Smoking for Jesus | Terry Severhill
Yeah I knew Jim. He was just another guy. Could’ve had a lot going for himself but he didn’t. He was hooked on Camels and Jesus, two packs a day. He said that if cigarettes had been around back then Jesus not only would have smoked them he would have been the spokesperson for them and that Camels would have been as good a name then as now. Hard to argue with religious fervor isn’t it? Probably would have had coupons; with ten coupons you get a 10% discount at Camel’s money changing kiosk in the Temple foyer, with 25 coupons you save 50% on authentic Roman sandals. Or something like that. Jim liked young girls and a bottle. Didn’t matter how young the liquor in the bottle or how young the girl in the dress. He said he wasn’t a born again Christian, wasn’t sure how that worked exactly but he was pretty sure you only get one shot at being born. It had nothing to do with theology. I always thought of Jim was a born again asshole but upon hearing his take on the whole born again controversy I’ve decided that Jim is probably right; he is merely an asshole. Jim had a ’79 Mustang he was very proud of, overly so, mainly because it smoked more than he did. The puke green paint was faded; where it was faded bad it was peeling, where the peeling was bad it was rusting. He was sure proud of his “classic” Mustang. Had a little plastic “Jesus” stuck to the dash, you know, just in case. Jim quit his job at the car wash. He claimed it was holding him back. Said he had plans for himself. He wanted a real job, a job with a future, one where people respected what you did, maybe a used car salesman. Jim talked big but, his diploma from the local government high school would always hold him back. Did I mention that Jim was six foot two, weighted one hundred and forty seven pounds? If he turned sideways he could be mistaken for a real skinny dude. Jim’s main complaint about organized religion is they tended to water down the wine too much and were really stingy. For the two bucks cover charge he slipped into the plate he should at least get a solo cup. And what’s the deal with only one chip? It tasted like crap, crap with no taste, wasn’t any dip, no salsa. Jim truly believed that Jesus died for his sins. He was extremely proud of this. That his sins could be so important that Jesus, Son-O-God would take notice. Wow! Jim always was impressed with that fact when the preacher spoke of this from the pulpit on Sunday. Jim always went to the 11:00 o’clock service, that way he could recover from the sinning on Saturday night. It also gave him the opportunity to smoke three or four cigarettes, drink a pot of coffee and a beer (for nutritional purposes}. After church Jim would slide into his Mustang and light up, then he and the Mustang would smoke all the way to the local Indian Res to buy three cartons of the cheap knock off “Humps” that he insisted were just as good as the real thing.
Terry Severhill has several severe disabilities, a sense of humor and is neuro-divergent.Terry is of mixed heritage; Scott, French and Native American (Chippewa, Sault Ste. Marie tribe, Mich. Erskine family line). He is a Marine combat veteran, having served in a CAP unit in Vietnam. His most recent works have appeared in the San Diego Poetry Annual. He has appeared in: A Quite Courage, Damfino, Mad Swirl, Panoplyzine, Gyroscope Review and in SE Missouri University Press Proud to Be, Writings by American Warriors and others forth coming. Presented with the “Art Young Memorial Poetry Prize 2016”,[Garbanzo Literary Journal] . Medically retired from the construction industry he writes, reads at various open mics in San Diego County, resides in Vista, Ca, takes orders from his two cats, is regularly ignored by his two dogs and loves and adores his wife of 40 years.