Thursday, December 26, 2002

We attended midnight mass at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Church in Forest Hills, the church I attended as a child, the altar I walked off of when, at the height my holiness, I was relievedly dismissed from being an altar boy, the pews where I shook my eyes and stared and, as all around my pinpoint focus went dark, I would launch into a trance.

During the midnight Christmas service, this church had a tungsten brightness hitherto unavailable during the 20th Century. The priests brought a porcelain child around the pews and landed it in a nest made of hay.

Caesar had called for a census that year, sending everyone back to their hometowns to be counted, during which life went on, children were born, one child even born in a manger, among the calves, there being no room at "the inn." Try counting him in your census. (Only Isaac Assimov's actuarial table would dare factor in such a mule.)

His life would run a spectrum starkly displayed in the church: To our left was a stable dotted with an angel, to the further left, a wood carving of a man hammered to a cross bookended by two kneeling women prayerfully gazing up at him. Relive this individual's human path, from the manger to the crucifix -- a lifespan of 33 years -- from Christmas, Dec. 25, 2002 until Good Friday, April 18, 2003.

Monday, December 23, 2002

Everything's lovely, while we're eating and chatting when suddenly, chomp, my sharpened molar severs a piece of my own big tongue. Yum. and the dabbed blood makes the paper towel smell like hamburger meat served mmm mmm rare... Seven hours later the puncture wound's cauterized at last.