I have taken to church-going since I moved to Salt Lake. Sunday mornings often creep up with the taste of whiskey on my tongue. Did I forget to brush my teeth? I plant my zeppelinesque skinny legs on the ground and it spins a bit but I make it to the bathroom all right. Here, at the holy sink of Blaine Ave I begin my morning's worship; I submit that a clean mouth (in the absolute literal sense) is the key to a pleasant church service. One cannot pray with remnants of camel light on their breath, you see. A quick tousle of the hair and I throw on last night's clothes- I am on my way.
I suppose I might not be such a regular church-goer were it not for the convenience of the church just around the corner from my home. Here, a motley crowd of sunday worshipers gather around papers and books and coffees and teas and cigarettes and vegetarian quiche. I am at home. I am greeted by the leader of our procession as "book soulmate" and am asked to confess all my weekly readings. Kerouac and DiFranco, and I just purchased Travels With Charley for two quarters at the thrift store. He asks what is written on my hand and I say, scribbles. He smiles at me and says, oh book soulmate, you are a writer, and I, I serve coffee! He has no idea how important it is to me that someone else appreciates Salinger and it makes me tear up a bit in a happy sort of way. I take my coffee to go.
Outside, the old war veteran is laughing out loud, boisterous and deep, at something in his paper. We smile and say good morning, and I think: peace be with you, and also with you. On my walk home the neighbor who is perfecting the art of throwing his tennis ball on the roof and catching it again, is sitting cross legged with the paper on his grass. He does not notice me walk by and I like it. I like the independence of this congregation. I like how we all worship in our own way.
I write this to you, brother, because you are one of the exclusive few who read this blog that I actually giveadamn about. And because I know you will laugh at my little church. And because the only thing I have in my life right now that is better than my sunday church service is the feeling of when I hold your little girl and she laughs at me and grabs my cheek with her hands and i know how lovely the world really is.
I hope you had a beautiful sunday, my brother.