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the mountain that moved

December 6, 2015
Daniel looked at his watch. 6:30pm. A stiff nod from the cardinal told him to stand at ease; the night was still young. Daniel glanced at his watch. 6:31pm. This is what he amounted to: daring the cardinal to scowl. The cardinal ignored him, and the watch … Daniel’s wristwatch. No one wore them anymore. This was one of Daniel’s grievances. No one wore watches on their wrists. They used their phones … their lives held in one hand while executing with the other. Fingers like gladiators in ballet class. The fingers did the talking in today’s world … so, why was he listening to the old boon with the warped head and sagging jowls preaching: be true defenders of the doctrine. Doctrine? Was there such a thing? And what was a true defender? According to which monsignor was he to defend? the right? the left? the liar? the lip service? the enlisted? the lost? the lucky son of a bitch that got the neat seat with all the rich patrons? and what did this man defend to get such a place? Daniel’s stomach growled. This caused a stir in the room. The men turned to look at whose stomach had made the noise. Daniel’s timing was perfect. He touched his stomach gently, allowing the men in the room to see him wince slightly … to give the impression of discomfort. Loose bowels? A stomach ache? Weakness due to excessive fasting? He would let them ponder this. Daniel stood and collected his things, nodded solemnly to his audience and left the meeting. The cardinal scowled as Daniel turned to shut the door behind him. Daniel was aware of this without even looking up to see the cardinal’s skin change color. He smiled within himself.
Hot coffee. What he wouldn’t do for a hot cup of coffee. The thought of wandering into a Starbucks, a free man, ordering a grande, black, no room, finding a seat near a college student deep in concentration … no words. No words …

 

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