Thursday, August 2, 2012

another whimsy-free excerpt:

It will not prove surprising to even the most casual sort that Henry and wife chose left center aisle, three rows from the front, seats one and two had they been numbered, which church seats are not.  Well at least not this church in this place in time, twelve years after Brooklyn's Dodgers changed coasts and shortly after the slow to adhere pronouncements of Vatican II. If we should choose to fasten John to seat three, a seat he has once before chosen with considerable consequence, well, an interesting thought but quite impossible as sixth grade valedictorian John at this very moment opens his King James bible and lightly clears his throat in preparation for his first reading to the Easter Sunday congregation, John the first anointed schoolboy lay lector and don't think Henry's chest isn't puffed out more than a little and also that he wears his best suit, funerals and weddings only, and it would be informative to know that his wife added a freshly cut flower to his lapel, and one that matched her carefully applied rouge. Please open to Mark, chapter 16, verse one, Not only to the pious women who went out to embalm the body, and John's voice is excited but true, annunciating the words carefully but confidently, correctly, as likely nothing comes more easily to little John Duff than words on a page. And so this celebration of the divinity of Jesus of Nazareth continued without incident and one might fairly question the detour to this spot on John's map, Why stop here, What is there to see, and that criticism would be more than apt if it was not also mentioned that after the mass was over, after John had accepted handshakes and tiny kisses and some back pats from numerous parishioners and after The Monsignor had made his way over to thank the little fellow for his contribution to The Lord's Celebration, well after all of that and John had left church feeling as some sort of pint-sized conquering hero, later, at their home and after the roasted ham and mashed potatoes had been cleared from the table, after the boston cream pie, bought from the Jewish bake shop they were in the habit of visiting every Sunday after church, no irony intended, after that pie had been half-eaten and cleared, after all of the nourishment of the day, literal and figurative alike, had left John feeling sated beyond expectation or experience, without reference, a sort of pre-adolescent post-coital hue that he could do nothing with but absorb, and then attempt to cling to as experience had taught him that when good times are visiting now, bad and worse times are around all corners, after all of that and please forgive the excessive detail and posturing, Henry thought to offer some constructive opinions to the young lector, because, as we all know, everyone likes praise but we benefit more from criticism. Johnny, if they invite you back again, don't read so fast next time, The older people couldn't keep up, And then they were looking at your mother and me, like we could do some damn thing about it. Slow the hell down next time, would you please.

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