Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Living with the BVM

I like to help my elderly neighbors. They are very good people and they have been very good to me since day one that I moved in here. So whenever they need me to move something, lift something, get their mail while they are out of town, shovel, mow, whatever I am happy to do it. It inevitably leads to an argument when they try to pay me and I refuse, but I am always happy to do it anyway. So when they asked me and my landlord (who lives right below me) to help them move a statue I was happy to. When we arrived to pick up the statue I found that it was a 6 foot tall, cast iron, beautifully painted statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVM).
Now that is fine. My landlords like to put out their statue of the BVM
in the summer. Last summer they did it to me for the first time, and I took a lot of flak from my friends. They like to make jokes and give me a hard time, which I richly deserve whenever they get a chance, but I don't have a problem with it. I mean, it is never a bad thing to have the holiest woman in the christian doctrine watching over your home. And it's not like they have buried an old claw foot bathtub halfway in the ground and placed the BVM inside of the half shell it created like people do in every small town in the Midwest, or like they did down the street by the electric company garage. They just put it tastefully in the front yard among some begonias or tulips or whatever type of flower they put in there to die when they forget to water them. So that is what I was expecting out of my neighbors. And that's what I got. But it's the location of that little flower patch that makes me whither and cringe. Because they have placed the BVM to stare directly at both the stairs to my door and the side of my apartment.
You are wondering why this is a big deal, I can tell. And it really shouldn't be. And It wasn't until the landlord came out and started talking about putting a kneeler there and whatnot. And we were laughing and joking. But I was thinking about someone praying outside, genuflecting in front of the BVM in all her splendor as I walked up the stairs. That's when I saw that she was looking right in my direction. Right at my stairs and my driveway and my deck and my bathroom window and my bedroom window. All of the places where I like to commit sins, or at least to attempt to commit them. So what am I supposed to do now?
I hang out in my driveway or on my deck drinking alcohol and using curse words. I make terrible jokes about everyone and anyone. I carouse and eat meat on Fridays outside of Lent and use the Lord's name in vain. Over and over and over. I beak the law and the rules by having a grill on my deck and speeding up my driveway and all sorts of stuff. Every time I come home with a stolen road sign she will see me trudge up my stairs. Every time I stumble home from the bar in a stupor she will see me. Every time I try to bring a lady home with the intent of committing all sorts of sins she will see me. And that's just the outside. Where do you think I will trying to commit all those sins? She can see right into my bedroom window. Or when I don't get a chance to commit some sins with a lady she can see into the bathroom while I sin in there. And she can see me while I defecate, which is creepy to be honest. I don't want Jesus' Mom looking at me while I poo. And she probably doesn't want to see. I mean, I close the blinds but she HAS to have X-ray vision. I mean, if she can get pregnant without having sex, she can see through the green siding and blue drywall. That's just how it has to be. And she will shame me about the things she witnesses. Being a relatively good Catholic boy the guilt will ratchet up to unbearable levels until I am bringing around lepers to convalesce or baking eleventy billion cookies every week for the church bake sale. And let's be honest, nobody want lepers hanging around their apartment. That's why there are leper colonies way out on islands and peninsulas in places that are hard to get to. Not in my apartment. And all of this is going to happen because the BVM is all up in my business.
I know, I know. Her baby's daddy already knows all about the shit I pull. He can see and understand and know everything. And it's true. I know he can. I really do. But there is a difference. One, I doubt he's telling the BVM. I don't think he's blowing up her cell phone with news of my exploits at David Nathaniel's wedding reception. I would doubt he's texting her about who came over to my house last night and at what time they left. And I am sure that he's not sending her a postcard (what picture would be on that postcard do you think? Clouds? Maybe a huge throne? I bet God could whip up a gorgeous waterfall or something to put on it if he wanted to.) talking about how many beers I drank while waiting for the coals to be ready on the grill. But she will know now. And I will have to see her every time I leave the house. I have stood literally three inches from her face looking into her loving, benevolent, painted eyes and now I have to glance at her sidelong as she watches me throw my life into the johnny flusher. I don't know if I can take it. I might have to put up some sort of privacy screen or build some stairs down the back side of my deck or something because otherwise I just might go insane. Either that or the papal aristocracy will come crusading for my soul. And I won't even have anything for them to drink. So I am worried. I am worried about what the BVM will think of me as she watches me go about my business. Even more than I am worried about what my mailman thinks.

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