monologue at 3 a.m.

i have been one acquainted with the night...

name:robin    residence: dayton, ohio, united states
et cetera

Monday, February 14, 2005

a few things...

i thought i would mention a few things before you proceed to the following two posts.
1.) this is the short story i turned in for my class (yes it needs revision so if you have a suggestion(s) feel free to make it in the comments section of either of the posts)
2.) i got the sermon story from something i heard Erwin McManus say on a dvd
3.) the thought of me having posted this makes me want to puke (yes...it makes me that nervous)

thank you.....enjoy if you can

Let It Snow (part 1)

I swung the door shut on my white Shadow and stood in the parking lot staring at the steeple that loomed high above me. Gray and weathered, it had seen better days. But then, so had I. I wondered if this time would be any different. My doubt punctuated by little clouds of breath, I trudged against the impinging cold. I must have passed a dozen rows in that parking lot, all littered with mini-vans and family cars. I imagined all the happy little families that must ride about in them. Sitting in the pews. Smiling. All being good little Christians. Right down to the gurgling babies in their mothers’ laps.

It was silent outside the church. Save the scraping of my high heels across the concrete sidewalk. I teetered up the well-worn cement steps and noticed a woman watching me from the glass double doors. No, I was mistaken. It was not a woman that stood looking at me, but a girl. A girl who was playing dress-up in her mother’s clothes. A black skirt hung loosely on her; hose gathered about her ankles like elephant skin. The winter coat barely clung to her shoulders. She wore a grimace upon her naked lips. They twisted into a wry smirk as I reached for the door. I clutched the handle, and her hand melded into the doorframe. I left her on the other side of the glass and made my way down an orange-carpeted hall. Wood paneling flanked me on either side. Music filtered through the walls and assailed my head with the standard assortment of piano, organ, and voice. I ascended the balcony stairway slowly, reluctant to join the ranks of those singing. Atop the staircase, I faltered. All those cheerful faces. Devout people. What was I doing there?

I pondered turning around, running for my car, escaping that place. I would rather have been anywhere but there. Home was where I really wanted to be. I wanted to see mom again, to talk to her, to tell her how sorry I was, to hear her say my name. I would have given anything for her to speak to me again. But I couldn’t do anything about that. Not anymore.

Nevertheless, I stayed in the church. Why, I couldn’t say. But I stayed just the same. I quietly slid into the nearest pew. I doubted the lady next to that vacancy even noticed me filling it. She was devoting all her concentration to the hymnal clasped in her wrinkled hands. She still sang off key. I felt foolish sitting there watching her. Looking for faith in my orange pew. It wasn’t long though, before the hymn reached its last refrain and the preacher moved to the pulpit. He looked a bit odd behind that large wooden stump of a podium. Like a bust that is kept on display in a museum. He was an average looking man. Average for a preacher at least. Gray headed and a little portly he stood a couple feet taller than the podium. He looked to be around the age my father should be. Would be. If things had been different.

Let It Snow (part 2)

It was not a young crowd that occupied that sanctuary. No, I’d say it was middle-aged at best. So why was the preacher reminiscing about college? What need does this crowd have to be warned against the temptations of drunken frat parties brimming with scantily clad girls? He surprised me though. That wasn’t where he was going at all. No, instead he spoke of a girl he met while in college. A girl who neither dated him nor became his wife. She was his lab partner in Chemistry 121. Naturally, they rarely talked of anything other than chemistry because of this. On one rare occasion, she did ask him about his religion. He replied with, of course, nothing short of the gospel. Birth to death to resurrection. She scoffed at none of this. What she scoffed at was his assurance of God’s love. Both for himself and her. She said she needed proof. In a moment of rash foolishness, he declared that God would do anything, even something as insignificant as making it snow, to prove His love for her. Without hesitation, she agreed if it were to snow by morning she could believe God loved her. He spent most of that night on his dorm room floor. Praying it would snow before the morning came and falling asleep before the night passed. When the buzzing of his alarm clock woke him, he went to his window. Afraid to part the curtains he just stood there for a while, until he heard a girl shouting outside. He drew back the curtains to see the campus blanketed in white. Outside the dorms, that girl stood in the middle of all the snow and shouted to anyone who would listen that God loved her.

The preacher made a few more points after he finished his story. I couldn’t tell you what they were. Even if I wanted to. The music minister occupied the pulpit again and asked everyone to turn to hymn 171, Dear Refuge of My Weary Soul. I didn’t pick up a hymnal. Instead I picked up my coat and slipped down the stairs. I wasn’t in the mood to play games. It was hard enough for me to smile when I felt like it, let alone when I didn’t. Besides I needed to feed Jenny’s cat. She let me housesit for her that weekend. The escape from my roommates was appreciated. It was difficult for me to find time to be alone. Especially living with those two girls. But that Sunday I had plenty. On the drive to Jenny’s I wasn’t sure if I really wanted that time alone now that I had it.

Would mom be proud of me? For going to church, I mean. I wondered if she still went. Did she still believe in God? We used to be one of those happy families. The ones that sat smiling in the pew. So picturesque and ethereal. But that was a long time ago. Before Dad died. Before Hope died. The first few weeks after it happened mom blamed herself for not making Hope wear her water wings. Not long after that, she started to blame me. I was supposed to be watching her. Mom had told me to keep an eye on Hope while she played in her pool. It was one of those cheap plastic ones with the animals parading across the side. I just went to answer the phone. I was only gone a minute. Just a minute. I didn’t think anything would happen. I thought she would be ok. But I was wrong. At her funeral, I put the water wings in her casket. Dad had always called her his little angel. But that was before she died. He never really talked about her afterwards. He would just sit in their rocking chair, his and Hope’s, and hold The Velveteen Rabbit. It was her favorite. Mom found him in the bathtub a month later. He had plugged in the hair dryer and thrown it in the tub with him.

I fed Jenny’s cat and went upstairs. I sat on her bed and stared out the window. In the thin layer of frost on the pane I wrote my name with my fingertip. Faith. I watched the clouds sail through the darkening sky. I waited. For what, I wasn’t sure. But I waited just the same. And I wondered. Could it snow for me too?

Saturday, February 12, 2005

i know...i know...

yes, i need to post. no if's, and's, or but's about it. i am long overdue for a post. but sad to say i will not really be posting today...hopefully tomorrow....but i will give no guarantees. so upon the completion of my short story, i shall post. until then i bid you well.