Monday, January 14, 2013

Adding Chocolate to the Ritual, Part I

Elsa liked rituals. She liked going to Catholic mass, even though she wasn't Catholic. She regretted, sometimes, that she couldn't go to confession. She liked slowly opening the foil wrapper from a chocolate and using her tongue to take it into her mouth without ever having touched it with her fingers. Letting the chocolate melt slowly in her mouth was much better than that dry wafer they used in the communion ritual. Why couldn't Jesus's body be made of chocolate instead of a dry caked disk of 'bread?' What the priests placed on her tongue really didn't even resemble bread, when she thought about it. Yes, chocolate might make that ritual way more interesting. Chocolate and wine. The body of Christ. The blood of Christ.

Elsa wondered, if she were Catholic, if she'd be excommunicated for saying that. She wondered, if she were allowed to go to confession, if she would have to say six 'Hail Marys' before she was forgiven? What did it mean to be forgiven on a Saturday night and start over on Sunday morning? She wondered how that would feel. Her upbringing wasn't like that. Her mother was still reminding her of mistakes she'd made years ago, like the time she'd showed up at her mother's doorstep a little too drunk to drive. That night, she'd learned that her mother's doorstep wasn't a haven, even though the man she'd gone out with that night had plied her with drinks, then told her that she owed him since he'd bought it all for her. Since the guy had picked her up, her mom's had been the only place Elsa had thought to walk to from the bar. Her mom had mentioned that night so many times she'd lost count. Elsa never mentioned how that man had made her feel. That night taught Elsa to meet people at the restaurant or bar. That way, she could get herself home and she never had more than two drinks on a first date.

Lately, Elsa had been staying home more than she'd been going out. It was just easier that way. Saturday nights had become a ritual of renting a movie and eating nachos and pizza rolls, as if it were New Year's eve or the Super Bowl every Friday night. Elsa liked her Saturday nights.

Still, a little bit of chocolate on a Saturday night might be a good tradition. She wondered why she didn't add chocolate to her party.

Thank you for listening, jb


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