Nov 18, 2005

I laugh

Sometimes I think of things that are funny. Things that make me want to laugh out loud, when it is inappropriate to laugh out loud. Such as when walking down a long (three city blocks long) rather (misleadingly) quiet by-way (I don't know what else to call it) at work.

So, even when you think you are alone (in such a by-way), I've learned, you are probably not alone. There is always someone. Someone just behind a file of walls or a pretend fireplace, waiting to pop up. And enquire as to what is so funny.

They're always there.

But I tend to want to laugh inappropriately in places populated with people, too. Like on the subway. Or when I'm waiting in line to purchase my bread, lentils, or levis from the black market every third Sunday of the month. Either way.

But never in church. I never laugh in church.

Because I never go to church.

But it happened when I was in grade school. Then, I attended church nearly every day.

And all of us were laughing, back then, at one point or another.

Because, children, by adult standards, are insane.

They expected us to laugh. In church. They knew. They remembered. They. Those that were in charge of us. They had punishments for laughing ready and waiting. They were smart that way.

And we fully expected to be punished. But that was ok. It was out of our hands. We were laughing because the whole thing, though we were conditioned to accept it, was insane. Particularily in contrast with the rest of the school day.

The sheer height and drama of the buttressed building, versus the drab, yet very clean smelling, institutional part of the building, where we attended classes.

In the church there was the surround of stained glass. The enormous cross. The blood red fabric on the alter. And the body of Christ (waffers; sometimes pancakes)
and the blood of Christ (a nice clairet) offered up for consumption.

The whole Gothic-German-Holy incredibleness plopped down right smack on a regular street in a suburb of Chicago. Just like a million others.

It was a very pretty church.

Ornate yet sparse. Replete with songs sung in a language none of us spoke. With ideas imparted to us that none of us questioned.

Wrapped up in a Medieval universe all unto itself. Every detail meant to create an indelible thoughtform. An inspiring yet slightly terrifying experience. One that would stick in our brains forever (and ever). So that we might become better human beings.

And I'm sure it worked.

On the way out, the older boys would splash each other with holy water from the font, and yell, your mama (this and that) at each other.

Good kids. We were.

I liked the regularity with which I attended church as a child.

Church. At some point between Math and recess. It was nice. I never told anyone that I liked it. That would have made me an asshole. But I liked it. It was pretty. And wrought with mystery. If not promise.

And it was frightening.

So I laughed. I couldn't help it.


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  2. Fuck off, Jenny.

    Nice post, Vic.

  3. I miss you when you don't write!

  4. New Question of the Week