I arrived at the Legion Hall just as the AA meeting was breaking up. My research buddies saw me and came over.
“Paul! How’s it hanging?”
“To my knees, baby.” They had told me their names when we first met, but I could never remember them, so I just called them Mojo and Freak. They seemed to like that.
Mojo put his three hundred pound hand on my shoulder. “What’s the good word, Paul.”
I told them everything I’ve learned since we last met.
Freak stood there with his mouth wide open. “Seriously? The whole new testament is bunk?” Freak wasn’t into cussing so much. “But my belief in Jesus Christ is what keeps me sober. If Christ isn’t Son of God, then what do I do?
“And no Heaven? If there’s no Heaven then I have no reason to live!”
“Freak, my friend, you’re just not thinking straight. If there’s no Heaven, then you have EVERY reason to live. This life is all you have, so make it count, baby.
And as for the whole Christ thing: Sure, your faith in JC helped you, but it was YOU who stopped drinking. Find another figurehead if you feel you need one. You know that Jeff exists, so you could just transfer those feelings to him – or if he’s too nonfictional for you then, shit, try Mickey Mouse. Or of course, you could try believing in yourself.”
Mojo just shook his head. “This is all a little disconcerting, you know. I’ve had these beliefs my whole life.”
“I know, and I’m sorry, but that’s why he’s doing this: He wants to shake up the old beliefs. So what else can I ask him about?”
And, dude, did they have questions!
I was scratching it all down in my notebook. “Okay guys, that’s great stuff. Thanks! Now can I take you out for a drink … of coffee? I’d love to hear what’s up with you lately.”