Contact theSOPAbout theSOPSupport theSOPWritersEditorsManaging Editors
theSOP logo
Published:September 3rd, 2009 10:04 EST
Samurai Don't Cry

Samurai Don't Cry

By Mark Frederic Jennings

Job 13

15Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him:

Ooops ". I just found another piece of that good old puzzle. You know, the puzzle of my life with Jesus and the Holy Spirit and all that which I saw in the vision way back at the beginning. Well " them puzzle pieces just keep popping up. Popping up right there in my head when I`m trying to figure out what to write about next.

And too I can tell this is turning into one of those voyages of self-discovery " like they say all the time. And not that that`s a bad thing. But I just wish it would happen at least in some kind of order. I mean, this piece, chronologically speaking anyway, comes way before the gas station pieces that I already showed you. But so I just hope that doesn`t bug you or anything, is all I`m trying to say. That`s all. I just hope it doesn`t bug you how the story might kinda jump around now and then.

    Because you see, I gotta admit that I`m not sure which way to go from this point on in my story. I mean, I knew where to start with all that really important stuff we`ve already covered. The real obvious Holy Spirit and Jesus influenced stuff. But then, after the part where I was born again, I`m not really all that sure what I should write about from here on out. I mean, that whole deal with the melting faces " I hadn`t even thought about that incident for quite a while. Because to be honest, a lot of real trippy stuff  has happened since I was born again, like I`ve been saying. It`s hard to even keep up with it sometimes.
     So for me all that melting face stuff was like old news. But then when I remembered it, I said to myself, "Dude " you gotta put that in the book. That was like God for sure. Plus it`s a big part of your theology and stuff! You gotta put it in ""

    And this chapter is the same way. I hadn`t really thought about this part of my life for a long time either. In fact, I had really sorta forced myself to forget about it, if you know what I mean. And you`ll see why when you read about it. And to be honest, I don`t think I`ve ever even told anybody about it, let alone broadcast it to the whole stupid world like this " well, that is if this book ever even gets published, like I`ve been saying.

But I know God wants me to. I know He wants me to write about this not-so-hot part of my life too. He just keeps sticking it in my face, if you know what I mean. So I guess I better put it in here.

    And I know this is the best place for it too. Right after that last chapter. Because it`s like totally related thematically, as they say in good old creative writing class. I mean, did you see that passage at the start of this chapter? That`s from the book of Job. And Job was like this guy who Satan tried to turn away from God. Satan even bet God that he could do it and then God let Satan wreak like total havoc with Job`s life. Poor old Job got like head to toe boils and lost all his possessions and everything. Job got reamed.

    But it didn`t work. Satan lost. And then Job says that line I put in there. And I put it in because mostly that`s how I feel too. I mean, I`ve never had head to toe boils or anything like that, but I hope that if I did I would still believe in and follow the Lord. And I do know that if He wants to slay me " I`m not gonna bitch about it, oops, I shouldn`t have used that word either. I`ll repent again, in a minute.

But what I`m trying to say is that I will still love Him, deep down anyway. Trust in him, " like it says. Even if it hurts a lot and I cuss and everything, I`ll go through it for Him.

But I gotta warn you too, before you read any more of this chapter, that I was really screwed up back then. Without the Lord and all like I was. Which maybe is why too He really wants me to put this in the book. I "ll bet He wants me to show all the younger people who are all screwed up too like I was that He hasn`t forgotten them. Because you`ll see in this chapter how He was both helping me out and trying to say hi to me too, even though I was like so screwed up I couldn`t tell.

    And I called this chapter what I did because back then I was like totally into samurai movies and all that. I mean, if I could have time traveled I would have gone back to feudal Japan in a heartbeat and just started looking for a sword or something. I swear. And its like one of those weird things like I`ve been talking about all along how that idea totally ties into being a Christian like I am now too. Even though back then I had no idea. I mean, do you know what the word "Samurai" means in English? Well " I didn`t either, and this blew me away when I heard about it, but it means to serve. " Like just the same as what we Christians are supposed to do! And even weirder too is that a Samurai lived to serve his lord, who was usually like some rich landowner guy with a castle and everything. Or a kingdom, in other words. And they called him their lord. KINGDOM !?!... LORD!?!... HELLO!!!

    Well, there He was again... there was God... like I`ve been saying, fully doing stuff in my life even way back then. Like twenty five years even before I was born again. He was just sort of hinting, you know, but still it blows me away. Or like this pastor guy named Bill Johnson says in his sermons about God "s mysterious and miraculous ways, "Is anybody out there getting this!?"

But so anyway, this all happened this one day I had off from my fry cook job I had back then. Back when I was probably twenty two or three maybe. And I remember too that back then if I wasn`t working, I was pretty much all about having fun. You know, partying and all that. I had already flunked out of San Diego State for having too much fun, if you know what I mean, and I hadn`t started going back to college yet.

So anyway, probably since it was my day off and all, I can imagine I probably slept in until almost noon. And then like most days of this sort I would have had a breakfast of maybe left over pizza or burrito or maybe a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or two with Fritos. I used to love to eat P.B. and J.s like that. I`d put one of those big Frito corn chips like right on top of the sandwich and then I`d take a bite. It tasted great that way- and you gotta try it if you haven`t already- but if you think about it too, you got all four food groups right there. You know. I mean, you got fruit with the jelly, and the peanut butter has lots of protein like your meat group stuff, and then the Fritos have like corn in them for the vegetable group, and if you put it on a whole grain bread then you got like the grain group too. Well, sort of anyway.

    But so at least I was eating healthy back then, as you can tell. But that was probably right about where my common sense left off, as you might say. Because usually after breakfast, if I had any pot, and like I said it was my day off, my next stop would have been my bong. I told you I was pretty screwed up.
    But so then I`d smoke a couple bowls, crank up my stereo, and check the Reader to see if there was anything cool to do. The Reader was- and is- this local, weekly magazine/newspaper in San Diego that you can always check to find out what`s going on around town. They have movie listings in it too and when I saw they had samurai movies playing at the Ken, I was all over it.

 And the Ken, like I`m sure you might be wondering, was- and still is too- short for Ken cinema, Or The Kensington Cinema. Which was named for the area of San Diego where the Ken was... Kensington, that is. And they always showed offbeat stuff there... older movies or weird cult movies and the like. But some of my favorites had to be the samurai movies, like I said. And tonight they had a couple playing. So that was gonna be cool, I figured. I`d take my time and just cruise all the way over into Kensington on my bike and make a whole day and night`s adventure out of it. That`s the kind of stuff I used to like to do on my days off back then, like I was saying. Dumb stuff like that.

    And talkin` about dumb, next since I was all stoned I went to the closet and got my samurai sword out. It was just a wooden practice one but it still felt pretty cool. It was well balanced like a real one and the same size and everything and this way also I wouldn`t cut off my arm or anything when I started swinging it around. Which is what I started in doing next, imagining that all kinds of Ninja or bandits or whatever had broken in to my apartment and I was using all the cool samurai moves I could think of that I`d seen in the movies to slay them mercilessly.

    I did this for several minutes until I was backed up to my Toshiro Mifune poster and death seemed imminent. But then Toshi joined in on the fight and we cut and slashed our way to victory. Toshi is like this big star of the samurai movies. You might even recognize him if you saw him. If you saw his picture, I mean. He was like the John Wayne of Japan back then. And I had this really cool poster of him. That`s how much I was into it though, like I`m saying.

    But then all that samurai fighting had worn me out, so I sat down on the sofa. I did another bong hit and then got up and got on some good gear for my adventure: these baggy camo army surplus shorts I had with big pockets for sneaking in a bottle at the Ken later... one of my more radical t-shirts too... probably like The Dead Kennedys or something... hi-top sneakers... and I was good. That was proper Ken Cinema attire for a drunken and stoned goofball college dropout like me. And oh yeah... a beat-up old Padre`s cap too. And finally... don`t forget the shades.

    And so then I locked up the house and went out back to get my bike. I had this ten-speed bike set up for cruising with stingray handlebars, a fat seat and a custom sports bottle holder wired up to the gooseneck so I could just reach down and have a drink while I rode. That`s where I`d be packing my Kessler`s and coke. Sure, I had a car too, a beat-up Olds Cutlass, black and slammed, but I usually liked to take my bike on days like this. And believe it or not, I didn`t like to drink and drive unless I had too. No " really! Or smoke and drive too. I`d already had a DUI anyway. So I figured I`d just bike it " you know " in case I hit someone or something there wouldn`t be too much damage " so like you can see... I was thoughtful " in my own weird way... let`s just say at least the Holy Spirit was keeping a loose leash on me... which you`ll see...

    So anyway, I got on my bike and the tires felt ok as I started pedaling around a little. I wouldn`t have to stop at the nearby filling station, I realized, to pump them up any. I was good to go, as they like to say. And so I did, doing some loose circles in our wide and traffic-less street, getting used to being on the bike again, plus buzzed the way I was now too. It felt great though, like it always did, to be cruising on my bike, with all day and all night ahead of me and nothing to worry about. The weather was awesome too like it usually is in San Diego. At the time I was living over in East San Diego, right off El Cajon Boulevard, over by Hoover High, so I knew I had about a 5 or 6 mile ride. But that was ok. I was in no hurry. It was mostly flatland too, which is a big consideration on a bike, but so I`d be fine, I knew. I was loving it. I was planning on stopping in some stores along the way anyway. There were lots of cool stores through that area " pawn shops, p*rn shops, head shops, record stores, comic book stores, second hand stores, you name it. And oh yeah, liquor stores too, which was my first stop for that little bottle of Kessler`s...

    And I`ll stop here for now. I`m learning not to go on too long with my stories and stuff. People get bored and stop reading, or so I heard anyway. I`ll pick it up there in the next episode. See ya then "