Happy New Year!
Next year I'm celebrating Saturnalia. My mother's memorial brought me up close and personal to this whole Christian/Catholic gig and…well…I prefer heathen.
The Trix willed her body to science and I hope I don't see it one day in one of those museum exhibits, propped up and smoking a cigarette with one hand and rolling dice with the other, her long celebrated liver and lungs a highlight of unclean living; or on hands and knees scrubbing a floor for some taller, more erect, younger cadaver. I hope I don't, but if I do, it's what she wanted. "God love her," as "poppy" said, an end to every sentence.
"Poppy" is how her priest, Father Roger, referred to himself repeatedly, between praying and slapping us on the heads. I kid you not. He'd say, "How are you doing, Kate?" and then slap me on the head and add, "Be good."
He was an endearing fellow. I know my mother thought he was both ridiculous and stately. She thought his face had 'character'. The only other time I'd met him was when my late father ran him out of his hospital room. "Fucking magpie," my dad had called him.
My mom had apologized profusely to "Poppy" in the hall outside the room.
"He's…not catholic." she said.
She didn't add, but could have, "He only likes sitcom characters."
"Bippity boppity boo. Nevermind!" is how Father Roger responded, before hitting her on the head.
I don't get this catholic stuff. Or really any religion. I think there is a sort of beauty in all the ceremony and ritual, but I find it sort of flat for the same reasons.
"Peace be with you,"
"And also with you." monotone repetition. Does anyone hear or feel these words?
Maybe that's what the head slapping is all about.
Maybe its the harvest talking… but I'm back and I'm eager to start devoting myself to Saturn.