I'm around twelve--I find a green light-bulb in our mom-the-hoarder cluttered basement.
I put it in my nightstand lamp this evening. Suddenly I am in a jungle, great green leaves shading my eyes and vegetating my brain in green. I am in the presence of god, not the god I heard about in the only Sunday school class I went to, but the real thing.
I crawl around my bed to get the faded little paisley oriental rug. I spread it out below the green bulb's brightest cast, and I kneel on it, not knowing what I should say or think, only knowing this is the proper thing to do.
When I come home from school the next day, the old white bulb is back in the lamp and the rug is back on the other side of the bed. I go down to the basement and find the green bulb back on top of randomly stacked boxes, and I restore the bulb and rug to their proper place.
When I come home from school the next day, the old white bulb is back in the lamp and the rug is back on the other side of the bed.
I'm not going to ask my mother anything. Now I know how closely she is watching me. I don't want my mother to watch me. She won't see my green god.
"Have you been doing any drugs?" she asks me one day while we watch a talk show together. "No." Why do I feel guilty? I haven't been doing any. Or have I? I am suddenly very embarrassed about the green light bulb and paisley rug. I feel the walls of a green tent drop all around me, and from inside this tent, I will say nothing.