My Uncle Simms lives alone out in the country. My Uncle Simms doesn’t drink, but he smokes. Uncle Simms went to correspondence bible college. I bring Uncle Simms Cookout on Saturdays and visit a while, because no one else wants to. Uncle Simms used to preach before he lost his lung. Uncle Simms doesn’t believe in theology, but he doesn’t take the Bible at face value anymore. Uncle Simms says he’s learned to read between the lines. Uncle Simms says that the only truth that matters is that God will judge us based on what we choose to tolerate. Because of that, he says that means we’re both sinners, that everyone we meet are all sinners, and everything in between is just a weird tangle and sin and death. Uncle Simms says that he goes on his computer and looks up the porno sites. Says there’s some shit you wouldn’t believe on there. Uncle Simms says he can’t stop looking. Uncle Simms says that if anyone was Saved, they’d be un-Saved by now, just through contact.
Uncle Simms says that the best thing that could happen is if a few godly men in North Dakota, Russia, China, and maybe some of the Muslims over in Pakistan and Hindus in India, got jobs in missile silos and detonated them underground. Said maybe then the Earth’s crust would crack and this whole damn thing would be over. Uncle Simms says the kids don’t want to die for any good reason anymore, they just want to die. Uncle Simms says I’m not godly, but I’m closer than most. Uncle Simms says I should’ve joined the Air Force.
Whenever I finish visiting Uncle Simms, I have weird, terrifying dreams. Not even dreams about the real terrible things I’ve seen, but other shit. I’m paralyzed while something dark at the foot of my bed levitates me, up and closer to it, and I feel like I’m about to get eaten. Naked men turn into goats in front of me, from the feet up. I never quite see their heads, though. I end up at my ex-girlfriend’s wedding and everybody is misshapen and I can’t say how. I wake into more nightmares, and everything the day after seems more pregnant with meaning, more hostile, and the world is a colder place.