In my fantasy, I am drinking French roast coffee made in a French press pot with freshly ground beans. I am eating a butter croissant slathered with butter and fig jam. I am reading the New York Times at a leisurely pace in no hurry to do anything in particular.
In reality, I made the coffee, prepared the croissant, took the papers off the porch, sat in my “comfy chair” (imagine Monty Python’s Spanish Inquisition), found the Mississippi John Hurt Delta Blues recordings on YouTube my friend recommended. As I opened the paper, I acknowledged to my innermost self that I have zero (0) interest in reading the paper. I am not going to spend this Sunday, damp, chilly, and rainy though it may be, getting agitated by current events. Why? I have a whole damn week for that. Shortly after Mississippi John Hurt finishes Sliding Delta and Charley Patton does Jesus Is A Dying Bed Maker, I go upstairs, put on starched white shirt, black trousers, hounds’ tooth jacket, black tie, and shiny black shoes. I’m going to Mass.
My soul needs it all. The time with God, sitting with my friend Madeleine, and watching the families together, especially the children. Unbeknownst to me, it is Catholic Schools Week, so the school children process in and sit together in the front pews. The children are wearing their school,uniforms, the boys with white polo shirts with the St Benedict Crest, while the girls wear the grey plaid jumpers. (Is it really 2018, not 1958?) The oft-satirized Drill Instructor Nuns are a thing of the past. The teachers are all lay people.
The Mass ends just as my back can take sitting, kneeling, and genuflecting no longer. Now comes the piece de resistence. We sing the beautiful Alma Redemptoris Mater for the recessional. Father Tony notes my buzz cut with approval when I shake his hand at the door. He gives my noggin a rub, a most friendly and welcome gesture. He is human. Whaddaya know!
Home. Then we take a trip to a pizzeria for white spinach pizza, then back home. Mrs CorC? has work. I take a nap, debating whether I really want to swim today, aching body and all. I go, complete 2500 meters. I’m glad I did. It means that my average is 5 workouts per week, 20 swims in 28 days. The pain is considerably lessened. Thank you, endorphins.
I am especially proud that I watched no sports this Sunday or the whole weekend for that matter. I have had enough. In my head, I hear Dylan Thomas read:
“I see the Boys of Summer in their ruin…”
It is over.
Instead I listen to Ella Fitzgerald sing Rogers & Hart songs. Such a voice, such delightful songs. I secretly long for a woman who loves Rogers & Hart and Ella as much as I do. That would be, well, perfect.