Go on sleeping through

The ratcatcher woke me, I knew he was coming, but I’d had three overflowing beers the night before and I’d slept through the rat and I wanted to go on sleeping.

Go on sleeping through the rising birds and through the horses walking up the hill and through the four cows rearranging themselves and through the dog that follows the horses on their way down the hill and through the cat here and there and through the fox stopping and starting on the driveway and through the donkey standing, but the ratcatcher woke me and down the stairs I came

and made us both coffees right away. And because I wasn’t really here I didn’t yet know how I like things, so I put two sugars and milk into my coffee, because that’s how the ratcatcher takes his.

Claire-Louise Bennett, First Thing, [in:] Idem, Pond, 2016.

Believe: naively, intensely, absolutely

After a while, my mom ran into a woman who was sure she had seen me serving at Mass. That’s impossible, my mother replied. But then someone else told her the same thing, and she asked me about it again. I told her the person was wrong, but that I had also seen someone who looked surprisingly like me acting as altar boy. I just have a very common face, I told her.

When I finally did go to confession with Father Limonta, it didn’t even occur to me to tell him that I had already taken Communion, or about my erotic experience with Mauricio. Later I received my First Communion at school which by then was my thirtieth or fortieth and I could finally take Communion legitimately at Mass. My parents were there and they gave me presents, and I think that was when I first felt the true weight of my double life. I went on serving at Mater Purissima without my parents knowledge until maybe the winter of 1985, when, after a tense and sloppy Mass, the priest criticized us harshly: he told us we distracted him, that we were too shrill, that we had no rhythm. His comments hit me hard, maybe because I was precariously coming to understand that the priest was acting, that it wasn’t all enlightenment or whatever you call that sacred calling, that spiritual dimension. I decided to quit and, at that very moment, I stopped being Catholic. I suppose that’s also when my religious feeling began to be quashed. I never had, in any case, those rational meditations on the existence of God, maybe because that was when I started to believe, naively, intensely, absolutely, in literature.

Alejandro Zambra, My Documents, McSweeney’s, 2015