When I was a kid, I used to pray a lot, about everything. Mostly FOR everything. My family wasn’t poor, but we weren’t wealthy either. We were squarely in the middle class, which would have been cool if I’d been an only child, but I had three brothers with which to compete for the money my parents could spend on us. So I prayed instead. I prayed for a Nintendo, or for new games, or for a new bike, or books. Anything and everything, I prayed for it. I also prayed that I’d break my leg so as to get a couple days off from my conservative Christian elementary school, and that someone would realize that I sucked at baseball.
But God didn’t listen. My wishes were never granted. That’s when I started making deals with the devil. I gave God plenty of time to make with the goods, and when he didn’t, I started offering up my soul to Mister Dark and Horny.
For a while it was all, “Dear Devil, I’ll give you my soul if you just let me pass eighth grade math,” or “Dear Devil, you can totally have my soul if you make Suzie McFlatchest go out with me” (one wish I’m glad no one granted by the way) but before long I started offering up my soul in exchange for the ability to look like anyone I wanted, or for the ability to become invisible, or for the ability to fly or shoot fire out of my hands.
I was disappointed when the Devil never took me up on my offer. I understood why God might be ambivalent about the whole wish-granting thing, nothing to gain, but The Devil is supposed to be all about the souls, so I wondered what was wrong with MY soul that he never took me up on that offer. Eventually I moved from wondering what was wrong with me and into hard-core atheism, and then into the fencey land of agnosticism, but I never forgot that.
And it’s been on my mind lately. Because I’ve been wondering if the devil WAS real, and he really COULD buy souls, wouldn’t high schoolers be the perfect people to tempt? I thought so too.
Anyway, I’d still REALLY love to be able to turn invisible. What would you sell YOUR soul for?