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3 A.M. Magazine



Kimberly Nichols

Copyright © 2000
All Rights Reserved



They have a bizarre ritual on some Philippine island to deal with purging guilt. It's religiously based of course. On Sundays, these ravaged devotees file off to a church with a floor that's entirely strewn with erect nails. The faithful proceed to lie down at the door and then they drag their bloody bodies heavily across this barb ridden hell until they reach the altar. By the time their blood starts to streak down their flesh, they believe themselves purged of sin. They would rather torture themselves with a chunk of peace of mind then to live with the onus of livelihood ruining guilt. Why such a sanitary white glove towards the emotion of guilt? Guilt leads to vice.

We have the equivalent of the bloody aisle method in a more tolerable form. The confessional booth. The AA meeting. The humility high as sin eraser. If I let it all out honestly to someone I am afraid of being honest with and it works and they still love me, then it means I am fine. I will feel better when my secrets are out and scandal has faded, been spring cleaned and polished through the lowly process of admitting I am human. All of these fourth step theories bear equal amounts of why they work whether it's because we're afraid of Judgement Day or we're just sick of keeping something inside that could easily be let out and we FEEL better period. That's why we have friends to an extent and an intimate select few. I don't need to mutilate myself, talk to an anonymous priest behind mesh or ramble off my dirty laundry in some circular AA group. I understand why some people do but I have found a better method. I talk to my friends and we let it all hang out. I know the most depraving things about people I love and knowing it makes me love them more. We need to start speaking and being true to the people in our lives as a common practice and stop relying on religion and a group hug with strangers to purge us. It takes big balls to shed an ego in places less safe than Sunday school.

We need to give our dreams more control so that they may provide a pathway.

We need to stop feeling guilty for being human and continue to strive towards growth.

- Deftones

It was late when we arrived and we were driving through Ensenada with dirty lips, hips and thighs. My friend Jaime and I in her white sidekick were leading a two-car caravan to Mexico and spent the trip reveling in our womanhood. We listened to the lush power of Portishead and the fluffy mindless rhythms of Poe. "I wanna kill you - I wanna blow you away."

We traded off once in town and started to follow Jack and his brother towards Quinta Del Mar. We accidentally turned down a dingy side street. Jaime whipped us into a U-turn and I was thrust momentarily face to face

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