Lesfic: Jesus Was a Capricorn

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Jesus Was a Capricorn, by Mollie Merkel

What do Diane Keaton, Jesus, and my Mother all have in common? They all have shoulder length hair and are Capricorn Sun Signs. At least Kris Kristofferson claims Jesus was in his song, “Jesus Was A Capricorn.” Google says Jesus was an Aquarius…perhaps even a Pisces. But, my days of fighting over Jesus are over. I’m merely here to relay this childhood story.

In astrology, every sign has the choice to vibrate in the higher or lower harmonic.

The high harmonics for Capricorns are that they could be very industrious, disciplined, and hardworking. The lower harmonics are becoming fanatical, extreme, and rigid. And, to side with Mr. Kristofferson again, Jesus must have had some Capricorn in his chart, as he worked hard as a carpenter…and he went through that famous Crucifixion. I mean, dying for everyone else’s sins, it doesn’t get more extreme than that. My mother’s version of “taking it to the cross” was the pro-life movement.

Ever since I can remember, my mom was a fanatic when it came to children. She had a grand total of nine of her own, and had the first seven in eight years. For those of you who don’t want to reach for your TI 83 (That’s a 90’s calculator joke), that’s 81 months or 6.75 years of having a bun in the oven. Not sure what’s more shocking to me, being pregnant for that many years, or comparing my mother’s body to an oven. To be fair, she was more of a European bakery, warm and loving. But, even the Europeans were encouraged to take a lunch hour and a month’s vacation.

Sure, having 9 kids made things tougher financially on my parents, but there were enough of us for a whole baseball team. I know four gallons of milk a week adds up, but we had a pitcher, catcher, first, second, and third baseman, shortstop, and 3 outfielders.

Our weekend activities were blueberry pancakes and pro-life rallies. In that order.

My mother would take us to pro-life rallies on the side of highways, or we would protest with pictures of aborted fetuses in front of Planned Parenthood with signs that read, “Life Begins at Conception!” And after it was all said and done, we would drive home in our big green conversation van with a slew of bumper stickers on the back that read things like, “Abortion stops a beating heart.”

One doesn’t have to wonder why we made no friends on the road. I’d love to go into more detail of the protests but my little brain blocked it out as best it could. The desire to play sports seemed like a logical escape from this intensity. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love that my mom loved babies, but I like to think there is a happy medium between China’s “one baby” philosophy and having enough kids for a baseball team?

Extremism didn’t end at the pro-life rallies. We also had The List. The ladies at church devised this list that included every company that ever supported or gave money to Planned Parenthood. We were not to buy these brands. Yes, even our money from picking corn had “restrictions.”

The List

  1. Levi’s – Indifferent. I was more of Guess girl.
  2. Betty Crocker – Loss. That meant no Gushers fruit snacks, Fruit by the Foot, or anydecent cake or brownie mix.
  3. General Mills – Tough! The idea of never being able to have Golden Grahams crushedmy little teen spirit.
  4. Kellogg’s – What the Heck! That’s not OKAY! No Pops! NO KUDOS BARS!

My mother was very into a book by an abortion doctor who had recurring nightmares of bloody fetuses, and when his wife got pregnant and had a miscarriage, he pulled a 180 and became a baby delivery doctor instead, along with becoming a novelist spreading the word of the dark underbelly of the abortion world.

My mom made us read this novel at a very young age. Needless to say, it seemed like a bad time to get a boyfriend. I’d give you the title of the book but scaring people is not my thing. I’m more of a romantic comedy/dramedy type of gal. You know, the type of movies Diane Keaton is in…where she wears the cream-colored turtlenecks.

‘Your Song’ – What Running and a Mixtape Taught Me About Love

Back to the list. Every once in a blue moon, one of the companies would be taken off of The List, and we would finally be able to enjoy their products. It was as if we were characters from Oliver Twist in line for a bowl of warm porridge. I remember the day Kellogg’s was taken off The List. Let’s just say the phrase, “Please, sir, may I have some more,” rang a bell.

We insisted on a trip to the local grocery store with our mother. We walked into Safeway and went straight to the snack aisle. Looking at the upper left hand corner for the brand that read Kellogg’s…. Kudos… Ah, there you are. I’ve heard so much about you from my friends at school.

In this moment, I felt as close as I’ll ever be to feeling like a drug addict. Kudos, you are a granola bar but somehow taste like a candy bar? An anomaly. How can this be? I imagine this is how vegans felt when they first discovered buffalo cauliflower. Or when Ellen discovered there was a Portia. Or when Ellen and Portia discovered buffalo cauliflower.

We all got home and respectively got ourselves a Kudos bar out of the Kudos box. I took my time holding the Kudos bar and put a lot of thought into how I was going to enjoy it. I decided to kick back in our family rocking chair and eat my Kudos bar as I kicked up the bottoms of my soiled bare feet. My sister, Monica, gobbled hers up and snapped into an alternate Monica. She got a crazed look in her eyes.

“GIVE ME THE KUDOS BAR,” Monica demanded.

“No, I’ve never had one. You’ve already had one,” I said as if I was guarding one of my baby birds. She inched closer to my imaginary nest. “I will cut you.” In her hand was a serrated butter knife with a Carolina blue steel handle, as if we were young pirates playing make-believe. Before I could think twice, she slashed my middle and index fingers like the little Captain Hook she was. She quickly snatched the bar from my tiny bloody hand and scurried off like Smeagol finding the “precious” in Lord of the Rings.

My mom came in, mirroring my shocked expression, and all she could think to say was, “Monica” in a tone mixed with denial and horror. She took me to the emergency room and they gave me butterfly stitches. Had I lost the finger, I may have not become so into writing.

The scar on my finger is still there. It’s a friendly reminder of what extremes can lead to. Sometimes I wonder if my mother becoming so adamant about contraception led me to the ultimate means of birth control… only sleeping with women. I shouldn’t say only women as I try not to think in extremes. So I’ll keep it balanced and say mostly women. Seeking balance is very Libra of me.

Libra’s higher harmonics are artistic, lovers, and peacemakers. The lower is indecision to the point of not being able to make a decision at all. Which is why it takes me so long to decide if I should do iced or hot coffee in the morning, and also why it took me so long to publish this story. From the very bottom of my Libra heart…thank you for understanding. That is very Pisces of you, being so understanding of the complexities of humanity.

You know what, come to think of it, maybe Google was right..maybe Jesus was a Pisces.


Mollie Merkel is a lesbian comic, writer, actor and director. Read more of her work and check out her film projects HERE.