Logs:This Book Will Change Your Life
|This Book Will Change Your Life|
CN: discussion of antisemetism
"The Catholic-to-anarchist pipeline is almost as strong as the Catholic-to-witch one."
<NYC> Polaris, Wendy, and Winona's Apartment - Lower East Side
This tiny apartment is on the fifth storey of an aging and ill-maintained walk-up, its walls dingy and paper-thin. The living room immediately inside the entrance has space for a couch and a coffee table, but little else, though its windows offer a commanding view of the narrow side street below to anyone who cranes far enough to look past the rusting fire escape. The kitchen is tiny and has no windows at all, but being partly open to the living area is at least not completely claustrophobic. One bedroom is almost the size of the living room, which doesn't say much, and the other is much smaller -- really only intended as a study or home office -- to make room for the single closet-sized bathroom.
Even with mostly cheap, second-hand furniture, the place has grown steadily more homey over the months. A creaky futon is flanked by an empty food service drum on one side and two stacked milk crates on the other. In place of a coffee table is a long, low bench with a flowery sarong as a tablecloth. Potted herbs line the windowsills, and whimsical metal sculptures line the walls and tables (or the items serving in place of them). A brightly colorful fused glass mezuzah is mounted in the doorway, while a set of matching candlesticks and goblet sit on a disintegrating radiator cabinet in the living room.
It's been a long, hot day, and even with the sun sinking now the window AC unit in the poorly insulated apartment is roaring gamely away in an attempt to keep up. The living room is reasonably neat, even the books left out on the coffee table arranged into one short stack with The Book of Mormon on top. Polaris is starting to revive in the relative cool, though she still looks somewhat worse for her time out in the heat. She's stripped down to a purple sports bra and black cut-off shorts covered with steel buckles and D-rings as is common with her preferred garb, and is currently juicing the last of a handful of halved lemons into a plastic pitcher. "You wanna pick some herbs for this? Make it all fancy."
"Ba always puts fancy things like -- basil? Lavender? It feels so posh." B has been lingering by the table, where she's picked up The Book of Mormon to flip through it slowly. She's a little more dressed than Polaris, in a black miniskirt with purple plaid pleating and purple tee shirt that says "Sometimes you have to be a little bit naughty" in faux-handwritten letters. She still has the book in hand as she wanders over to the windowsill, ultimately playing it safe and picking a bunch of mint to bring them over to the lemonade. She holds out the leaves, holds up the book. "Tell me you're not joining his cult."
Polaris grimaces with concentration as she presses down the last of the lemons onto the juicer and tosses it into the sink with the rest of the rinds. "I like it just fine plain, but--well, you're a guest! We don't have a lot of fancy to offer here." She takes the mint leaves from B with a bob of her head. "Thanks! Mint is so great when it's hot." She takes the leaves to the sink and washes them off thoroughly, rubbing them between her palms before she dumps them into the pitcher with a generous amount of sugar and ice. "Huh?" Even while so saying, she's glancing at B. "Ohhh." She shakes her head. "I guess in theory I'm considering it, but then I started. Actually reading that. I'm just trying to get through it right now, but it's kind of a lot."
"I mean, I'm sure lots of people would be into ruling their own planet after they die but you know they like -- spy on your Twitter in order to make sure you're good enough to go to church. There's pretty high creep factor even before you remember they hate queers." B leans against the counter, still flipping through the pages. "Wait, you were really-really considering it? This is like -- bad Bible fanfic."
The shower was running until recently; now Wendy is emerging from the bathroom, damp wet hair loose around her shoulders, dressed in hunter green pajama pants covered with with silhouettes of bears and a soft pink tee printed with Yiddish text ('mir veln zey iberlebn') across the chest. "You make an excellent point," she says, wandering to fetch up against the counter beside B, "but you need to consider Polaris's point of view, here." Very solemnly: "Dawson is hot."
"There's nothing in there about ruling planets, yet," Polaris hazards, adding ice to the pitcher and stirring it vigorously with a wooden spoon. "So far it's like weird antisemitism interspersed with murder." She sets the whole pitcher in the sink and fills it slowly with cold water. "The thing is...he's amazing, and he knows all the bad stuff, but he still loves his religion and want to share it with others so like--maybe there's something I don't see there." She shrugs, rooting around in a drawer and coming out with a wooden spoon. "Aaaaand he is so, so hot."
Along the side of her neck, B's gills flutter once, quick. Her brows slooowly pinch inward, considering. "Is there a -- not-weird kind of antisemitism? I'm," the flick of her enormous black eyes to Wendy is quick, hard to catch with her lack of pupils, "not well versed, but most of what I see sounds very conspiracy-theory-land." She closes the book, hand resting against the cover. "He is a good guy. But." There's a staccato drumming of sharp claws against the book cover. "He'll still be just as good a guy if you're a --" A sudden uncertainty. "Wait, are you... any kind of religious?"
"They do take 'but Jesus was a Jew' to the next level." Wendy draws the book closer when B closes it. "Do you know, they baptize us posthumously. Soul insurance, I guess." The shrug she gives is very small. So is the ensuing purse of her lips. "Oh, there are so many conspiracy theories that when you cut them open are just 'we hate Jews' at the core. How do you rate weird from not-weird? A lot of hatred is kind of bizarre but still very everyday."
"I guess it's not actually that weird," Polaris concedes with a shrug as she stirs the lemonade briskly, "at the core. But on the surface it's weird because the people telling these stories are supposed to be Jewish. And they keep going on and on about how the gentiles will--" She cringes. "--replace them? As God's favored people? Like it's just a lot of supercessionism basically, but from these..." She brackets the word with air quotes. "...'Jewish' narrators." Pulling down mismatched drinking glasses from the cabinet, she fills three cups and distributes them. "I grew up Catholic, but now?" She shakes her head. "I mean, I guess I still believe in God, in a vague sort of way."
"Huh." B takes her glass, returning to the living room to settle down on the futon. "The Catholic-to-anarchist pipeline is almost as strong as the Catholic-to-witch one." She takes a sip of the lemonade, hums appreciatively. "Very fancy," is the judgment she delivers. "Legit, though. I don't really know how to rank weirdness. Even if I used to know I think the past couple years have totally broken my --" Her webbed fingers wiggle in the air. "Whatever calibration I had before."
"That's only weird if you're not reading it from a place of absolute certainty that your religion is the One True Religion. It's like --" Wendy claims one of the lemonades with a small nod of thanks, taking The Book of Mormon and drifting with it and the glass back to the living room to take up a perch on an upturned milk crate. "Like all those Chick tracts where someone is explaining to a person who has never even heard of Jesus before why they should believe and they're like, 'Oh, well, the Bible says so!' and the unbeliever accepts that as conclusive evidence. If you already believe it and you don't think too hard about it --" Her shoulder lifts casually. She sets the book neatly back on top of the stack and pats one hand lightly at the milk crate she's seated on. Takes a sip of her lemonade with her pinky up.
"Catholicism is pretty radical at heart," Polaris says, her smile fond and almost proud as she follows the others into the living room and collapses onto the futon. "Even if the Vatican is not. Maybe...in the end, I really just think that's weird," she gestures at The Book of Mormon in Wendy's hand, "because I've been told it is. Not because of antisemitism or homophobia, just--because they're different, right?" She twirls a lock of green hair around one finger thoughtfully. "And Dawson--well, I think he's worth giving them the benefit of the doubt. Although thank you for reminding me, cuz I'm gonna have to add 'posthumous baptisms' to my growing list of questions for him. The religion may or may not be weird, but our next date is sure gonna be weird as fuck."