The Surge and I got into a bit of a disagreement. Okay so it was a fight that ended with him telling me to "shut the fuck up" smack dab in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Times Square. Actually, that wasn't what ended the fight. The end was me storming away. I simply turned on the heel of my size seven Chuck Taylors and stomped down 42nd Street leaving my husband alone with thousands of others.
"Let that bastard go home on his own." I grumbled to myself.
A few minutes later:
"Tell me to 'shut the fuck up'. I'll show you 'shut the fuck up'."
A few minutes after that:
"Bastard! I just won't come home tonight" I continued ranting to myself.
I began to formulate an elaborate plan which involved me getting drunk on red wine in some strange Upper East Side bar and not returning home until very, very late. AND I will shut off my cell phone. Maybe he will think I was mugged. Or maybe kidnapped. That'll teach him to tell me to shut the fuck up. Hopefully he is in tears, ripping his hair out by the time I stagger home pretending to be blissfully unaware of the time.
Speaking of time, I checked my watch. Seven PM. Shit. I've got hours to kill before I can even start drinking. Can't get so drunk I forget which subway to take home. Just drunk enough to anesthetize the agony that is being married... Tell me to 'shut the fuck up'.... By my calculations, I should start drinking at around 11PM. That way I probably won't make it home until 1AM or maybe even 2! Perfect. Kind of. That leaves four hours before I can start drinking. Good Lord what will I do?
My exhausted feet began to beg for a rest. A Barnes & Noble up ahead beckoned like a McDonalds on a desolate freeway. I could pass a good hour in there perusing the bookshelves. Turns out, Barnes & Noble was more crowded than a Nebraska Wal-Mart on a Saturday. Not an empty chair in sight. I stepped back onto a Fifth Avenue ablaze with headlights. As I continued uptown I passed two Starbucks fuller than a Venti Mocha with whip spilling over the sizes. Not an available chair in either place.
St. Patrick's Cathedral loomed up ahead. What the fuck... I'll just go in there for a bit. I entered the elegantly lit Cathedral and was immediately cheered. Candles flickered mysteriously along the walls and there were no annoying loud talkers on cell phones a la Starbucks. No troublesome technology assaulting my senses. Ipods, bluish computer screens, chirping cell phone rings... And there was tons of available seating. Rows and rows of unoccupied benches! Sweet. A reverent hush reigned within the towering marble walls. Finally. Peace, quiet and a place to sit. Plus, I don't have to buy anything except perhaps the idea of God. But fuck it, my dogs are barking.. I need to sit down.
I walked slowly down the center aisle behind a shuffling homeless woman and a man in a snazzy business suit. I watched carefully as the sharp suited man knelt and made the sign of the cross before entering the row of pews. I passed him by, and stopped at a row a couple yards in front of him. Feeling very conspicuous, not sure if genuflecting is a requirement, I went to do the sign of the cross but wasn't quite sure of the proper order. I fumbled and went to kneel like the man did, felt silly and ended up bowing in a distinctly Asian fashion. Bowing at nothing in particular. The kind of bowing a karate student engages in with an opponent before kicking his or her ass.
I sat down and leaned forward, resting my forehead on the back of the bench in front of me. Fuck The Surge. I concentrated on breathing slowly. The murmers of tourists and the comforting smell of smoke from the candles they were lighting soon lulled me into a calm, reflective state. Since I was in God's house and all I figured I might as well have a go at trying to chat with the host.
I used to pray all the time and as I sat there I realized my spirituality is all but dead. It died a painful death along with my Mormon faith. It's tough to carve a new God from that hulking mass of mangled Mormon beliefs. The wreckage is still smoldering and every time I try to touch it I get burned. Like when you burn your tongue on a hot drink and you feel the sore spot for the rest of the day. It's kind of numb and kind of painful. That's how it feels to contemplate God these days.
After a good ten minutes trying to commune with whoever it is I'm supposed to talk to while resting my dogs in a Catholic church I came to the conclusion that I'm more likely to find God in the mountains or next to the ocean than some herculean church with creepy, nearly pornographic statues clinging seductively to the walls and so I quickly gave up the prayer. But the environment was so conducive to meditation that I ended up sitting there for nearly an hour.
People came and went and still I sat. Assuming my head was bowed in prayer instead of the anger and exhaustion that caused me to sit there, nobody bothered me. Ironic. All this time I've been running away from the chaos church created in my life and here I was missing out on the place nobody can bother me with their annoying people-y peopleness. I just need to bring a flask next time and I'm set. Or like, figure out where the priests keep the wine.