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Here's a Thought




A Lesson in Conversion


Todd thought it was a good time to give his son Trace a lesson in conversion.

Rebecca respectfully disagreed the night before as they were getting ready for bed.

-it's too early.

-you mean in the morning or altogether?


-didn't you post that gif on your feed with a kid saying 'it's never too young to learn'?

-that was of a toddler pulling a cat's tail and then the cat jumping on him.

Which sounded dumb, and it kind of was, but so was Todd's bringing it up as a point against her. It's all dumb, all of it. The math thing, the spiritual thing, tying it all up and getting the parents to teach it on a weekend, it's dumb. Even if it's supposed to be a good idea, and it is, because nobody's really against peace and harmony, it's a dumb way to push a good idea.

And part of her wanted to really make that point, to explain that there has to be a better way to get these important ideas to kids at an early age, but Todd will ask her how, and even if she has a great response, he'll probably say something like how she should write it down, turn into a portfolio, and pitch it to a curriculum group or at the next school board meeting, to which she might say yes I'm going to do just that if only to momentarily shut him up, which will make things a bit frosty as they try to go to sleep, and Todd will still try and teach Trace sometime soon because it's not like the better idea Rebecca's improvised on the spot in bed is going to available for all parents tomorrow morning. 

Besides, it's Friday, which is sex night, and their bedroom eyes have been winking and darting back and forth since dinner. Todd's not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but he is kind and built like a linebacker, and Rebecca finds that those three things in just the right percentages, translate into driving her wild in the bedroom. She wondered after having Trace if her sex drive would plummet, but Todd's body seems ageless (especially one particular part) and she finds herself getting more than a little excited whenever he comes home with his tool belt still around his waist, or playing mister fix-it in the garage.

So Rebecca let's the matter drop like her bra and panties and his boxers, and it's good it's really good it's effortless and the waves rise and plateau and rises again in all the right places and she doesn't care if her hyper-feminist friends call this an invasion he's more than welcome to come in because it feels perfect right this way right this now. And she find herself having at least three seconds to wish that they all find love in the near future, before she comes in a near disc-slipping spasm that Todd needs to hold her in place with his strong steady hands so she didn't tumble backwards and bend his cock the wrong way as she goes.

When their breathing comes back to normal he makes the trenchant observation:

-that was good.

And she laughs lightly and thinks that it's okay that he's a little bit dumb. I can pick up the slack for that. But after they actually whisper their good nights to each other, she realizes that this is why she's concerned about Todd spearheading this conversion thing.

The next morning Rebecca gets up early and walks to the office to update some sorting codes and then respond to the inevitable customer complaints that crop up every time something barely perceptible changes.

At least it's close by (Rebecca has to keep reminding herself how great this) and it's only a couple of hours sitting at a desk, which means she could be back in time for lunch, that Todd, as per the agreement, will have the time to prepare. They made too much of that Thai chicken noodle soup last night, so it's an easy reheat.

But when she steps back into the apartment, there is a distinct lack of coriander in the air, and instead she hears the unmistakable sound of her son being bored by his father.

-okay, and if we multiply three Buddhists by two Christians, what do you get?

-six...Buddhists... and Christians?

-well yes to the six, but remember? All the religions, they're all the same.

-all the same? They're all six?

-no, no. They're all the same...value.


Rebecca doesn't know who she's rooting for. Her husband, to successfully answer these mathematical bordering on metaphysical questions, or her son, to successfully poke enough holes in this ridiculous activity so it will be banished from the house.

But she's also hungry, and walks to the kitchen through the living room with enough heaviness in her footsteps to have both family members turn around.

-hey, don't stop. I'll just put the soup on.

She can feel Todd's stare as she goes through the kitchen doorway, Can hear the gears grinding behind his eyes, trying to figure out if there's planning afoot.

No, just lunch for now. The soup being poured out of the glass container with a plastic snap lid and into a deep saucepan on the stove. A wooden spoon first scooping and now stirring.

She's a bit too far away to hear the exactness of their voices, but can get the intonations of Todd sounding frustrated.

If he brings up the ideas of heaven and hell as last ditch attempt to explain how all this is supposed to work and what it's ultimately supposed to mean, Rebecca thinks, Trace will probably want to see a Church-Temple-Mosque.

Obviously some looking more like their original designation than others. Todd will probably want to go to a few of them, as outlined in the app. That will be the actual test to see how far this could go. Trace is a good kid, and would say yes to going if he thought that's what Mom and Dad (mainly Dad in this case) want, but a nine year old can't fake excitement for very long. If boredom sets in, then a life of cloistered religious study is probably off the table.

Rebecca pictures brown robes and reading scrolls by candlelight. Shaved heads and sitting cross-legged for hours on end. Weeping in front of a statue, begging for a sign. Whipping up an attentive congregation into a frenzy from behind a podium. Giving bowls of soup and blankets to homeless men atop sewer steam grates. Or bags of rice and secondhand clothing to starving children in Africa.

Or maybe blowing himself up in a crowded market. Shooting a doctor as he leaves an abortion clinic. Fighting on the other side of the world and denouncing the vile decadence he grew up in that she and Todd thought was just a good, healthy open-minded upbringing. Coldly praying for apocalypse along with his equally devout wife, a pair that made Thanksgiving a painfully awkward family affair.

Rebecca forgets about the soup, but it's not too late, just boiling all over again, steam rising fresh, you can always add a bit more water.

This is how things change.




Beware the men who will cost you a lifetime