enrolled all three of them in Scouting, and took on the role of Scoutmaster for a time, it wasn’t so much for their benefit as it was an excuse for me to leave the house.
My troop received awards for being the most active Troop in the Council. If I wasn’t working on a weekend, I had the Scouts out hiking or camping, at least in the Spring, Summer and Fall. BSA Troop 313 was sponsored by The Peoples Church. I was Scoutmaster and my friend Drew Horn was my Assistant for about three years, until my sons mother ratted me out to the Church’s elders, in 1991. I was having an affair at the time. My marriage was rapidly deteriorating anyway. I was extremely unhappy, and Doreen was a shoulder to cry on. The Churches answer to all this was not just to fire me as Scoutmaster, but to disband the Troop all together. That’s how much they cared about their own kids and mine. I would have thought Drew would have taken it over, but my “sin” was so great that I apparently had tainted the whole thing.
This was not the first time my ex ratted me out to church leaders. At the beginning of our marriage, we were part of a “church” called His Community. It was an out growth of the Roman Catholic Charismatic Movement. I was even a member of the groups elder council known as the “Core.” In November of, I think, 1976, a fellow Community member contacted me. He was concerned about things happening with the “Core,” and wanted me to pray with him about it. So we did. About a week later, on November 11th, I was summed before the rest of the “Core.” I was “slandered, libeled (I heard words you’ve never heard in the Bible).” I was convicted of illegally praying for my fellow “Core” members. I was very lovingly admonished and kicked out. At the time I was sure that something was “rotten in the Core.” But I later found out it was my wife who ratted me out. She was never comfortable with my being a leader in anything, as it took time away from her. Well, it turned out that this was not such a bad thing. After I left, and in fact while I was a member, His Community was turning into a Cult. You can read some stuff about that here. So getting kicked out was a blessing in the long run, but she didn’t know and I didn’t know that His Community was becoming a cult. She just wanted me to stay the hell home.
The next church I became involved with was another Cult. A misogynistic one (since the majority of the leaders at His Community were these middle aged women and their very young lovers). That was the Kankakee Fellowship and later the Gilman Fellowship. They were part of something called the Discipleship/Shepherding movement. I was ostracized when I publicly suggested that money being raised to pave a parking lot at the Church be used instead to help Gilman’s homeless community (“It’s a choice we’re making; we’re saving out own lives; it’s a choice between a parking lot and starving child…”). But where the feces really hit the fan was when I moved my family from the house we were living in in Limestone Township (in the same suburb where Kankakee Fellowship met) to another home we owned in Kankakee, but could never unload. This was because the whole thing, the Kankakee and Gilman Fellowships, were starting to smell like His Community to me. I was done with all that crap.
So, what was happening to me? How did I go from being a “Born Again Christian” on my 18th birthday to an agnostic by my 33rd? It’s a phenomenon know among Astrologers as your Saturn Return. (Click the link for more information). It’s when the planet Saturn returns to the position it was in on the day of your birth. It actually begins at about age 26 and can last through your 33rd birthday. You begin to question everything you think you believe, and what really happens is that you leave behind your childhood and actually become an adult. I didn’t know any of this at the time. In fact, for all intents and purposes, I was the (more or less) perfect Xtian until the day Peoples Church tossed me to the street. That was when I was done with Jesus. “He” had screwed me over four times, and I was finished. Later I came to learn that he really had never existed; that he may in fact be an invention of the Roman Empire to subjugate the Jews.
In January 1992 I packed it up, and moved into a vacant apartment in a building I owned across town. It was in near blizzard conditions. A few months prior I met the Pagan community of the Internet (well it was Compuserve and then later GEnie — really the precursors of todays internet). Through the GEnie community, I met Qadisha, who would within the year (and my moving to Santa Cruz CA) become wife number two. Not legally. I was married to #1 until August 11, 1994 when the divorce came through. Qadisha and I were joined in a Wiccan “Handfasting.” It wasn’t legal so there were no complications when I left her for Ceridwen, in May of 1999. But Qadisha and I ended after we moved to Ashland OR, from Santa Cruz CA (a year earlier). I returned to Santa Cruz to close out our joint PO Box and found a ton of dun letters for accounts “owned (supposedly)” by my son Joshua. Apparently Qadisha found Joshuas social security number in my papers and decided to take out some credit cards in his name which she didn’t pay on of course. That’s when I figured out why she had been so opposed to my moving Josh and the twins out to California, and why she was so opposed to my purchasing a duplex in Santa Cruz — well, why so many things. My biggest mistake in everything was listening to Qadisha, and not following my heart. So, much of my opening complaint can be attributed to the events that transpired when I moved to Santa Cruz. I screwed up. Now my kids are estranged from me and I’ll probably never meet the bulk of my Grandkids (much to their mothers delight no doubt). I’m retired and Ceridwen and I live on Social Security. Plane trips to Chicago (and the subsequent expenses thereof) are out of the question for me. So they have to come to me. If they want to.
So I should be miserable, right? I most certainly am not. Ceridwen has proven to be my Soul Mate; my twin flame; maybe my twin. We think possibly in a previous incarnation we were twins. We walk alike, we talk alike and usually we think alike. We finish each others sentences. We respond to one another’s needs. About fifteen years ago I stopped smoking week, and everything else. When Ceridwen smokes I get high. When she takes mushrooms I hallucinate. Why should I bother? Life is fun. Life is good. Life is almost everything it should be.
There is an Arseneau family secret. It concerns my mother. My brother knows about it. Ceridwen knows about it, and my best friend Louis knows about it. I never told my other wives. I don’t know if my brother ever told his wife. Maybe, maybe not. Since my brother is the only witness to my “oath” to keep the secret, I will have to wait until he discorporates to tell that story. It concerns my education and my childhood weekends. It’s also the reason I travelled to Israel in February 1974. Now, I want to tell my sons. But, if they don’t do a little better by me, they will never know.
I have time. I expect to discorporate around November 15, 2053 (+/-). If my progenies progeny multiply at the same rate as their parents, I should have 27 Great Grand children total (+/-). Maybe that’s when I tell them all. Maybe. If they even know who I am.