My maternal grandfather was a minister. While I never met him (died before I was born), my mother and grandmother (the two people who I lived with and who raised me) made sure we went to church every Sunday. I went to Sunday School, was involved in the youth group, was an acolyte (we lit the altar candles during the church service) and I was even a lectern assistant (which meant I read the bible verse during the service). I'd tried to be an usher but the men who were in charge of that always kind of put me off whenever I'd ask. Personally, I think that it was considered a man's thing to do and they didn't want some young girl passing the offering plate. Not fact, just my take on it.
Anywho, by 16 I'd already begun to be disillusioned with the hypocrisy of organized religion, and our congregation in particular. So many of them were good Christians for a couple hours on Sundays but once they left that sanctuary, fuhgeddaboudit. Dad dying had ripped the rose colored glasses through which I viewed the world from my eyes and I'd started spiraling into massive cynicism. Really not conducive to faith in a God who was letting me feel such pain (that was my mindset at the time), you know? Not too long after Dad had died, I was sitting in church with my mom and I just couldn't take it. I had to leave or I'd lose it. Violently. I left and drove around listening to this song for a couple hours until I had to go back to pick my mom up.
You got a fast car
I want a ticket to anywhere
Maybe we make a deal
Maybe together we can get somewhere
Fast Car by Tracy Chapman
It's not very shocking why this song appealed to me. I mean, the lyrics really say it all:
See my old man's got a problemMy parents had divorced when I was 4. My mom had sole custody. It fit me in so many ways and on that Sunday, when I was hurting and angry, it was just what I needed.
He lives with the bottle that's the way it is
He says his body's too old for working
I say his body's too young to look like his
My mama went off and left him
She wanted more from life than he could give