Saturday, April 22, 2006

Easter Visit

Holy Saturday (yeah, I know the names of things, like the day before was Good Friday) TSO comes to town accompanied by his wife whose name I can't mention because I don't know if he wants me to. They arrived just in time to miss my wife (who doesn't want her name mentioned because of details to follow), she having left for the Easter Vigil. She'd been planning it for some time and thinks she needs to leave an hour before it starts. She likes it. All three hours of it. I think that's the one where they turn out the lights and make everyone hold a candle and at some point induct all the poorly catechized catachumens. At least she cleaned the house up before she left.

I'm the sort who's always looking for the worm in the apple, the phoney in the baloney, the pathy in the psyche, the hippo in the critt, the mania in the ego, so I'd like to be able to dish up the dirt on our old O'Rama, but it ain't happening. Paul Cella's wife once told him that I write like my personality (which I decided to take as a compliment), and that's pretty much true of TS, except that in person he's even more modest, less self-referential, admirably restrained and throroughly diplomatic. He hasn't an unkind word for anyone, which was disappointing. I think that on the blog he's actually cutting loose; it's his version of Animal House.

We ate barbeque and drank Bass Ale. His wife, whose name I can't mention because... etc., preferred St. Pauli Girl, which is a very good sign. I like her - a bit of a sparkplug. She likes to eat and drink and talk and laugh and, best of all, she plays the piano. Practices two hours a day. She sat down at ours and plinked out Für Elise and got applause for it. I imagine she keeps his life interesting. He treats her like the Queen, another good sign, and couldn't resist telling me how "good" she's been for him. Sounds like she pulled him out of the gutter or something, though I didn't press for details. Besides, it's hard to picture TS in the gutter. But that's what my wife did for me, and what probably some of yours have done for you. Poor womankind. She bears throughout the ages the burden of blame for the Fall of Man, then spends those intervening centuries trying to save man from himself.

Did I get off track there? Well, I was sorry to see them go. As we were out front saying good-bye, I hear my cell phone ringing. I make some joke to TS about how I'd like to throw it in the lake. Later, about an hour's worth later, I'm inside piddling around (I think I was doing the dishes and slugging on a Bass at the same time) when it occurs to me I'd never checked the messages. So I pick up the cell phone and it's from she whose name cannot be mentioned (my she, not TS's). It had come in around 8:45 and it was now 9:45. This was odd, since the call would have been made right in the middle of the Mass that never ends, and she wasn't the type who leaves her phone on in church. So I called and she answered from the vestibule of the church, where she was sitting in a wheelchair. She needed me to come pick her up because "they" didn't want her to drive home. She'd passed out in church and had been in no hurry to recover consciousness. Yessir, right after they turned off the lights she mentioned to the lady next to her how warm it seemed, then keeled over right into that lady's lap. Fortunately they knew each other from much churchgoing, so the lady treated her with some kindness. (You never know how they'll treat you anymore, even in church.) Senator Mel Martinez was sitting in the row behind and hopped up to retrieve an usher, but I still think he's a wimp for his recent cave on the Schiavo matter. Anybody can get an usher. That's the least you can do. Senators don't think like you and me. Everything's an image question. Go ahead, call me a cynical ingrate. See if I care. When I got to the church she was standing outside with a couple of parishioners who stuck with her and neither of them bearing any national prominence. I took her to her car and she drove it home. When we got there I might even have given her a hug. I was just glad it was nothing serious because we need her around here, even when she's striving for anonymity.

Well, TS, hope it happens again soon. And make sure you bring your wife. Or is it the other way around? Paul Cella should be here in a week or so, and that'll help me forget about you. Meeting Culbreath seems a distant dream by now, but I haven't given up. Pray for that guy, by the way. Don't ask why, just do it.


alicia said...

If I ever manage to drag john to florida you can be sure he'll come visit you.
he's an occasional beer drinker too, but he likes things like rolling rock and anchor steam - california kid.
i personally love easter vigil but this year we almost didn't have our organist. she keeled over in the middle of practice a few weeks before easter and ended up in the hospital for several days. seems she'd fallen down the concrete steps into the church, and not wanting to mess up rehearsal, minimized both the amount of pain she was having and just how bad she was feeling. You haven't lived until you've been working to keep an 80 something young lady conscious in a choir loft while waiting for the paramedics to arrive. Picture them carrying her down the steel and narrow stairs in a gurney. that was our pre-easter excitement.

Anonymous said...

Dear Bill,

I had a much less eventful meeting, praise God!

I do, however, have an opportunity coming up to make my way out to Sacramento. In so doing I may be able to meet Mr. Culbreath--we shall see.



William Luse said...

If you do, it will certainly create a point of envy. You will also be able to tell me if he writes like his personality, though I already know the answer. Actually, I want to meet his wife almost as much as I want to meet him.

TS said...

Well, we almost got our "Baring, Over Baring, and Past Baring" meeting but Culbreath couldn't make it, 'eh? Alas.

I appreciate the lack of dirt-dishing (dish-dirting?). The check is in the mail, ha.

I was in the gutter before meeting my wife, though not the physical kind, more the moral.

William Luse said...

Hey, I feel your pain. Or is it nostalgia? :~)

Jeff Culbreath said...

Really sorry to have missed the meeting, gents. (Not sure about LeXuan.) I do hope to meet Steven when he comes out. Perhaps we'll make a traditionalist out of him. Or he'll make a Carmelite of me. Or both.

Paul Cella said...

I think it would be vaguely uncomplimentary to remark that someone writes quite unlike his personality.

A more difficult question is whether a man plays golf like his personality . . .

William Luse said...

One of the appeals golf had for me was that it required qualities uncongenial to my personality: patience, self-discipline, temperamental quietude, and a love of humiliation. After the round was over, it was back to the same old me.

Not sure about LeXuan, Jeff? What's she trying to do, break my heart?

TS said...

By the way, I relayed what I'd recalled of this post to Steph, saing, "He called you a fireplug or a sparkplug."

"Which one?"

"Does it make a difference?"


She was relieved when she read it and saw sparkplug instead of fireplug.

William Luse said...

I may be a sloppy blogger, but I ain't stupid.

Besides, she's the kind of woman whose inner beauty any sane man would find to be her most striking feature.