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Monday, April 14, 2003  

Palm Sunday, Part II

I hate blog entries that begin with the phrase, “so there we were.”

So there we were, in the lobby of a church we’d never been inside before. We were about to lead a parade of people we didn’t know into a church full of people we didn’t know. And as for what they expected of us, we didn’t know that either. Maybe we were just expected to walk in and sit down, or maybe we were supposed to do something at the front of the church, and maybe that something would involve stone knives and blood gutters. That wasn’t a chance we were prepared to take, but we also didn’t want to speak up and explain that, really, we’d just wandered in off the street, and if y’all could please line up behind somebody else, that’d be swell, thanks. No, somebody else I said. Dammit.

Trash and I both became aware of what poor weapons the palm fronds in our hands would make.

We began trying to communicate telepathically, and I think the adrenaline in our systems boosted the signal somehow. We had a plan, and we put it in motion.

The column of the faithful was poised to enter, with us at its head. The doors opened.

We whirled and made a break for the exit door. We started running as soon as we hit the sidewalk and didn’t stop until we were in the car. There was a horror-movie moment when the car didn’t start for a second, but it quickly turned over and we were on our way, a screaming mob of furious palm-wavers receding in the rearview mirror.

Or maybe it was just a very confused procession of people who thought they were supposed to march into the church.

Actually, we didn’t look in the mirror, and if they were screaming they were doing it very quietly, but we didn’t go straight home. We drove around randomly for several minutes, running stop signs and crowding yellow lights in order to shake off any possible pursuers.

For days, weeks, months afterward, any time we drove past that church, we’d speed up and duck down, as if we were fugitives. Even if it was 3:00 a.m. on a Wednesday.

When Trash’s stepsister got married there a couple of years ago, we were almost afraid to go back. But it was on a Saturday evening, and I think the statute of limitations had expired by then.

I’m not sure, though. Does anybody know what the statute of limitations is on ditching a church procession?

In any case, the first time we walked into the church was several years after we were expected to. And we were glad to see that in the intervening period, all of the stone knives and blood gutters had been removed. For the duration of the ceremony, at least.

posted by M. Giant 3:20 PM 0 comments


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