High ceilings

It’s that room with high ceilings.
Foreign.
I float near the rafters and merely observe.
Some people find themselves in this room,
but I just keep floating higher and higher.
I slowly lose myself and gravity’s anchor.
I twitch nervously.
Switch my weight from one foot to the other.
Eat the bread, drink the wine,
click-clack my way through the line,
but I don’t confess my sins.
Why should I?
I can’t empathize,
can’t relate,
can’t imagine.
Can’t close my eyes in prayer
and think someone’s listening to my minuscule thoughts.
There’s something about those high ceilings.
Each thought wanders around in an endless
whirlpool of air instead of water.
I try to scrawl them down onto the service program
but find little white space.
They’re trapped inside while I glide around.
Merely observing,
never taking part.
You feel at peace here.
You’ve found yourself.
I seem to be lost.
It’s a game of make believe
and I’m too much of a realist.

-E.M.S.
12/25/13
1:05 a.m.

Believing ain’t easy

I almost started crying when I entered the room with the high ceilings. I could still hear our laughter and heavy breathing as we darted in and out of the rows of pews. Fresh in my mind was the vision of us kids running around in the darkness while our parents socialized in the next room. I could still see him looking up at me, for I was taller than him the last time I encountered his presence. That has changed, I’m sure.

It was weird to be back, albeit nice. Except, there were things that weren’t nice. My grandma was scowling like a jealous schoolgirl and things had changed too much. Not only was the basement a mess, but the parsonage had been burned to the ground. Stress was something I could feel strongly in the air. Its prominence burned me much like the charred pile of former house innards laying out in the January winter.

There was no choir. There was no organ; just piano. There were no children that I recognized, there was nobody my age up in the back, getting ready to snuff out the candles after the service to signify their job as an acolyte.

“We stopped doing that,” she said. Well, I think that kind of sucks.

There was no comfort. Or, at least there was very little. The only times I cracked a smile was when Papa fell asleep here and there and when I heard the voice of my favorite choir member singing behind me. At least he was there to provide me with a sense of normalcy; even if it wasn’t a very big chunk of it.

There’s also the issue of not necessarily believing. What am I to do about that? I know I pleased my grandparents by acting as their chauffeur and acting as something they could show off to their friends, but I don’t know if I see this becoming a regular thing. It was fun to make them happy, but if I don’t believe, what am I to do? Sit there every Sunday with a blank look painted on my face, much like I displayed today?

I’m glad I did it. I don’t regret it. I just wish I wasn’t so shrouded with disbelief. Believing comes to other people so easily…why can’t it be that easy for me?