Soliloquy in an International Cloister

Watch your step as Brother Lawrence takes you inside the monastery walls of a five hundred year-old international order. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll wish you had ignored your hormones and joined the monastery.

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Location: Rome, Italy

12 April 2006

Hey, you, get off of my cloud

I know it's hard to believe, but I was a very naive and self-righteous person in my college days. I suppose it was partially the result of growing up in a small town where, to borrow a phrase from Garrison Keillor, all the children were above average. Add to that the fact that I attended only Catholic schools, where I was instilled with the belief that most of the world's ills were caused by dirty thoughts. This knowledge did little to stop me from having them, however. {To hell with the starving kids in China, would you look at those knockers!} But I digress.
Then I met Ms. Reality Check.
Reality worked at the campus bookstore where I took a part-time job. She was only a few years older than I was, but she had much more experience of the world. Despite the fact that she was a really decent person, she had had more than her share of tragedy. We became friends, and my outlook on life changed forever. No subject was taboo for her, and she made it her personal mission to cure me of my naivete. I blushed so much that year that the capillaries in my face were permanently enlarged. More importantly, she knocked holes in my belief that bad things only happened to bad people, which I hope has made me a more compassionate person.
After college, I kept in touch with Reality for a little while, but lost contact with her after she moved to Florida, got married and had a child. That was almost 27 years ago. Still, I thought of her often, and even tried, unsuccessfully, googling her several times to see if I could find an address.
Yesterday evening, just before turning off my computer for the night, I had an email from Ms Reality Check. She had found an old letter of mine (she kept my letters!), and decided to look me up. I am walking on air today.

6 Comments:

Anonymous heather said...

I was so ready with some smart arse comment on this and then the last line just got me.

12 April, 2006 21:20  
Blogger Br. Lawrence said...

Sorry, Heather. I hate getting in the way of a good smart arse comment. I didn't mean to get all blubbery, but it's interesting how you don't realize how important some people were in your life until years later. (I like to think there'll be a lot of people saying that at my funeral.)

12 April, 2006 23:24  
Anonymous pog said...

Yup - that stumped me as well.
As did the fact that a 27-year old address worked.

13 April, 2006 11:45  
Blogger Br. Lawrence said...

Actually, the address she used was only a few years old. Neither of us had an email address in those days; the Internet itself was still an academic curiosity.
Googling my name results in 1,820,000 hits (he said modestly). Narrowing it to English-only pages results in 817,000 hits. She's obviously good at picking needles out of haystacks.

13 April, 2006 16:01  
Anonymous Bobble said...

Why did I have an image of Monkey (the late 70's TV show) on a cloud just then?

Thanks for the college congrats - I shall attempt to not lose my 'genius'. Fancy posing?

13 April, 2006 16:29  
Blogger Br. Lawrence said...

Bobble: well, monks live in monasteries, and the word cloud appears in the title so I guess a Monkey on a cloud is not too daring a leap. I hope the image was of the Monkees then, not now. I always fancied myself a Mike Nesmith with the cool sideburns.

As for posing, you'll have to talk to my agent. Just to be clear, however, I will not do full frontals.

14 April, 2006 01:48  

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