No, I Don’t Want To Read Your Atheist Poem
“That’ll show them!” he said out loud, shutting his laptop triumphantly, with a quiet smile around his eyes.
The following day he scoured his poem for typos and, satisfied there were none, copied and pasted it into his Facebook status bar, clicked ‘post’ and waited.
He knew — he just knew — that the three Catholics, two Protestants and the ‘well… I’m sort of a Buddhist’ that he went to secondary school with would read it.
(He hadn’t seen any of them in well over two years now, but such was the nature of Facebook that felt he couldn’t remove them as ‘friends’ because, on a rare trip back home, he may end up running into them at Tesco or the petrol station or down the pub on match day and the underlying, unspoken tension from their mutual awareness of the Facebook-deletion would cut through the surface amicability and would be too much for him to bear.)
The fantasy played out in his mind. They wouldn’t want to read it at first. They’d leave it, maybe for a couple of days. But it would nag at the back of their minds.
They’d open up a new Facebook window a day or two later, they’d begin to type his name into the search box. They’d feel a massive, almost unbearable wave of guilt when his name popped up in the suggestions. They’d hover over his name with the cursor. They’d flirt with the idea of clicking his name, coyly, feeling naughty, cheeky. Then the second a wave — this time of fear — would hit and one would even close the browser and slam their laptop lid in self-disgust. But they’d re-load it later; of course they would.
They’d read his words, his articulate, incisive and witty words, and they’d be furious.
Then they’d stop. They’d consider them.
His poem would tug at a thread and things would start unravelling. Life would peek in.
It would be a trickle at first, but swiftly break in to a torrent in a collage of colours, folding and turning and flowing and flooding into a deluge of rainbow shades; each individual’s rules, regulations, childhood brainwashing, stern authority figures, tradition, dogma, literature, playground rhymes, theology books and sense of fearful wonder about life after death would all be washed away under the spectrum of blinding hues until one pure, blissful, beautiful mess was left: humanity.
Humanity only accountable to itself. No eager excuses of original sin to justify being shitty to one another. No religious persecution. No church. No guilt. No war.
Their conversion to atheism would be a quiet, soft reflective moment: a sudden realisation, a letting go.
“Not that you can convert to being an Atheist” he thought to himself, snorting out loud. “Fucking religious idiots”.
“Jeez, did you see Johnny posted another Atheist poem?”
“Yeah, that guy needs to care less about stuff and YOLO more.”
“Yeah for sure. So, you wanna go buy some weed?”
“Nah man, I don’t do that shit any more.”
“Yeah man, I gave that shit up. I’m straight edge now.”
“Ah, respect. Well, I’m gonna go buy some weed.”
“Maybe you should invite Johnny, lighten that boy up a bit!”
“Hah — maybe, it would. Banter.”
“Well, im’a go. See you around Malachi”.
He waited but the poem didn’t get any likes.