The NERVOUS STOMACH Series: Ego-Strategy 19 – THE EXORCIST

Posted: August 18, 2013 in The NERVOUS STOMACH Series

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The NERVOUS STOMACH Series: Ego-Strategy 19 – THE EXORCIST

I’m fifteen and spend the evening writing in my journal.  I used to call it a diary, but now that I’m trying to be cool like the other guys at my all-boy Catholic high school, it’s a journal. 

I got a 78 on my Geometry test today, but I don’t really care, because Tom, the tall star of the basketball team sits next to me in Geometry.  Sometimes he puts his massive hand on the back of my neck while he’s talking to me — and my insides melt.  That’s the kind of stuff I put in my journal, which pretty much feeds my status of non-cool. 

I go downstairs to watch some tube; everybody else is in bed.  We don’t have cable and the channel I’m getting is from the next city over, so the screen is full of snow, but The Exorcist is on, so I watch.  I’m particulary psyched, ’cause my high school English teacher (a priest), is actually one of the priests in the movie.  Another thing for my journal.

We get to the part where the girl’s bed is lifting up into the air and slamming onto the floor, and I’m sufficiently creeped out because it’s late at night in our creepy farmhouse way out in the country, where anybody could hide out in the woods after committing an axe murder or something, where they could be looking in the pitch-black windows at me watching The Exorcist, where they could be just about to bust the back door in and slice me into little chunks. 

That’s what I’m thinking about when  the couch, my mom’s rocker,  the coffee table, and the family dog start going up and down in the room at the same rhythm as the onscreen furniture. 

I scream, a girly, embarrassing scream that would also keep me off the cool list at school, and try to figure out what to do.  The dog barks; he’s hanging in mid-air with his legs and tail dangling. 

I start hearing a low cursing whisper coming from the corners of the room when I realize this is for real — it’s sink or swim.  I’m an altar boy, so I have some idea how to handle such situations.  I leap from the couch and, with a half-flip that might actually earn me some cool points, land near the wall with the crucifix.  I grab it and wave it around, yelling some Latin prayers I had to learn to pass my altar boy test.

The furniture begins to vibrate; the dog looks like he’s going to throw up. 

The girl’s head on TV is spinning now — when it stops, she is looking right at me, which freaks me out more than the furniture.  With a judo kick worthy of Emma Peel, I smash out the front of the TV screen, glass flying everywhere.  As added incentive, I stick the crucifix into the smoking guts and move it around a little.  The couch, Mom’s rocker, the coffee table, and the canine all slam to the floor. 

Even though the fire department (with the beefy Saturday night truck crew who I secretly wish would linger) determine that my parents’ house is not in danger of burning down and that the dog hasn’t broken any bones, even though the local paper features a picture of me next to my high school teacher/priest/actor with a caption “Altar Boy Strikes Back”, even though the cool kids invite me to eat lunch with them in the cafeteria, it’s Tom’s massive hand on the back of my neck in Geometry while I tell him the whole story that sets my heart to racing. 

For FUN, I put my stuff at

For SERIOUS, I put my stuff at

I invite you to visit my stuff.

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