Friday, December 6, 2013
On the Edge
By J.P. Devine
I don't know the man, he doesn't know me, so why am I sitting here with my cellphone in my hand, waiting for him to call? I don't really expect him to call. He's very busy, but I had this dream last night where he actually called me. True story.
I was sitting on the deck reading and she, who always answers my phone, because I leave it in the house and she always seems to be near it when it rings, came out and stood there with the phone. Her face was white. She handed it to me and stuttered, "it's him."
"Who is him?"
"It's him. It's the Pope."
I know how improbable this is. I've had all kinds of weird dreams wherein I've had dinner with Hillary Clinton, won the lottery, and danced on "Dancing With the Stars" with Miley Cyrus. None of those things have come true, so why am I hanging on this one?
I think it's because it's a religious thing. Since childhood, I've always believed that religious dreams are different from dreaming you're going to win the lottery or fall from an airplane.
I'm sure this is just because I've been seeing these spots on the news shows, and reading all the blurbs about Pope Francis reaching out in new and wonderful ways to connect with the public. There he was on NBC last week, making a call to Michele Ferri in Pesaro, Italy, and Stefano Cabizza in Padova, two ordinary Italian guys, right out of the blue.
She, who has no patience with my dreams nor my interpretations of them, pointed out that he only seems to call Italians and not people of Irish descent. That makes sense, because it's easier for him to speak Italian than English. But I'm hanging on. This dream was real, like 3D real.
So what if he really calls? It could happen and the Vatican has even put out some advice on how to talk to the Pope.
Don't, as comedian Bill Maher has advised, call him "Pope Frank" or "Frankie." That would be inappropriate.
"Your Holiness" would be good. Just don't go overboard and shout into the phone "OMG the Pope? You're $%*^* kidding me!"
Ask about Argentina's soccer games, but don't talk about the rumors of certain problems in the Vatican. They aren't his fault, and they probably haven't told him about them anyway.
Ask him how he is. This, they say, will make him happy.
Does that mean stuff like, "How's your prostate number? Have you had a colonoscopy? How many times a night do you have to get up to go the bathroom?" I don't think so.
I might get nervous and forget what to say, so I'm making a list of questions that I can keep in front of me:
Will I go to hell for having watched Miley Cyrus dance on YouTube — eight times?
How much is the church getting now for indulgences?
What is your favorite dish and favorite restaurant in Rome, in case I go there on vacation and want to run into you?
Is the Italian food really better in Rome than at the Olive Garden here in Maine? No way.
Why did you give up the iconic red slippers the Pope always wears? I have a pair of red slippers. If I wore them to go out to dinner in Rome, would it be considered sacrilegious?
About those babies you have to kiss when you're out in public, if you have a cold and the baby gets sick, does the Vatican pay the doctor's bills?
In the movie "The Godfather," it is suggested that two popes and a cardinal were murdered. Is that true or just made up?
Did you see "The Godfather?"
My wife says that when she and I die, I will have to spend eternity in another part of heaven from her. Is that true?
I would only ask one favor: If you're going to make any more saints while you're in office, would it be too much to consider Frank Sinatra? I'm just asking.
Goodnight, Holy Father, where ever you are and thanks for calling.
J.P. Devine is a Waterville writer.