I’m writing to you from Conspire, the little cafe where we shot those photos of the old school parking meters. I’ve just come back from that church, the one we were going to take topless pictures in front, well until a pang of sobriety reminded us that there are some people who take dead saints seriously and those very people might be around at that moment. The dead saints were at least. Yeah, that church, the one we returned to the next day and didn’t cross ourselves with holy water in, but instead sat in and took pictures of, like we were students in a history class.
I’d been wondering about that church for a while, The Catholic Church of Phoenix something or other and with you I got to sooth my curiosity for a bit. Today I finally went back to that church, by myself. And I admit, I wanted it to be something, I don’t know… spiritual? Like it is in the movies, I wanted it to be that. So I walked through the Palo Verdes and the statues that populated the courtyard, and breathed it all in deep and green, marking it down on lined paper in my head. I passed the wheel chair ramp tempted to play on it like I did when I was a kid. Instead I took the stairs, counting the steps as I ascended hoping secretly that there would be 13. There were 20. At the big heavy doors I turned off my Ipod because I thought it was the right thing to do.
I walked into the church squinting me eyes in preparation for the dim gothic lighting and I saw in front of me a man knelt and in the throws of a few “Our Father’s” and a couple of “Hale Maries.” I felt gypped. This was supposed to be my spiritual reawakening and already this guy was better at it than I was. Then to my left on their way out came two sweet old ladies. Real tia Martha characters you know what I’m saying? Their hair different shades of the same bouffant, their crosses shining silver and gold atop kitten sweaters, bibles in their little hands and warm smiles aimed at my heavy eyelids. And you know what I did? I fucking crossed myself, holy water and all. The catholic way with four full points and a kiss at the end; not the JW way, up and down to no end.
I don’t know why either. I guess I felt, challenged or shamed even, there by myself and without an official non believer card. I did my best to be silent and sat in a center pew and listened with respect to the sound of the chirping birds and faint honking of horns through the stain glass virgins and sinners. It was what I was hoping for, so on cue I closed my eyes and tried to well them up like I do when I run out of points to make in a fight with Robert. I tried not to think I guess. And I wanted to achieve something. I wanted the pew to become a vessel rocketing me to galaxies far, far away and get sucked into the inescapable whirling gravity of the nearby planetarium black holes, only to be flung into some other Einsteinian parallel universe where our lives were some tragic remnants of the bad decisions we didn’t make here.
But it didn’t happen. I couldn’t wipe my brain clean and start some other adventure. All I could really do was map out how I was going to write this to you. I wasn’t lost in the midst of celestial fancy free because I didn’t want to be. And you over coffee and beer, helped me come up with that. No flying buttresses necessary. So in that moment I walked my ass out of there, but not before offering up a dollar and quietly activating a total of five electric candles. But when I did walk out the Ipod was on before my foot touched the cement. And as I walked, I wrote, wrote, wrote to you in my head but left the apartment without a notebook in my back pocket, despite my better judgment. I made my way here though to this little coffee shop where I stupidly asked for iced water…”if you’ve got it.” Of course they have ice water. I picked up this little pocket book that I hope to remember to pay for. And I started to write to you because I wanted to say thanks, for reminding me that our lives are t.v. shows and we have to be the executive producers. And even though I can’t always catch every episode of yours I know I can hulu that shit late at night with my boy at my side. And for as much fun as it will be to watch the single girl seasons, I’m totally rooting for you and your Big, or your Ross or your Dylan McKee… enh scratch that last one. Either way, I’s been fun tuning in.