Pope Fiction… a Conversation With His Holiness on the G Train…

Happy decorative gourd season everyone…

So, I have been off on this crazy Gonzo Journalism adventure these past few weeks. Honestly… when I was a little girl and I told my dad I wanted to grow up to be Indiana Jones–I never envisioned it unfolding quite like this… Still, I am going to resist the urge to blurt everything out at the get-go and practice the art of suspense… for once.

Suffice it to say, I have been writing about silly things… instead of serious ones (mostly weddings, fashion and pop culture garbage… the kind of writing that makes you want to take really long showers and remember all the rules of diagraming sentences).


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 (best wedding ever in France…mon reve!)

… all of which has left me a little behind on what I am supposed to be doing… finishing this book of essays that is not about epilepsy. We seem to exist in this gilded age of failure… and I don’t want that for this book… not all suffering is transcendent… or teachable or redemptive… the essays have to be about something more than just me… or they’re not worth doing. (Wow, did I get serious fast, or what?)… and they have to find the funny… which is not always so easy when you feel like gnarled tree limbs are growing out of your lips like some low-rent Poison Ivy from George Cloony’s Batman.

So, I arrived home last week to Pope-mageddon on the upper west side… police everywhere… loads of single-wide trailers and volunteer-types… earnest, nervous, guilty-looking and in need of absolution… those little pretend Mercedes van-trucks that always feel kind of skeezy–just one carpet shampoo away from the last mobile orgy. I was late for dinner in Brooklyn (damn you Brooklyn for being so far away)… But I am usually late for most things… (it stems from a deep-seated fear of commitment and overcompensating for chronic work underperformance) so there I am… I meet his holiness on the platform after a Tourette’s syndrome of texts. And I know he’s the Pope and all, but the big rule of the subway… empty cars are never a good sign… We step on…

The Pope: Oh Jesus…

Me: Whoa… Shit just got real…

Because it had! Some charming straphanger had just deposited a steaming pile of… (oh, let’s not get all gratuitous like Ryan Murphy) you know what… It’s New York… so everyone just looks everywhere, pretending not to see it. We move to the next car and sit…

The Pope (sighing despairingly): We are all Pizza Rat…

Me: Even John Boehner? (I’d just seen him crying on the tele and had to take an anti-acid)

The Pope: Especially John Boehner. Pizza Rat stands around all day just doing ordinary rat things. He’s a humble, little guy who just wants his dollar slice and to go home, but somehow… it’s too big to fold in half and shove it in his mouth like any good Gothamite… and so he gets caught in front of millions of people burdened with this huge slice of humanity… Eventually, he gives up, heads for the nearest dive bar that will someday soon be an artisanal pickle shop…

Me: Frank?

The Pope: What?

Me: Are you talking about the nuns?

The Pope: Those bitches set me up… Rat-fucked into meeting Kim Davis…

Me: Worst blind date ever, eh?

The Pope: Here I am… carrying this giant slice of people’s opinions, hopes, lives and cheese… and now this evangelical puppet…  even I can’t fold that in half…

Me: Well, let’s just say enough Hail Marys to get us to dinner…  I think you’re really going to like these guys. They are the most amazing family, and even if you can’t get with it… it doesn’t have to mean everything… you know?

The Pope: (sheepish) Amen to that.

And as His Holiness starts humming, “Let it go…” (a little coping technique we’ve been working on) the G train grinds to a halt… and we’re all just Pizza Rat, but hey… Amen to that.

Have lovely weeks, people 🙂

xoxo – gg

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