I just finished reading “A Visit from the Goon Squad.” It’s by Jennifer Egan and it’s great. I also really liked Erik Larson’s “Devil in the White City.” I don’t write book reviews, so that’s all I’ve to say about that.
Work has completely comsumed my life — I work seven days a week for fifteen or so hours. Thankfully, my job is very easy and supervision is lax or else, I might cry. I came in yesterday — Sunday for those of you who have Columbus Day off as a “holiday.”
That’s a funny word. (Just because I’m not crying doesn’t mean I’m not delirious.)
The easy job I have now is very close to the first lawyer job I ever had in New York City. And yesterday, after four hours of doing my mind numbingly repititious task, I decided to go to church. It’s one I found about 10 years ago, at the very tip of Manhattan island, almost parallel to the Statue of Liberty, which, thanks to Dr. Who, I now imagine roaming the streets of lower Manhattan killing people… and snarling. Thanks A LOT STEVEN L MOFFAT — IF THAT’S EVEN YOUR REAL NAME! (It’s probably not. I certainly made up the L part.)
Anyway, the church…. I’d passed it a million times on my way to grab a quick lunch or walk around in Battery Park City. Then, sometime during the fall of 2002 or 2003… I was working with a pretty unreasonable dickbag associate on a cumbersome SEC investigation. We were working around the clock every day, and one Saturday night, I left my office, crossed the street and found the information I needed.
The next morning, as dickbag was barking out his orders, I very calmly told him, I was happy to do whatever he needed, but I’d be going to church from 11 to twelve. I silently added “suck it.” For the duration of that project, I went to church EVERY Sunday. He had taken to including asides like “blah blah blah, can wait till 1 because I guess Dawn has to go to church again.”
I’d smile. And silently add “suck it,” in reply.
I liked the little church at the tip of the island. It was a simple one story, white chapel with a cross on top, not unlike the school building in Little House on the Prarie. Masses there were de minimis lighting fast ceremonies. Most of the parishioners had lanyards with company ID cards around their necks.
I remember the priest noting that, one morning, with a sigh. “So much for taking the Sabbath to rest,” he’d said, “but then, I guess you wouldn’t be here with me today,” he added with a weak laugh. We’d be done in little more than half an hour and I’d dilly dally watching ferries or whatever for the remainder of the hour before returning to the dickbag’s iron fisted rule.
I walked to the church, yesterday, figuring we could quickly knock out our holy obligations… I get paid by the hour now, so dilly dallying is no longer preferred. But the church had changed dramatically. Not the infrastructure… that remains Prarie-esque. But the pews were filled with families and instead of one celebrant, there’s a triumverate of priests and an organist and lectors. Good grief — it’s like church church.
I sighed, but thought, at least, it’s a week off from my usual experience of Father Annotation. (This dude has to explain what the upcoming reading will be about: “You’ll hear how Job’s faith was tested by the blah blah blah blah…. *four minutes later* okay, and now the passage from Job… Lisa?” Lisa reads. Father annotation THEN tells us what we just heard! “See how Job’s faith was tested in the reading blah blah blah blah blah blah?” He does this before and after each reading AND THEN AGAIN for the gospel. That he does it for the gospel is particularly annoying because HE ALSO GETS A HOMILY! #CatholicPeopleProblems
So, while, I’d be in for an hour of church church at least it wouldn’t be *annoying* church.
THIS guy was like Father Annotation WITH AN ART HISTORY Masters degree. He blah blah blahed WITH historical examples and pretentious French phrases! HE WOULD NOT STOP TALKING. Oh and then he changed that week’s Gospel reading JUST BECAUSE.
And then a four year old went rogue and started running up and down the aisles and he used the escape as an excuse to launch into a lecture about the hypnotic effect of church’s tiling.
I left after 75 minutes… right in the middle of his “Oh, tomorrow is Columbus Day, that reminds me…” bit.
It was pouring when I left, but seeing as I had no umbrella, I ducked into a Starbucks and ordered some coffee.
I took a sip, walked over to the window and waited.