Saturday, December 6, 2008

A Theocratic-Anarchist Visits St. Joseph’s Oratory

I stand at the wall in the hallway at this wooden box where there are little envelopes and stubby pencils. These yellow pencils too short for a man’s hand with blunt tips best for a scrawl but not elegance of handwriting. If I take one of the envelopes and scribble on it my pledge, or my prayer, it will reveal my name as well as that this man who wrote this contact information is crude in the way say of a farm laborer, or a ditch digger, or the fellow that day-to-day drives the white metal machine that cleans the streets. Who will presume that is a lie?

This station is located around the corner from the stair leading up. It is as if a stopover on the way to the steps to god. It is alone in the hall against a bare wall. Or, it is a short way along in a sterile corridor that leads to the door that goes outside. There seems no reason to stop here other than the attraction of the wooden box. A slot in the top for acceptances of cash, coins, bills.

There are these little bitty cardboard cards printed with the visage of a deceased priest. Nobody I ever knew, nor that I have ever heard mentioned, having read in no books nothing about him. There is a comfortable anonymity between us in that I do not know of him and that by the separation of death on his part I presume he does not stand in some other alternate parallel consecrated hallway a poor soul stuck in the vicinity of this formality of a wooden box in order to watch over those who may linger here as if caught in a moth trap.

The back of the card has a green paper glued to it with a hole in the middle the size of a dwarfed pea that shows a blue dot. Étoffe ayant touché aux ossements du P. Moreau, fondateur. Filched and tucked in my shirt pocket as a reminder of this pause in the climb I turn quietly and with the deliberation to follow behind my wanderlust companions as I move toward the stair and on upward.

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