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Joe Hoover, S.J.November 18, 2021

Frankie had wanted to be a priest but not all
the way just like one-third a priest like instead
of running a Mass every Sunday have a restau-
rant where he could eucharistically serve food
and drink to people etc so he bought an old
Arby’s exposed the pipes and all that made
sacred onion ciabatta bread served sanctified
juice coffee soursop smoothies and people
came and proverbially joined hands over the
liturgical supper that was breakfast and he
even had church music playing overhead like
Come to the Water which is there a better
song period and then lo what really? it came to
pass that he had to do payroll and actually pay
the people serving the hallowed ciabatta and
then the Health Department showed up fined
him for three unsacred violations and then
foot traffic slowed down his revenues tanked
and Frankie got so far behind on the rent he
had to take out like a second mortgage on his
house to keep the cafe open and his house was
just like this little gray bungalow which who
takes out a second mortgage on a bungalow
and then part of the cafe ceiling caved in
and then one of the guys on the morning shift stole
like four hundred dollars from the cash reg-
ister all in singles which you always need and
finally it dawned on Frankie and this was like
late November the days getting darker fitting
for where his mind was going namely that this
cafe was not really at all like church there was
nothing priestly about what he was doing it
was just frankly hell and he wanted to close it
and he closed it.

But before he did an Advent calendar showed
up in the mail one where when you opened
each window there was a piece of chocolate
shaped like a cow or sheep or sleigh bell and
Frankie exhausted banished from himself the
usual opened up the window for Dec 24 even
though it was like Dec 3 and there was a little
trumpet announcing the arrival of you know
etc and he started sort of crying and he ate the
little trumpet and looked around the cafe and
took some bread not the homemade symbol-
ically eucharistic kind just like an Arby’s bun
that was still around and put a small piece of
it in the Dec 24 window and closed it up again
for the day he could have the bread inside it
but legitimately and he went home to his gray
bungalow and hung the calendar on the wall
next to a crucifix and pictures of his kid did I
mention there was a kid a boy one he hadn’t
seen in three years because when his girl-
friend left she took him but now Frankie felt
like something had cleared away that he was
ready for the kid to return home that there
was a place now at his not very sacred formica
kitchen table for the child a place for the kid
even in the purple and white Lewis Hamilton
Formula One race car bed stored in the attic
an F1 bed that wasn’t sacred either but was
just empty and waiting for Dec 24 or whenev-
er really to be filled again by the little kid he
basically just wanted to see again and cook for.

More: Christmas

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