Saturday, April 23, 2005

Fast Crowd

This is a misfit congregation of luckless disciples of the one true faith, irregular regulars ensconced while evening unfolds their non-events.

Airvent in his sandals, a frying pan fat pommade slicking down his yellow-grey hair, sits derided, stares down below stained cavalry twill at his feet, his memories. The change from his twenty spills across his pew, a twenty every night, just a couple of liveners that always turn into eight.

‘Hey, Airvent, give us a song!’

The sacristan threatens excommunication; Airvent shrugs, shakes his head like a wet dog. Two acolyte one-nighters throw glances from the side aisle, no eye contact, no yen for invasive dentistry tonight.

Up at the altar, Pseud, Cool and Twister lean into each other, laugh a witless laugh at cigarillo intervals while the Acne Kid ogles novitiate nuns. Slurred vespers whispers cross the aisle, confessions to anyone who’ll listen but no one ever does.

The watchful high priest leads a final communion, accepts the collect gratefully and the chimed tocsin ends it all. In the churchyard, tuneless hymns swirl into the night. And down the alley, the redeemed rejoice.

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