Saturday, February 02, 2008

An Army of Beautiful but Nervous Young Men.

He's dead.

I was fascinated by his seminarians. In Rome, I'd see them in their Mercedes bus, perfectly dressed in clerical garb and reading their breves on the way to the Gregorian University while we of the American college walked the route in our jeans, smoking and stopping for coffee/and. They were so handsome, and all cut from the same heartbreakingly gorgeous cloth. He had hand-picked them. Thick shiny and wavy black hair identically and neatly cut. Square jawed. High cheek bones under dreamy sad eyes. Broad shouldered. Kept in regimentally perfect shape. Large hands turned the pages of those prayer books nestled in the smoldering laps of their athletic bodies. I'd always catch the eye of one or another of them and in that instant, he would know that I knew what no one was supposed to know.

4 comments:

The Milkman said...

The eyes always give us away. There's a certain secretive, knowing, commisserating quality to our eye gaze that makes it impossible to hide from those who would see.

henry said...

The way you tell it, Catholicism sounds like a lot of fun!

BigAssBelle said...

i love these pictures of your past life. they are exquisite. the fact that you are who you are today and have lived that life as well is one of the delicious things about you.

Witness Street said...

Thank you, for I thought I was alone. The most uncomfortable memory I have of my formerly Catholic life is being "chosen" by a Brazilian LC layman, chosen as a boy amongst other boys, separated from girls, and then being rejected - denied! hated! - soon after he found out about certain things. I never had the heart to remind him of their own founder.

Who else is reading O' Hagan's "Be Near Me"?