Day Drinking with the Elderly

So this blog used to be about humor, But now it’s a spot to post my writing assignments. Please descend on this piece like a pack of hungry jackals.

Introduction to Storytelling

Write about a time you tried something new and it surprised you. Now take what you’ve written and make it exactly a hundred words – not ninety-nine or a hundred and one. Think about what can be cut and why. What choices do you make and how do you create priorities when editing your work? Now take the hundred word story and write it in six words.

It was nine am on a Sunday. I’d been up for an hour and it would be at least two more hours until my sister Diana woke up. The clock ticked slowly. I wished I had brought a book.

At home, I go to church. But I wasn’t at home. I was somewhere in a metropolis. Even when I’m somewhere new, I still go to church. I once sang hymns while accompanied by a minister who played his trombone. The minister’s young son spent the entire service tugging on his leg and asking when it was going to be over. To date that was the smallest, most unusual church service I’d ever been to.

I looked at the clock again. Nine oh two.

At once, I decided that I was going to find a church. There had to be one around. Leaving Diana a note, I walked out of the apartment. Before I saw the sign, I heard the bells. A church.

An Anglican church, I’m United, but as far as I’m concerned, in the same way that love is love is love, God is God is God. How bad could it be? I’m guessing they’d have a piano which already put the service a cut above the outdoor one I attended with the trombone playing minister.

God is absolutely God. And love is absolutely love but Anglicans have their own agenda and it looks nothing like any that I’ve known.

The entire sermon, they were reading from a book that I didn’t have. I was one of six parishioners so I even pew hopped to look for the missing scripture. No dice. Apparently it was BYOB- bring your own bible.

Being the only person under eighty jumping from one pew to the next would have been enough embarrassment for the day but it was also communion.

In the United church, we have individual, tiny glasses and individual wafers. I’m not crazy about the plastic waste but I go along with it.

Apparently the Anglicans are hardcore environmentalists. They shared a cup.

One cup.

For all the old people.

I would have opted out, but everyone rose from their seats and formed a line at the front of the church. I was in line behind a centenarian before I realized what was happening.

Once again they were reading from the book I didn’t have so I was extra confused and a little grossed out. But all the same, I knelt down on the cushion and drank from the same cup that the minister had thoughtfully wiped with a towel after the man before me finished. It tasted like wine and the 1918 Spanish Flu that the gentleman before me had survived.

Afterwards I walked home and thought about how my soul felt lighter even if my lungs were now heavy with liquid tuberculosis or some other old person ailment.

479 words

While visiting my sister, I went to an Anglican church. I am a United Christian but ‘How different could it be?’ I naively thought.

It was very different. They spent the entire sermon reading out of a book I didn’t have. It was BYOB – bring your own bible.

The worst was yet to come. It was communion. Instead of the individual, plastic glasses at the United church, all the parishioners lined up to drink from the same cup. I was kneeling at the front of the sanctuary before I realized what was happening. By then it was too late. Ugh.

100 words

Anglicans read secret books and share cups.

7 words

3 thoughts on “Day Drinking with the Elderly

  1. This is great. I love how meta it is but also the story. Growing up UC in an uber-Catholic town, I would stubbornly sit while others kneeled. And communion? I’d be struck by lightning, yes? But it’s very possible the Anglicans are more likely to give you the side-eye for this.
    P.S. Got your email and will get on it!

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