Update at 6:00 PM:
Avg Pace:15:27 min/hour
Distance:13.1 miles
Speed: 3.88 mph
I can do this thing. And Tina Turner and Shaquira are my BFF!!!

Sherod’s off to Alabama for the long weekend, to visit his mom and try out the new rifle he wanted as a Christmas gift. He stopped overnight in Crawfordville to gather up Charlie, his son, and Robert, his grandson. This is deer hunting season in that neck of the woods and I won’t be surprised to see Sherod bring home some venison. The picture of three generations of Mallow-men going up the road in the direction of those adventures is pleasing. I am also reminded that almost 25 years of marriage in no way erase the enormous distance between Sherod’s starting place in life and mine. We are knit together and the strands remain so distinct if you look closely. Continuing to mess around with metaphors, the arcs intersect for shorter, sometimes for longer, spans of time, but the trajectories are so much each our own, ours alone to follow.

It’s been a strange week. Maria has her ups and downs and there is no getting around that. Work was rough; towards the end of the week, really rough. By yesterday afternoon, I was ready to climb the walls so I started trying to figure out what I could do to have a bit of fun. Years ago, I had a remarkable friend called Genie. She is probably the most brilliant person I have ever met. I have not seen or talked to her for a couple of decades yet I constantly draw from some of the things I learned from her. I remember that she absolutely loved the Rocky Horror Picture Show so yesterday, when I went looking for a movie to take myself to, I was pleased to find out it was playing at midnight in one of our artsy, small movie theaters. I’m not quite sure why, but I decided to check with someone else I thought might know about the movie. Basically, my question was “thumbs up or thumbs down?”.

I got a very unexpected response. I had known that people dress up to go to this cult movie and actively participate in it. But yesterday I also learned that there are other parts to the experience. One piece is basically a hazing ritual for people who have come to the movie for the first time called the “devirgining ritual”. You get the idea: it runs the gamut from mildly amusing to totally outrageous, moving up and down the continuum of bawdy. One of the examples I read on line involves standing in front of the whole audience to imitate your favorite cartoon figure in the throes of the big O. What’s a little scary is I knew immediately which cartoon I would imitate and how. However, one thing was very clear to me: a place like Gateway at midnight is a point of intersection between my private life and my public life as a priest. My participation in anything unseemly would reflect not only on me, but on the community I am so honored to serve. I cannot willfully cause unnecessary pain and damage; there simply was no question that I could go.

As twilight set in, I felt so totally alienated from my life, I wanted nothing more than to curl into a ball and disappear. I’ll give myself credit for refusing to surrender completely to a pity party. I went out and did the grocery shopping I needed to do, came back home and served myself a healthy, delicious meal, read for a while, and watched an episode of Torchwood, a series that’s an off-shoot of Dr. Who. More than usual, I was glad for sleep. This morning, it is raining and everything in me resists the fact that I had set a goal to walk 13.00 miles today. I need to go ahead and do it in the rain because chances are pretty decent I’ll have to do the same in Birmingham next month. I will confess, though, as my last bit of self pity for the day, that I would love to climb into the TARDIS, go back about 30 years and try again. That’s a total waste of time. So in the absence of a TARDIS, I’m off to walk…

One thought on “Regrets

  1. So you didn’t go?
    i have no memory of ever being forced to do any such initiation . That said it is a great deal of fun, but frankly I prefer to watch it on my own. The “cult” aspect is frankly annoying to this particular misanthrope. Seems forced,sad sacks looking to be seen as alternative and singularly distinct ; they work hard at an oddness you (and i ) possess by nature. Rent/buy the damned thing, some wonderful scenes (gold lame skivvies have never looked so good), watch it with Mallowman and when I visit next we can watch it together, wear your hoochy-mamma shoes, I’ll wear mine.

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