I have never felt like I was part of this exclusive club.
My dressing always looked frumpier compared to everyone else’s Sunday best. I never quite figured out the dress code. My skirt was either too short, my pants too tight and when I try to preserve some modesty by wearing tights, they stare as if I was in my birthday suit.
The members would stand around and talk about that one good book they’ve read. They would talk about how good the author is, how relevant his words are to our daily lives. Everyone seemed to know which page that one phrase was from or which quote was appropriate for which situation.
And though I have read the one and the same, I always held my tongue, lest I say something wrong.
When they pass around the little biscuits and wine in dainty cups, I would hold the biscuit wrongly or eat it at the wrong time. And always, always I await the flood of emotions that everyone talks about. I chew slowly, savour the wine; to prolong the experience, to somehow artificially feel something, anything.
But always, always it’s just biscuit and wine and nothing.
I try to mimic the hand gestures, when to sit, how to stand. I learn their pledge of allegiance and the songs they sing. I kneel when they do. Hand clasped, eyes closed.
In every form and manner I am like them, but I don’t see what they see.
And when they tell me,
That was a great meeting. Hope to see you next Sunday.
I would smile and nod.
See you next Sunday.