Her SmileThere are days when I go to church just for the chance to see her smile at me. The funny thing, no one knows this. Surely not my husband. Barney thinks I’m agnostic at best. Of course I use the expression, “Oh my god!” Who doesn’t? And occasionally I’ll mention Jesus Christ when I’m angry or frustrated with Barney. Then, before the holidays I wandered into St. James Catholic Church in the West Village. I was trying to get away from a homeless guy pestering me for a smoke. I’d no clue that I’d feel so…what? Safe? Protected? I realized that I’d never been in a church alone. Walking around the dank church I stared at the stained-glass windows, mesmerized by the depictions of saints and their various lives. The burning incense tickled my nostrils. I lost track of time. And that’s when she walked up. “May I help you?” I turned around. She was wearing a habit, and I thought of Sally Fields in the Flying Nun. I stifled a laugh, and noticed she was grinning back at me. I shrugged. “I’m not sure why I’m here,” I said, realizing I’d forgotten lipstick. “That’s a great place to start!” Her smile was dazzling. I looked around, clueless. “It is?” Suddenly, I felt sadness welling. She nodded. “Self-inquiry is the crux of all growth.” Huh? The smile, just focus on that smile.]]>
11 thoughts on “Her Smile”
Beautiful! Simply beautiful!
Love Love Love it! absolutely! My favorite part:
I shrugged. “I’m not sure why I’m here,” I said, realizing I’d forgotten lipstick.
“That’s a great place to start!” Her smile was dazzling.
I love this one too- and agree with Nicole, my favorite part when she realizes she forgot lipstick after admitting she has not a clue why she is there. Brilliant!
Perhaps change the word CRUX.. to the beginning or root.. no not root. The word ‘crux’ pitched me out.. is the foundation? Is this a bit “preachy” ??
You certainly left me wanting to read more. I liked “crux.” Kind of sounds like crucifix. It’s great how I am unsure of what direction the story will go. Is it about the peace or forgetting her lipstick and maybe just wants to get into the habit.
I like the ambiguity about this piece and I wanted it to continue also. I wondered about the nun’s smile and what drew the main character into that so much. I also liked the word ‘crux’ for the same reasons that Tom did. I know that lipstick is probably something a woman might miss having on, but ‘foundation’ has more implications for the story? Sort of a message within a message, which lots of your writing has.
great story, I can’t wait to read the rest…
Robert, I love your brain and how you express yourself on paper and to the world. The only thing better about you is your silliness and I miss that so much.
Smiling as I read your amazing work, so happy you are writing a daily story.