She kept returning from the dead as if it were still a surprise. She expected to be fed immediately as if we had nothing better to do, as if after her funeral we just remained seated in uncomfortable chairs and waited. We all had lives to live or at least fragments of a life, shards that however small still could be fit together to resemble a life of some sort. Even though my own life is so small and built upon a foundation of convenience yet, even that was too much for her to bear.
Why do you, sweet sister, of all people, neglect me, she would ask while smoking a rare brand of invisible cigarettes.
There was a time when I felt joy upon her return and would keep martinis in the crisper for the occasion; chilled to some private perfection. Now it was a struggle to buy the balloons.
I went to Saint Stephen’s to rent out the church basement as we had gotten in the habit of doing and spoke with Father Rainier. He took notice of my fallen countenance and offered the opportunity for confession at half of his normal price. He served saltines and sardines which I took as a clever joke on the fish and loaves story. As long as he didn’t try and baptize me again since he had nearly drowned me in the bird bath last time all while attempting to feel me up.
I mimed my confession, Father’s preferred method, wrote out a check and returned to my life. His response could be expected in three to five business days via certified mail. All things in their due time.
It was a couple of days later when I received her telegram. She changed her mind and was not coming back this time. She’d grown tired of saving the world and wanted only to be left alone. At the bottom of her telegram it read: I never wanted the world. I only wanted your half.
Father’s letter arrived the following day along with photographs of himself in compromising positions. He wrote: Now that you know about the power of the resurrection, allow me to tell you about madness.
Ha! They all claim to know about madness and the various cures when in reality the only way out is still the old fashioned way: the cross. A do it yourself kit with a cross and a crown of thorns. Just add sorrow and water. Begging for forgiveness is optional but encouraged.