This morning I awoke to discover my environment had been murdered by icy white particles from the sky.
I’m safe in my room, curled beneath a heavy blanket, holding a cup of instant coffee. I huddle close to my overheating laptop like it’s some futuristic fire. There is a certain serenity in the snow outside my window.
Back in middle school, when it snowed, kids would still wear shorts. Their legs never seemed cold. I shivered beneath three layers.
In high school, I drove to school on icy roads that made my wheels spin. The icy roads stretched out towards infinity, with sidegaurds so small you wonder why they even put them up. People slid off the road all the time. It was so easy to do.
It was the day I was to be confirmed into the Catholic Church. The roads were pure slick and my mother was scared. We had an old green van with worn-in tires and two-wheel drive.
I was stuffed into this ugly brown-yellow suit all boys are forced to wear to at some point in the lives. I was sick with either pneumonia or strep. All I remember was I felt like death and my lungs hurt and my face was hot. And that I really, really wanted to be confirmed.
The road grew worse as the world grew darker. My mother’s voice was terrified. I took out my rosary and began to pray, silently. I knew that if God were to choose a moment in my life to actually listen, it had to be this one.
I understood why he’d ignore a prayer for me to be thin, or for me to have friends, or for somehow one to lead into the other.
God had his reasons.
But this was different. This was about him. This was about entering his church. If there was one moment in my life where’d he choice to intervene, it should be this one.
When my mother lost control of the vehicle, everything slowed down. God made sure I saw every instant between the road and the ditch, and made sure there was nothing I could do to stop it. But I didn’t stop praying.
It wasn’t the last time I’d prayed, or even the last time I’d prayed and believed someone was listening.
But it was the last time I prayed and believed anyone cared.
I never made it to my confirmation.
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