Saturday, February 11, 2006

two foxes, three bats and dying

This is a sample of things that happened this week.
Nothing special.
Life just has lots of different colors, that's all.

1. I had stopped on the side of the street to answer my cell phone when a little kid with a backpack and a box of juice opened the door of the van and got in. We stared at each other for what seemed like decades until he uttered words of profound truth: "You're not my mom." "Nor are you my son", I observed.

Damn mini-vans all look alike.

He quickly exited and I decided to move on before the local authorities asked me what I was doing outside the school to begin with.

2. I got home Tuesday at 4pm. As soon as I opened the door and shut off the alarm, I knew something was terribly wrong. My four brain damaged parakeets were absolutely silent. I climbed the stairs to the second floor hallway and saw them huddled together in the cage, under their wooden house, trembling with fear.

The reason? Three bats were flapping about, helter-skelter, throughout the upper floor of the rectory. This is February, people. The dead of winter in New England. Aren't bats marsupials or herbivores or crustaceans or whatever? You know, the type of critter that HIBERNATES in the winter?

It's got to be global warming. Even the bats are confused.

3. Old lady #1: I was sitting where I always like to sit at the cinema, the last row of floor seats before the stairs, watching the trailers. An old man, himself none too steady on his own feet, was steering a wheelchair with a rather large woman in my direction. He stopped by the aisle seat and, with difficulty, maneuvered the chair according to his wife's instructions. She then tried to unload herself from the wheelchair to the theatre seat with her husband's help.

In fact, she plopped unceremoniously to the floor.

She glared up at her hapless mate and accused him publicly: "See that? You done it again! Look at me here on my butt in front of everybody. Ain't that a fine sight?"

It was, indeed, a fine sight.

So fine, that I got up and offered a hand at the same time her chastised husband was trying to lift her considerable butt off the carpet. She said to me, "Thank you, young man. I'm sorry to be of bother." And she pushed her husband away nearly shouting, "Don't you grab me, you ol' fool! You want to end up on the floor with me?" He did not. I could tell.

4. On Thursday evening I went to unlock the rectory door because folks were showing up for the parish council meeting. There, outside the door on the frozen lawn were two grayish-red foxes. They startled, stared and then scampered down the embankment toward the railroad tracks. There appears to be an urban fox population now in our vecinity. Who knew?

5. Old lady #2 and #3: The woman I went to visit at the nursing home yesterday was quite ill and quite old. I sat at her bedside for a few minutes after giving her the annointing of the sick. The door opened, a head leaned in and said, "Padre, Catalina's mother is here and wants to see you." And I thought Catalina looked old...

Catalina's mother told me that she had thirteen children and Catalina was the third she watched die. She also said that children should bury their parents, not the other way around. But I guess that's just one of the risks of living to be 98 years old. You may outlive your children.

And that's the Exorcist's post for today.