Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where OTHER gods in OTHER rooms and OTHER heavens get to have their say!
In one week I will be going to the hospital for inpatient orthopedic surgery. The surgeon in my health plan works out of the local Roman Catholic hospital in Camden, New Jersey.
Today I went to the hospital in for my preliminary blood work, etc. I wore my second favorite Tinker Bell t-shirt and brought along my faerie named Aine.
The enormous revolving door inexplicably shut down with me in the middle, unable to get into the building or out of it. Ten seconds later it started moving again. So is that God telling me to stay the hell out, or the bored gods telling me not to go in?
I went in.
So I'm having my admission interview, with Mr. Johnson standing behind me (ever the protective mate). The nice hospital lady is clicking away on the computer, and she says, "Religion?"
And I say, "Druid. D-R-U-I-D."
(Mr. Johnson, an unrepentant lapsed Catholic, shoves me in the back. So much for the protective mate.)
Nice lady stares at screen. Long pause. "We don't have that," she says.
So I say, "Pagan."
(No shove from spouse this time. He's given up.)
Nice lady examines the screen again. Long pause. Finally she chirps, "I'll just check 'Other.'"
Can I be the first Pagan ever to check into Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Camden, New Jersey? From the top floors of the hospital you can see Center City Philadelphia!
I wish I had thought to say "Santeria." Just to see if that would be a first, too.
Back to the waiting room we go, and Mr. Johnson whispers, "Why did you do that?"
And I say, "Because it's my religion, silly. Where do you think I go eight times a year, with the Heir and the Spare and a cooler full of fried chicken? To Druid Grove!"
And Mr. Johnson (who knows a lot more about Catholicism than I do) says, "Now they're gonna neglect you and probably kill you."
Ya think he's a little nervous about all this? Or do you think the Roman Catholics have never gotten over their penchant for slaughtering Pagans? I opt for the spousal nerves. With hope in my heart.
I did have an interesting dream last night. I was driving in a car with my dad, in the mountains that we called home. I looked out the window as the beautiful vistas stretched out, and I said, "Oh my, it's so good to be home." Our destination was a big family reunion, which I knew to be my family but didn't know any of them by name. Dad knew them all, though. And typical with hillbilly family reunions, every table groaned with food -- the most gorgeous cakes I'd ever seen.
The dream, I think, is a message from my ancestors that if anything does go wrong, I'll shortly join them at home.
In the meantime, I'm an "Other." But I already knew that.