In the early 1980s when I was five or six, my parents took my brothers and me to Six Flags Great Adventure, an amusement park in southern New Jersey. Most outstanding in my memory of that outing was that my dad bought a huge black velvet-flocked1 Jesus poster for my bedroom from one of the shoppes. When we got home, up it went in the upper right corner of the wall I faced if I sat up in my bed.

The poster was an image of a supposed Jesus from the collarbone upward with the verse from John 14:6, I am the way, the truth and the life, printed near the bottom. While the poster had some fluorescent coloring, it was not nearly as trippy as Fillmore posters 2. More imposing than its size were ominous eyes that seemed to follow me all over my room. Having a night light made the situation worse. I had disturbing dreams where the poster appeared in other parts of my house, sometimes Jesus with white hair or with feminized features.

It wasn't until the seventh grade when a friend came to visit, that I initially realized that the poster wasn't a permanent fixture. She immediately recognized its eeriness and matter of factly asked me, "Why don't you remove it?" It was stored in my closet for a few years, reposted my junior year in high school, and from then onward remained on the wall, without bothering me as much as before.

I still wonder if my dad bought the poster out of whimsical fascination or as a surrogate parent behind the bedroom door.

1Similar to blacklight posters but without as much glow under a blacklight.
2Fillmore posters were made in the mid to late 1960s to promote concerts at The Fillmore in San Francisco. See a gallery of Fillmore posters at: Wes Wilson's pOoters pSycheDelic shAcK:
http://www.pooterland.com/index2/art/wilson/body_wilson.html

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