Earlier, Trent had disappeared off to his room for a minute and Lilly was methodically going through the books on the bookshelf, pulling a book out enough to look at the title, cluck in disappointment like it wasn’t the one she was looking for, replace it and move on to the next in the same fashion. It was like she was some dour old wizard, looking for a particular scroll and becoming disappointed every time.
Eventually Trent came running back out with a change of wardrobe, all proud of his selection. I told him, “Don’t you look handsome! Way to go!”
Lilly just gave him a dirty look and continued with her books.
He went over to her and she got frustrated and looked at both of us like, “LOOK, THAT’S ALL VERY WELL AND GOOD, BUT IF I DON’T FIND THIS MANUSCRIPT, PANIS RAHL WILL HAVE HIS WAY WITH ALL OF US SO PLEASE KEEP IT DOWN OR WE’RE ALL IN FOR A WORLD OF PAIN.” She then sighed at us and turned back to her work.
Stick in the mud.
SPEAKING OF MYSTICISM
Mom wanted us to go to her church on Sunday, so we drove back to my hometown and went to church there. Being back in that building brought back a ton of memories. Also the walls have some weird plaster deal going on and they’re all sharp and pokey; I received many a gash on that darn thing back in the day™.
It’s a fairly old building, and I remember when I was little always poking about, secretly hoping for a trap door or a compartment of some kind. Hoping to find some long lost manuscript? Some secret treasure? Some forbidden knowledge? (How likely am I to find some secret forbidden church knowledge hidden in a Southern Baptist Church in Southeast Kansas? I can see it now, the Catholic Church Out To Get Me because I HAVE SECRET KNOWLEDGE! I don’t know why I said Catholic Church, but it seems like in all the movies where there’s clandestine knowledge they’re looking to snuff out it’s always the Catholic Church, isn’t it? THE VATICAN ARMY IS AFTER ME, HELP!) I’m not just looking there, but everywhere, I guess. I’m still searching, if I really have to come clean. I’m always looking for trap doors and hidden compartments. Hidden Things. I always picture someone in the past slipping documents or, well, anything really, (because I guess the very act of putting something in such a safe place makes it important, even if it’s something ordinary.) away waiting for the Right Person to come along and find it. I kind of imagine the Hide-r and the Hide-e (just go with it) to have a sort of intimate connection; the object being the bridge that connects the two, the act itself becomes like a barely noticeable nod or a wink. A secret handshake, an inside joke across time.
They were doing the Holy Sacrament, Communion, whatever Southern Baptists call it. It was odd because in the eighteen years I went to church they never once did it when I was around. (And I thought, “Oh, the Mystery! Oh, the Ritual! It’s like we’re Catholics!”) They saved it for the evening services when only the older people went. I know they did it occasionally, because my grandparents were the ones that had the little communion tray. (It was a really small church, my grandpa lead the songs, mom was the Sunday school teacher, etc.) so they had the tray at their house.
I asked why they had never ever done it when I was around, and grandma explained that they only did occasionally because there were some churches that did it every week and to her, it lost its meaning when it was done so often. Fair enough.
After services were done, they had my step dad (I have to say, I really really want to tell this part of the story because it’s funny, but I also feel really really bad because he is one of the kindest and nicest people I know, and he’s a good guy, so take this as it’s intended, because my heart is full of laughter and amusement when I tell this.) take the trays and load them into the car for them. (They’re old and have to walk with canes, so they can’t readily carry big/awkward things.) He had the little Tupperware container that had the grape juice or whatever my grandparents brought to represent the blood of Christ, and the other one containing the bread/body etc. On the way out, he popped the lid and was casually snacking on the crackery substance. I chuckled on the inside and thought, “Jesus Crackers! So light and buttery! OM NOM NOM! No? I Can’t Believe It’s Not Jesus? Savior Cakes?” It also made it extra-super-funny because of the whole, “Have it only occasionally to keep the important meaning of The Thing.” Indeed.
And I wondered…can he do that? Is that, like, okay?*
I mean, I know for a fact that they brought the juice and bread stuff from home, but does the pastor bless that stuff? Because, as I understand it, the ritual makes it become the thing. Right? I know they have places that you can order communion wafers from, but I don’t know if they bless them before they send them out, or if they leave it to the pastors/priests to do at their own church (although I can imagine an assembly line of priests, in full garb, on one side of a conveyor belt, blessing the wafers as they go by.) For all I know, they don’t necessarily HAVE to be blessed and it wasn’t done. I dunno. I’m just kicking it around in my head for my own amusement. (Although there was a fun conversation with Rebekah about being trapped in a communion wafer factory during the zombie apocalypse and whether God would be mad if we ate said wafers to survive. Yes. Good fun.)
*Edit: To be fair, I know that they made the stuff at home specifically for this, and that they were just probably going to toss the left overs. The grape juice is the same stuff the grandparents use to take their medicine in the mornings, and most likely would go right back in the fridge because, really, who can afford to waste anything? I just have amusing stupid thoughts in my head that are mostly stupid to everyone else and mostly amusing to only me. The end.