Passion of the Priest Ch. 04byJ.B.Shelton©
I headed downtown a little early, parking next to a sushi bar on Lexington Avenue, figuring I could walk up to Max & Rosie's for a sandwich or maybe to Salsa's for something with plantains. I was dressed casually, as I usually did when going downtown, with the exception of my collar, which I wore faithfully, in spite of my recent revelations with Nina.
As I passed the gates outside the courtyard near Vincent's Ear, where I was to meet her, I looked through to see my father, or at least the man I once thought was my father, standing away from the tables which were crowded with the usual assortment of Goths, punks and chess geeks. I pushed the gate open and headed towards him, anger pulsating through my veins.
"Your neighbor thought you might be here," he said, reaching out a hand for me to shake. I slapped it away. "What the fuck are you doing here?" I asked loudly enough to draw some attention from the nearby tables. "Your mother was worried about you when you didn't show up on Sunday. She asked me to speak to you."
I was sweating now, in spite of the crisp fall breeze, and I dropped my backpack to the ground, ready to fight if the opportunity presented itself. "My mother!" I shouted. "My mother? Who the fuck are you kidding, old man? You're not my father, and that bitch -" I spat "- is certainly not my mother!"
Everyone was staring now. He turned and walked back toward the street, and I followed. "Yes, Stephen, you were adopted," he said quietly. "That doesn't mean we loved you or love you any less than if you were our biological child."
I felt as though I was going to throw up, and the beads of sweat were starting to puddle together and run into my eyes. I brushed them away with my hand and could feel the heat of my rage beneath my thinning skin. "That's not the goddamn point, and you know it."
"Don't take the Lord's name in vain, son."
I think I could've punched him in the mouth right then, pinned him to the sidewalk, choked the life right out of the bastard, but I just continued to pace and shout, purging my mind of the poisons that had been polluting it since I read the computer screen the day before. "In vain? I'll take the Lord's name any fucking way I please, thank you very much. The Lord knows who I am, and I don't even know who I am? What the fuck kind of sick joke is that? I'm no priest, and I'm no priest's son."
To say my adoptive father was a cold man is like saying Antarctica is a little chilly. He stood there stoically, watching me with gray eyes I'd once been envious I didn't inherit. "Stephen, you've always desired the priesthood. When you were eight years old, you told me you wanted to be a priest."
"So?" I screamed, now beyond any rational tone of voice or logic of conversation. "How many eight-year-old boys say they want to be firemen? How many actually grow up to BE firemen? We'd have a lot of fucking firemen running around if every guy followed his eight-year-old dreams! I was eight-fucking-years-old! What if I said I'd said I wanted to suck dicks for a living? What the fuck!"
I turned my back on him and looked back into the courtyard to see a dozen pairs of inquisitive eyes quickly turn away. Near the door of Vincent's I recognized Nina, her brown leather jacket tied at the waist, her hair pulled back tightly from her face like a geisha girl. I wanted to run to her, to bury my face between her small pink-tipped tits and scream until my throat was raw, but she just nodded and disappeared down the stairs.
I didn't bother to turn around when I spoke. "Go away. Just get the fuck out of my face. You make me fucking sick." I stood there, shaking, the minutes seemingly stretching into infinity, until I heard the sound of his black polished wingtips clicking away down the pavement.
I pushed the gate open and picked up my backpack. Sharkey was now standing outside near one of the tables, a guy with long black hair, crusty smeared eyeliner and fake pointed ears talking animatedly at him, his arms flailing wildly as Sharkey just nodded. I mopped at my forehead with the sleeve of my shirt and stopped next to them. "You okay, Rev?" He asked, his expression one of honest concern. "If that man ever comes around here again, tell him I'm dead, okay?" Sharkey's eyebrows raised. "Who is he?"
"He thinks he's my fucking father."
Nina was inside, tucked into a booth in the cool darkness, drinking something frothy from a mug. Another mug sat across the table from her. I sat and wrapped my hands around it, watching the steam rise into the damp stale air, wishing for something cool instead. She suddenly stood and walked to the counter, returning with a glass of iced tea. She placed it in front of me. Sitting back down, she untied the belt of her coat, shrugging it off to reveal another poignant t-shirt message: Satan is my Co-Pilot.
What in the holy hell...?
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