A Short Autobiography
As a young boy I was brought up ‘in the church’ as the phrase goes. I was a Catholic altar boy (never molested, thank Christ) for years. I was taught Latin in school by nuns and priests, a ‘parochial’ school as it is called. There the boys entered one door in the morning, and the girls in another. The ‘sexes’ (even at that young age) were kept separated. Even at lunch time and recess there was a white chalk-line on the ground that separated us and there would be dire consequences if a boy or girl crossed that line during play and mingled or tried to socialize with the opposite sex. Corporal punishment was still in vogue and many were the flaying I received at the hands of these religious fanatics, these saintly beings, especially the ‘daughters in Christ’, the nuns, a vicious and mental lot many of them were. It was a strange and unnatural world back then, at least while school and classes were in session. I survived it, just barely though, and it has taken me many years to undo the brainwashing I endured at their deluded and cruel hands.
Only Left Handed People Are in Their Right Mind
It was my great misfortune, as a budding Catholic neophyte, to have been born left-handed. You see, according to these supposedly enlightened and holy beings of Christ’s army of God, left-handedness was the curse of the devil, proof of my wickedness, and I needed to be ‘cured’ of this disturbing nasty habit of mine and induced to use the ‘proper’ hand in all my dexterous scholarly endeavors. In other words, they beat me into submission with their rulers, yardsticks and long wooden map pointers, at times even resorting to tying my left arm to my body so I couldn’t use it. This was done for my first three years of schooling, and truly left not only mental but physical scars which I have to this day. I am now what is called ‘cross dominant’ due to this barbaric unholy treatment. My right side is now the stronger side of my body. I take a right handed stance in baseball at bat. I throw a football and baseball with my right arm and kick with my right leg. I boxed as a ‘rightie’ and still do. By forcing me to do everything as a right-hander rather than my natural inclination toward left-handedness, they rewired my brain and body toward right-handedness (the brain is a marvelously complex and pliant machine). I was mind-melded with Christ.
But, it didn’t work entirely as they had planned or desired, as I am to this day left-handed in all the things that require fine motor skills and control. I use a fork to eat with my left hand, and still write with my left hand, and, this may be a bit too much information for some of you, I masturbate with my left hand, that evil appendage, the hand of the devil. How appropriate, no? So, now, due to these tortures and abuse, I am what the medical profession call ‘cross dominant’. It sounds somewhat sexual doesn’t it? I am different now, reshaped by the hand of God’s minions, but I was a stubborn evil child it was said by these asylum-worthy individuals and this was necessary to allow me to one day enter the kingdom of God. It was for my own ‘good’. Evil done in the name of God is still good is it not? With employees such as these working for him God has a lot to answer for.
But, due to these torments inflicted upon my young body, mind and soul by His lackeys I now qualify for sainthood. I have been placed in the canon of saints, and now have been anointed, while still alive mind you, The Saint of Bangkok, the new patron saint of prostitutes. Come to me my lovely wicked children and kneel before me so that I may bless you. Indeed, anoint you. Your supplications will not go unheard or unfulfilled. I am here for you all. Please wait in line.
The Lives of the Patron Saints of the Prostitutes
As a child the one thing I enjoyed during my time under the tutelage of the priests and nuns was reading. I wrote wonderful book reports as well (at home, with my evil left hand) and did well in my English classes, though I was somewhat at a disadvantage in my penmanship abilities. My one true enjoyment was reading, and in class I was far ahead of the other students in this area. I was graded at a much higher level, about five grade levels above my peers. This, though, being a Catholic school, there were certain limitations and restrictions placed on our reading material. It would hardly do to present a book report to Sister Mary Philippines on John Carter’s travels and adventures to Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs. No, this would indeed not do, and I’d have been thrashed to within an inch of my life and sent to see the dreaded and rightfully feared Sister Mary Superior, who really did look like a lowland gorilla in a nun’s habit. The saints’ lives though were definitely right and proper reading and book report material for a saintly young boy to read and admire and aspire to emulating. And so it was I spent many an hour browsing the library for interesting saints and their biographies (Papal approved of course). These were quite interesting and even exciting books of adventure in the lives of these holy warriors of God, these soldiers for Christ and the church. Some of them were quite bloody and heroic. The tortures of the saints were gruesome and horrific tales of sacrifice, bravery in the face of death, and made for some decent reading for a young lad, a pseudo-saint in training. I enjoyed the hell out of those old books and due to this my ass was saved from serious damage and I even became somewhat popular with my penguin in bondage Sister Mary Whatever teachers. I read them all, and reported back to the class my readings.
St. Nick – the Patron Saint of Prostitutes
Apparently St. Nicholas is the patron saint of prostitutes. It’s true. I’ll bet you didn’t know this about St. Nick, or good old ‘Santa Claus’ did you? I quote here from one of the many Catholic sites on the internet (Look it up for yourselves if you don’t believe me you lazy buggers. That’s what Google is for). “St Nicholas is almost always seen with three bags or balls as well, symbolising the three bags of gold he tossed through the chimney of the home of a poor man in his village for the daughters' dowry, so they would not be sold as prostitutes. Thus he is also seen as the "gift-giver".”
So, the origin of Santa the ‘gift giver’ came from this saint of a man trying to help a poor man keep from selling his daughters into a life of prostitution. I wonder where St. Nick got the three bags of gold. There also lie the origins about the ‘chimney’ in Santa folklore. And please, let’s not ponder the ‘three balls’ thing. I don’t even want to begin to go there. St. Nick was a proactive sort. Me, I’m the reactive sort and deal with the women on the other end, a saint without halo. Either way they get the gold, right? Besides, what sort of father would even consider selling his daughters into prostitution, no matter how poor? A poor Thai Isan man you say? Good point. But, it looks like they are not alone in the world, just a bit behind the times is all. St. Nick wasn’t doing this in Thailand it seems. Maybe it was the lack of chimneys that kept him from plying his good deeds in the Land of Smiles. Let us move on.
Saint Vitalis, My Hero
My favorite saint though (yes, I was brought up a Catholic, so these things intrigue and interest me, though I am not a religious man--bear with me please) is St. Vitalis. Yes, he of the same name of the famous men’s hair product of the 1950s and 1960s. The wet look. Ducktails and pompadours.
Here’s some info on Vitalis: “Saint Vitalis of Gaza (d. ca. 625 AD) is venerated as a hermit-saint by the Catholic Church. A monk of Gaza, he travelled to the city of Alexandria at the age of sixty. His legend states that after obtaining the name and address of every prostitute in the city, he hired himself out as a day laborer, and took his wage to one of these women at the end of the day.” (I’ve done this myself for years in my own saintly fashion. Although, I don’t have the name and address of every prostitute in this city, a Herculean task that would be. –The Saint)
It goes on: “This practice was condoned by the Church, and many prostitutes in the city abandoned their profession and became good wives and mothers. Vitalis was killed when a man, misunderstanding the nature of Vitalis' visit to a brothel, struck him on the head. The monk managed to return to his hut and died there.”
So what the hell, some guy spies poor Vitalis going into a brothel and hits him on the head with a rock? Jesus, that’s a bit extreme isn’t it? We should consider ourselves lucky then that the holy rollers preaching at the entrance to Nana Plaza are much more civilized and restrained these days I’d say, if a bit noisy and bothersome. And what is it with these Catholics? What? A prostitute cannot be a good wife and mother whilst plying her trade? Obviously if hubby is still around while all this is going on he is already reaping the profits of his wife’s labor I would think, and condones this activity to a certain extent (this seems to happen quite frequently here in Thailand). And, her income likely has a positive affect on the lives of her children at least. I’d think these women the epitome of ‘good’ mothers, in that in their sacrificing of their body and soul through the flesh trade they help their families survive, maybe even prosper, as well as provide their children with the possible financial means to advance in life to not ever have to do this same work themselves by gaining them a normal ‘respectable’ trade and possibly a higher level of education so the family bloodlines advance in their circumstances. They are saints themselves, sinning to help their own. Many prominent families the world over had forebears who sold their souls to advance their progeny in the world, in their fortune. Drug runners, booze runners, whores, thieves and scammers are the basis for many a family fortune, families now church going, moralizing, condescending prats who look down their noses at others and forget from whence their family fortune was begat.
Here’s a bit more on Vitalis: “Vitalius, monk at Gaza. He lived under the abbot Serid(i)on near Gaza. Vitalius went to Alexandria, he was then about sixty years. John the Almoner was at that time bishop of Alexandria (610-619). Vitalius feigned a licentious life and he visited the house of the harlots to convert them. After his death in Alexandria, his innocence was proved; and his accuser converted and entered the monastery at Gaza under the abbot Serid(i)on, and he occupied the cell that was once occupied by Vitalius. The feast of Vitalius is on Jan 11 in the Greek synaxaria.”
By “his innocence was proved” they are speaking of the fact that Vitalis was accused of sleeping with the women he was helping with his daily earnings. (Likely he was accused by those same God-fearing men who were using the services of said prostitutes. We all know how many of these leading citizens and preachers are fond of their own sins of the flesh now don’t we?)
And, it seems that in these modern times we have other saintly men doing the same, giving money to prostitutes without sleeping with them, and from afar at that. It is called “sponsorship’. Isn’t it nice there are so many willing dupes, er, saints, to take care of these poor women from far away? Why they are merely doing the same as poor murdered St. Vitalis did, earning their daily wages and giving them to the prostitutes of Thailand to keep them from having to ply their trade. Such nice men they are, no? P. T. Barnum sure was right wasn’t he?
So, now you know about my hero, my favorite saint, Vitalis. I myself do the same as he, but unlike him I do use the ladies services, and don’t deny it, and I am always careful around Christians carrying rocks and stones, Muslims as well. You see I also believe in the holy book's words, “It is not good that the man should be alone”, (Bible, Genesis ii), and the good Christian work ethic so promoted by all clergy over the centuries. It works for me and everybody is happy. Every saint was a sinner. I’m still working on it.
There you have it folks. I know, not very exciting or titillating a story or article for you maybe, but then I thought it wise to give you a little background, some biography, and some information to explain why The Saint is, well, The Saint. I promise next week will be much more of a salacious report. Next week we will visit Eden, the site of the original sin, and believe you me, in this Eden the sin can be quite original.
Romans 3:23 teaches us that not only have all sinned, but that all (including saints) fall short of God’s glory.
Can anyone say amen to that?
© The Saint. All rights reserved by the author.