While we were still waking up that morning, inside of that fuzzy haze that exists somewhere between sleep and wakefulness, that’s when she announced she wanted to return to the faith of her youth.
I snickered. I said, “That’s not possible.”
I should not have snickered. And I definitely should not have said, “That’s not possible.” Not to Dana.
I’ll admit that I was off my game. I was still groggy with sleep and it had sure been a rough week at work, what with the long lines for lottery tickets and all. Any other time, I suppose I would have been quietly supportive, or else maybe I’d have pointed out all of the perfectly respectable gay-friendly churches with which we share a zip code. What about Bering Memorial? What about Resurrection MCC? Anything but THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH.
But for whatever reason, I did not do any of that. Instead, I snickered and then I said, “That’s not possible.” Or maybe it was even “That’s not possible, dear,” which is just as bad or a great deal worse.
Dana sat up and began pulling her hair back into a ponytail. This was always a bad sign. She said, “Don’t give me that! I could be a murderer and be accepted back into the Church.”
And me, I pulled the sheet up over my head so as not to face the situation or the day. From beneath the covers’ muffle and glow, I said, “Murderer. Meaning ‘one who has murdered’.”
I said, “That is an altogether different beast from ‘one who is currently murdering and is planning to remain within a murderous lifestyle for the foreseeable future’.”
Dana narrowed her eyes. She chewed at her bottom lip. She stared straight ahead of her. Tick tick tick, and her mind was moving fast now.
Tick tick tick, and finally, “Okay. Okay, but what if-”
I snapped the sheet down off my head. I said, “No-o-o-o-o. Just… no.”
I said, “You are not going to be able to distinguish, to cross-examine, or to loophole your way around this one, Counselor. You are talking about THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH. Aim somewhere else.”
Then I said, “Aim anywhere else.”
This was followed by several more minutes of Dana chewing her bottom lip and staring straight ahead and tick tick tick. And I’d almost sunk back into my fuzzy haze when there was a “Hmmph!” and Dana bolted suddenly from the bed.
“I am getting the kids dressed and I’m taking them to Mass!” she announced as she marched from the room in her boxers.
What a lezbo!
* * *
In my experience – as admittedly limited as that experience may be – there are those people in this world who will say to you that “Everything happens for a reason,” and then there are those who will not.
Those people who believe that everything happens for a reason, well, they have a particular frame of mind. They have a supernatural bent. And since their minds work in that way, then somewhere, somehow, that supernatural bent is going to break out and make itself known.
Oh, it might be something as simple as not telling anyone what they wish for when they’re blowing out their birthday candles. Or maybe, you know, maybe they’ll wear crystals or magnets up against their skin, around their neck or around their wrists.
Or maybe they will find a benevolent and intelligent connecting consciousness underlying every single thing in the Universe.
|Will not be mentioned.|
It will be like it never happened.
Now, I do not – I cannot! – believe that there is a larger master plan behind why things happen as they happen. But Dana does, and I do love her for it, though it means there is a bright line or a gulf or a chasm across which neither of us can pass to reach the other.
So if Dana seeks to express her sense of wonder and her sense of awe about this life through the lens of the ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH, then I will support her in that decision. I will support her and I will not mention the Crusades or the Inquisition or the Concordat with the Nazis. The child molestation cover-ups or the destruction of the Library of Alexandria. Or the Syllabus of Errors. Or Galileo or Joan of Arc or the papal condemnation of “Americanism”.
Or… Well, you get the picture. I will not mention any of that.
* * *
The Church returned my family to me several hours later.
The kids looked downright catatonic.
I said, “Aren’t you sorry that you chose Palm Sunday to start going to Mass?” I said this because Palm Sunday Mass is the longest Mass of the year.
Then Dana, she kind of shook her head absentmindedly and sat down across from me, still staring into space like she’d done that morning. And I’ll admit I got a little worried for a moment, afraid she was going to start drooling right there on the spot. Afraid that maybe they’d given her a lobotomy or done an exorcism to cure the gay right out of her.
Finally, she said, “No. I’m going to try this.”
She said, “Katy, I am going to talk to the priest and I’m not going to approach it like a lawyer, and I’m just going to… see where it leads to.”
And what in the hell could I say to that?
I got up and I walked over and I sat down next to her. I nodded my head slowly. I said, “Okay.”
THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH.