a truth at ten

a truth at ten

I’m burning inside the confessional. I already know I’m lying. Always do. I hope God forgives me someday. Bread in the toaster has a better chance of not getting burned between heaven and hell. Can’t tell my truth to the wrinkled priest who is so old I hear his eyelids scratching against his pupils. He’ll never understand what I don’t. I’m hoping God gets me. God reminds me of Santa, except he’s much more fit and his eyes don’t twinkle. The priests’ eyes don’t shine either. There is nothing endearing about their silk garments or the weird mellifluous odors permeating my church. Why does it smell hot like hell. How can I tell the truth when I’m locked in a dark smelly box-like a demon trap. In blackness, where the best of me is at my worst. All the horrid things that tell me I’m going to hell. Don’t like myself in the daytime. Hate myself at night.

Jesus is stuck to the roof of my dry mouth. I don’t know what to do so I giggle. A nun slaps the back of my head. Can’t stick my finger in my mouth while wearing a Communion dress that makes me feel like a roll of toilet paper. I don’t feel very pretty in this white flouncy dress. I pictured feeling like a princess. I don’t look at all like what I imagined. I’m fat. I’m ugly. I look like squeezable Charmin. I wonder if Jesus uses toilet paper. Mary is so pretty and slender and doesn’t kiss anyone. No one slapped her on the back of the head. And now Jesus is stuck to the roof of my mouth. I’m parched. I fainted last week while my class stood outside in the blazing sun reciting the rosary. I remember my sweaty thick fingers trying to count the beads.

I won’t tell the priest anything. He has no right to know what’s in my head. I don’t care if I’m supposed to tell him the truth. Closing my eyes, I practice being in the dark on my knees pretending I’m going to divulge my darkest thoughts. The old smelly priest will tell me to say thirty Hail Marys so my sins will be forgiven. I know I won’t do this either. I wonder if devils can turn their horns into wings. I’m a slice of Wonder bread in the toaster burning on both sides. There is no holy peanut butter to hide my black thoughts. I prefer Santa Clause over God. I want to kiss boys even though they don’t like me. I look like toilet paper.

Angel Cone

Angel Cone

this writing is a combination of my childhood years – Communion is received in second grade – if memory serves I’d have been 7 at the time – the confessional reoccurred throughout my Catholic school years

15 thoughts on “a truth at ten

  1. Very nice, AM. I don’t know how you remember back to 10 … I sure don’t (well, hardly). 🙂 Sorry I missed out on all that Catholic guilt and dogma (I’ve heard plenty, first-hand, believe me). I can’t remember kissing boys until much later – oh, I kissed a boy in kindergarten and you’d have thought I’d turned into the classroom whore – my mom had to go into the school to talk to the teacher, etc. Ah, fun times….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Addendum: You know, my comment above was pretty egocentric. Sorry. What I need to say is that this piece feels very brave (as in confessional, no pun intended), immediate, and honest. You reveal the scene so well, it’s as if we’re all there with you in that confessional booth (which for some reason, from afar, always reminded me of a telephone booth – a hotline to God?). Anyway, because it’s so well-written I, as reader, was pulled in by your words and they caused me to consider my own childhood – and that’s a good thing writers can do, I think, make their readers relate to them and to their own lives. Sorry, verbose here. Early a.m. (And I see you were up in the wee hours evidently writing :))

    Liked by 2 people

    • I had the same reaction to reading it too! Trying to remember all those years of kneeling in that dark confessional and how I felt being there. Knowing human nature now, I would never reveal my personal life to a priest.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I used to make up stuff ….. said bad words, lied to my mother etc. Groomed to be a people pleaser even at 7 years old. I don’t think I every felt I was ‘bad’. How sad to be taught at such a young age to look for the ‘bad’ things instead of loving ourselves just the way we are. Beautiful post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mary Lou-
      I had a number of hangups – I was a middle child who unfortunately rode the coattails of 2 talented and beautiful older sisters – I was my own worst enemy – unfortunately, Catholic School did nothing to improve my outlook on life even though they spoke of forgiving angels
      thank you for sharing your honest thoughts – much appreciation

      Liked by 1 person

  4. AM, Back then, we were expected to trust clergy, teachers, parents, God, and the president. Oh, the price of lost innocence! It took me a long time to realize I couldn’t and wouldn’t trust confessors or whomever with the terrible preciousness of my life. When I found some, I walked into the Light.
    Peace to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ah, the cost of growing up-change returned through “eye-opening” awareness.
      I do miss that stage of simple black and white-how grey makes everything so very shady
      thank you for your words here, I appreciate your thoughts


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