Saturday, September 24, 2011

#2- Blood was drawn...

An innocent lad made to play the game.
When I was a very young man in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince I went through a Catholic ritual around the age of 8 years old.  It was my confirmation.  I remember dressing in all white.  I had shorts, a long sleeved shirt, and a brown tie on.  I really didn't understand the whole thing but all I know is that my family was very happy and excited about the whole process and there would be a party at the end of the ordeal.

All week at the all boys Catholic school that I attended we were to learn and recite long and dreadfully boring Catholic drivel that I was to recite in front of a priest during the big event.  I did not get the recitation down but I had to do my best.  We lined up in the streets and went to a cathedral where I saw the priest for the first time.  I remember this man's face til this day.  He had a classic Haitian look.  His haircut was even, he had a mustache with a fat turkey neck.

We lined up and went to the man wearing the funny white dress 2 or 3 at a time.  I stood in the middle and repeated to jargon that was drilled in my head as best as I could.  I was afraid that I would have to do it all over again but I was glad to be flanked by two classmates that knew the material better than me.

I'm not quite sure when this happened but there was a time inside the church that I sat next to my mother practicing my lines.  It during this practice session that my mother sunk the nail of her thumb into my soft, boyish wrist drawing blood.  Time seem to stand still as I was in total shock of what could have caused my mother such anxiety to hurt me.  I was angry and confused because while I wanted to get the lines down I wanted to please my mother desperately even more.  Even so I was shocked at my mother's reaction and wanted to know about this thing that was so important to her.

This was my first recollection of what became know as "religion".

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