REVERBERATIONS - CHRISTOPHER GRANT
I feel him as he approaches the restaurant table. His steps cause a sort of echo effect, a sound wave. Everything does. I haven’t heard anything since birth, didn’t hear my mother say she loved me or my father say goodbye (though neither did my mother; he just left us). I’ve never known music, not really, and I’ve never heard the result of what I do.
He sits across from me and takes out a notepad. The first time we met, he was introduced to me by a friend who suggested I might be able to take care of his problem. Jerry is forever looking out for my interests.
My client rips off the page and slides it across the tabletop. I put down the forkful of eggs and look at what he’s written.
HE’S THERE NOW.
I raise my eyebrows and my client nods. I pick up my fork and pop the eggs into my mouth. Exactly how I like them, which they ought to be; I’ve been coming to this place for twenty years.
My client reaches into his jacket and pulls out an envelope. He slides this across the table, too, then stands and walks away, through the door of the restaurant. His steps are lighter now that he has finally concluded his business with me. He gets in his car and drives away.
I grab a slice of toast, butter it and chew vigorously while I open the envelope. It appears as if he’s given me his life savings. I stash the envelope in my own jacket, take another bite of eggs, a sip of orange juice and stand. I pull out a hundred dollar bill and leave it on the table.
I cannot remember the last time I stood before a cathedral. A long time ago, that’s all I know. The steeple reaches for the heavens and falls short, a fitting metaphor for the institution that owns the property. Inside, the glass ceilings mimic the steeple, the stained glass depicts how the world supposedly was once. Turns out that it’s all open to interpretation. Personally, I think it’s a bunch of shit.
There are very few people here this early in the morning and those that are are either lighting candles, bowing their heads in prayer or waiting on line for Father O’Reilly to hear their confession. I can feel the light echo of everyone’s footsteps and their whispered words. I move to stand behind a middle-aged man that shifts from foot to foot, as if he’s in a hurry or extremely nervous about what he has to say to the good father. A blonde woman brushes against me as she moves to stand behind me. I like her smile and she smells immaculate. I think I can guess what her confession might sound like.
When it is finally my turn, I enter the booth and kneel on the padded plank of wood. This is an old school confessional; the new ones have chairs. I keep my eyes on the wood seperation beyond the latticework.
After what seems like eons, the divider slides open and I watch his lips move.
I leave the confessional a moment later and the cathedral a moment after that, relieved that I cannot hear the blonde woman’s screams.