Body of Christ

Thursday 4.1.10

I have the Body of Christ in my pocket. Just writing that I feel like singing to the melody of “I’ve got the whole world in my hands” but I’m not going to. Maybe I will. I went to Catholic Mass today, “Misa”, and I was glad it only lasted about 1 ½ hours instead of the 2 ½ to 3 hours I was quoted. I tried so so hard not to fall asleep. I tried the David technique “cross and pinch” where you cross your arms and secretly pinch your sides to keep you awake. Didn’t work, but now I do have two lovely bruises on the sides of my ribcage. I didn’t know what I was doing for most of the service; I just followed along. Stand up, kneel down, sit down, stand up again, get in a line for the Body and Blood of Christ. I know enough to know what this is, so I knew to get in a line and I watched carefully the people in front of me and copied them to receive the cracker. The only thing is, I never actually saw anybody eat it. It was so secretive I doubted myself if that was actually how it was done. I took the cracker and palmed it, scanning the room for clues or somebody to show me what I was supposed to do. I didn’t want to ask and embarrass myself so I just secretly slid it into my pocket when nobody was looking. And there it remains.

I can’t throw it away, people would see it and know what it is. No, I have to be much more discreet in how I dispose of this Body. I could bury it. I could dissolve it in water and flush it down the drain. I suppose I could just eat it; but it looks like cardboard. If Cathy Tan were here she’d eat it. She loves things that look and/or taste like cardboard. No, it’s not quite cardboard, more like Styrofoam. It looks like the Styrofoam tab you peel off of the gallon of Minute Maid orange juice that ensures it’s okay to drink. Yes, that’s what it looks like; exactly the same size, thickness, color, and texture. I just don’t feel okay eating a Styrofoam Minute Maid Body of Christ sterile tab.

The reason for all this Church-going is Easter. Today is the day that nobody is supposed to work, use water after 3pm for anything but drinking, and do a bunch of other traditional stuff. They all ask me what my traditions are for Easter - and I really can’t say anything because I never even know when Easter falls. The only way I used to know was because Spring Break fell over Easter. I tried to explain Easter egg decorating and hunting, but I’m sure that must sound really weird to them. Then I tell them that Easter in the US is usually just celebrated on Sunday and maybe the Friday before too, with a big family dinner and Church, but they think that’s weird too. Here they celebrate Semana Santa the whole week. This morning I woke up to a table full of pan (bread) with honey that we all ate. Then other people, aunts and cousins, came over to share more pan. Then we went over to a grandparent’s house with more aunts and uncles and cousins to share more pan. That’s all they do Thursday morning: eat pan and share pan and visit with each other. I am so full of pan, but at least it’s a tasty kind and I get to put honey on it.

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