Title: Broken Vessel
Subtext: Shake it out.
Author:
Date: 12 Nov 15 (Thursday in the AM)
Copyright:
Time: 2 minutes
Replies: 13
Revisions: 16
Publicity: Superfeed
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They switched parishes the year before from St. Aloyisis’s Doric plaster works across the park, down the block, to St. Joseph’s Corinthian-capped Italian marble, seven minutes by car. And so, late to mass as always, they took their place off to the side, nine rows from the back during the penetential rite.

“As we prepare to celebrate the mystery of Christ’s love, let us acknowledge our failures and ask the Lord for pardon and strength. Lord, have Mercy.”

Lord, have mercy.

“Christ, have Mercy”

Christ, have mercy.

“Lord, have Mercy”

Lord, have mercy.

“May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life.”

Amen.

Mandy was seated at the right hand of her father, directly behind a column, her view of the pulpit blocked.

She was pleased, as this gave her time to check in with the monsters and end-time warriors in the smeared markings of the polished marble.

Her favorite was the knife-headed lady with the one giant forearm. Was she fighting for God now, as she would be in the days to come? Would Mandy be called to join her?

Wondering about a creature to whom the veins of maroon, black, and grey would appear to happen as quickly as they appeared to have happened, she thought, would it be a huge thing, necessarily? Does it work that way? Are dead people bigger than living people?

She felt a trembling reciprocity to the communion of her revelation assert itself. She wanted to hound and wail and fill the nave with wild sounds, to stand up screeching like a Roman candle, to honk and flap like a fire breathing goose, and to swear at the priest from the back of the church in sick non sequiturs.

Was the entire congregation playing out a conspiracy of silence and humiliating kindness by collectively ignoring her? Had even the children been schooled not to say anything about this? Her friends and their little sisters and brothers? How far did it go?

Mortified, she thought about her father’s mother who had been corpulent in old pictures, but after a gastric bypass surgery, was manageably obese. This woman farted uncontrollably and Mandy was cautioned not to mention the stench at extended family gatherings, the way she might call it out at events more and less public.

Her little hands were back at St. Aloyisis defending her shoulder width of the pew in front of her. The man on her right, who slipped in after them, would be occupying her space with his veiny olive hand if she didn’t claim and hold it for herself. His skin touched hers just below their pinkies and she pushed back angrily with her mind.

Her father’s blurry hand entered from the left. “Do my knuckle.” It was disgusting; swollen, chapped, and red, but she rubbed and squeezed until the handshake of peace.

“Peace be with you.”

And also with you.

“Peace be with you.”

And also with you.

“Peace be with you.”

And also with you.

“Peace be with you.”

And also with you.

“Peace be with you.”

And also with you.

“Peace be with you.”

And also with you.

“Peace be with you.”

And also with you.

“Peace be with you.”

And also with you.

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