I've Been Thinking, pt. 2 of 2



Later in the day. Same car ride.

“I’ve been thinking,” Lyn says. “We should start going to church.”

I almost slam on the brakes, like I see in those dumb romantic comedies that Lyn used to drag me to. Instead, the car swerves a bit as I look at her in shock.

“Church? Us?”


“But.... why?”

She crosses her arms. “Why not?”

“We’re atheists, for starters.”

“You don’t need to believe in God to go to Church, Adam.”

“Um, I kind of think you do, actually. Isn’t that the whole point?”

“Well then, we can pretend to believe.” She smiles brightly, and puts on her best ‘dumb Asian girl’ face. “I could be the naive Chinese immigrant, and you can be the religious missionary guy who saved me from Paganism.”

“You. Naive immigrant? How would you pull that off?”

She shrugs. “I don’t know. I could wear a whole bunch of Hello Kitty stuff.”

I chuckle. “I didn’t know you even had Hello Kitty stuff.”

“I do. But I’ll have to remember to call it ‘Herrow Kitty-san’ or they’d get wise.”

“So, we’re going to go to a church and lie to people to convince them that we believe in a God we both agree doesn’t exist. Why?”

“I just want to go.”

“That’s not good enough, hun.” I say.

She pauses. “I just want to be around people who know.”

“You lost me.”

She thinks for a minute or two, tapping her foot on the inside of the windscreen as the Beatles sing on in the background. I’m glad I’m not one of those ‘car-guys’, or I’d be thinking about the smears she’s leaving on the glass. “Atheists know what isn’t. Religious people know what is.”

“Except what they ‘know’ is flat-out wrong. Unproven. Unproveable.”

“Maybe. But the knowing is important.”


Maybe a week later. On a Sunday.

I am dashing around the kitchen and living room, grabbing empties and throwing them in the recycling bin. Madly cleaning up as I can hear Lyn fumbling outside the door.

“Adam? I can’t find my keys. Can you unlock the door?”

I grab two more empty beer bottles and drop them in the bin, stepping lightly and doing my best to be silent.

“Adam?” she knocks, loudly.

I sneak past the front door, tip-toeing like some sort of half-cut ninja. I open the nearby bathroom door, step in, and gingerly close the door behind me.

“Lyn?” I call out. “Are you home already?”

We’re speaking through two closed door, so her voice is muffled. “Yes. Church ends earlier than I thought it did.”

Earlier than I thought it did, too. It’s only one. I didn’t think she’d be home until three. “Did you have fun?”

“Sort of. Can you open the door? I’m locked out.”

“Oh. Uh. I’m in the bathroom. Give me a second?”

Part of me wants to fiddle around with toilet paper to complete the illusion that I really was using the washroom, but I don’t. Instead, I just flush the toilet, fiddle with my belt to make that sort of “pulling up pants” sound, and then head to the door. I stop, and remember to wash my hands, feeling silly the whole time.

I let her in, and she leans in to kiss me. I turn around, pretending not to notice, not wanting her to smell the beer on my breath.

“How was church?”

“Boy, those church people sure love that Jesus guy,” she says flippantly, while heading to the fridge.

I try to think of something clever, but my head is a bit beer-fogged. So I just grunt instead.

“What is this?” Lyn says, peering into the fridge.

“What is what?”

“This beer bottle?”

“I’m guessing it’s a beer bottle,” I say, trying to be funny. I’m not.

“What’s it doing in the fridge?”

I think of a few possible explanations, and realize I’m stuck, so I opt for a modified version of the truth. “Oh, right, that beer bottle. I bought a four pack while watching the game, and saved one for you.”

“You drank three beers on a Sunday afternoon?” she asks. I can hear the worry in her voice, and I’m touched. “That’s not like you.”

“Yeah. I just... felt like it?”

She opens the beer using the countertop, a magic move I’ve never mastered. To me, that skill is akin to Fonzie restarting the jukebox, or that special prayer my dad used to utter to get the engine to start in the snow.

While she’s in the kitchen, I roll up the clothes sitting on our coffee table, and hide them into the cushions of the couch.

“How many beers did you have, Adam?” Lyn calls out from the other room.


“There are seven empties in the recycling bin.”

Damn it. “Oh, right. Uh, I had seven beers, then.”

“You had seven beers in two hours?”

“Yeah?” I say it like a question, because I know I’m in trouble.

“Are you okay?” She asks.

“I’m fine. I just got a little carried away watching the game,” I say, less slurry-voiced than I should be. I am proud of this.

“Seven beers, though? I haven’t seen you drink seven beers in a row in... well, it’s been a while.”

“Yeah, uh, it was a bad game.”

“Apparently. Who won?”

“The Canucks. But no thanks to Luongo and the Sedin twins.”

She walks into the living room and kisses me on the cheek, and then wrinkles her nose. “Ugh. You smell like a homeless guy.”


“Well, you do.”

“How was church?” I change the subject.

“It was good. There was some prayer stuff, which was weird, but then people just kind of talked. And everyone was so nice. I guess it was okay.”

I make a face, which she sees, because she pokes me in the ribs. “Sometimes it’s nice to talk to people. I haven’t been able to talk to people in a while.”

“What about me?”

“Yes. But there are things we just don’t talk about.”

I know what she’s referring to. “Is that why you’re going to church?”

She looks down at the floor. “Maybe.”

“Jesus. Aren’t they just going to make you feel worse? How can what those people” – I say ‘those people’ as if all people who attend church can be lumped up into some sort of ultra-conservative, FOX News crowd – “how can what those people say make you feel better about all this?”

“You act like it doesn’t matter, Adam.”

“Well, it does matter, of course it matters, but it’s just life. These things happen.” I know I’m lying, and I think she does, too, but I don’t know what else to do. To let her know how much I’m hurting would be to fail her, and I know that right now, she needs me to be strong. So I keep up the charade.

She isn't buying it. “These things do happen. And I guess I’d rather believe they happen for a reason, than they just happen due to random chance.”

“You’d rather believe that was due to the conscious choice of an all-knowing God?”

“We lost a baby, Adam.”

“You miscarried,” I correct her, and then instantly feel like a jackass.

We miscarried.”

“Fine. We miscarried. Whatever. These things happen. We can’t dwell on them.”

“And you don’t care!”

“I do care! I just... it wasn’t a child, not yet. It was just cells and tissue.” I tell her this, because thinking of a miscarried fetus as cells and tissue and not a human life seems more comforting to me than to think of it as a human being. A child. It is easy not to care about cells and tissue.

“You keep saying that, and then whenever I try to talk about it, you shut down. You don’t speak. And I feel like I’m going crazy, like I did something wrong, or like I’m overreacting.”

“I... I can’t talk about these things, Lyn. I’m sorry. I just don’t know how.”

“You could go to church with me,” she says, softly.


“You could go to church with me. Talk to people there. They... they know, I guess.”

“You want me to go to church with you?”

“I don’t like going alone. It's weird. But I need to talk to someone about all this.”

“You could... you could try talking to me about it all. I can... I can at least listen.”

“But you don’t need me right now. You’ve already moved on. I just... I don’t know...” she says, and then sits down on the couch. She feels the lump under the cushions.

She rummages around, and pulls out the baby clothes – a little Vancouver Canucks jumper, Canucks socks, and a blanket with Kessler’s number.

I awkwardly rub the back of my neck. “I bought those, um, just before it happened. I was going to surprise you, and, and...” and then, for some reason, I’m crying.

She looks at me with these huge eyes. “Oh, Adam.”


A few weeks later. Another Sunday, although this time, we’re out on a green field having a picnic lunch. Church lasted all of two weeks, before Lyn called them “faith-addled idiots” and stormed out in the middle of a sermon, leaving me apologizing to everyone while beating a hasty retreat.

I pass Lyn a bottle of water, and she hands me a home-made sandwich. Turkey, with spicy mustard. I make a face at the sprouts, but Lyn is making me eat them because she thinks I need to eat healthier.

“I’ve been thinking,” she says.

“Most bats can’t perceive colour, but some in the old world can. They can, however, see in black and white, and use their echolocation to aid in perception.”

Lyn makes a face. “How did you know that’s what I was thinking about?”

I smile. “Because I’ve been thinking about that, too.”

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