Sunday, October 12, 2008

Two Halves of a Church

Just wanted to share this little unfinished tid-bit I wrote a while back. I read it today and the characters reminded me of the two halves of the Catholic church, "orthodox" and "progressive"


Clifford looked a little out of place walking slowly down the SF beach in khaki pants , a crisply ironed white shirt and a red and white polka dotted bow tie.

Millie was sitting on a green lawn chair in her houseboat slurping on a sauerkraut sandwich she had made herself for a snack.

"What a strange man," she thought to herself.

Every once in a while Clifford would duck as if dodging a seagull overhead and snatch something from the sand, then bolt upright again and continue on down the beach.

As Clifford came nearer to Millie's boat, she abruptly decided to invite him in. Standing swiftly up, she ran inside and put a bathrobe over her neon pink bikini. Something told her Clifford was not the sort of man to be impressed by a woman in a bikini. She twisted her purple scarf around her wild curly red hair and set about the kitchen preparing for her visitor. Her chihuahua Sally silently observed as Millie set out the tea cups and her best china.

Millie nearly forgot she needed to extend an invitation until she saw Clifford, straight as a pin, bob past her window.

"YOOHOO!" She said loudly. Clifford stopped abruptly, looking a bit scared.

"YOoooHOOooo!" She said again in a slightly more sing song voice, hoping it would make him feel a bit more comfortable.

Apparently, it did not because Clifford seemed to make a decision right then to return to his pristine Cadillac as soon as possible. He looked over at it, gleaming in the parking lot.

"Sir," said Millie, a slight panic crept into her voice at the possibility of losing her visitor.

Clifford turned, and seeing her in a green and pink bathrobe, purple scarf and red hair in disarray, became more determined than ever to return to his car.

"Sir, please join me for a cup of tea," Millie said, her voice unconsciously taking on a slightly British accent.

The British accent seemed to put Clifford more at ease as he surveyed her cautiously.

"Ahem, well I am a bit preoccupied at the moment, perhaps some other time," Clifford said.

"Oh no, I insist. I have scones and tea all ready and I simply would not enjoy it all alone," said Millie.

"Are the scones buttered?" Clifford asked, ever more on guard.

"Of course they are," Millie said dismissively, "What kind of hostess do you think I am?"

Clifford seemed to make up his mind right then and there and in a move that was more against his character than missing daily mass, he made his way up to the table Millie had laid out with tea, some very nice china plates and scones that were indeed buttered, much to Clifford's relief.

He sat down uncomfortably in a green lawn chair, adjusted his bow tie and looked around nervously.

Millie's chihuahua Sally came bounding out to meet the new visitor but stopped abruptly at the sight of Clifford adjusting his bow tie.

"Do you have any pets?" Millie asked happily trying to think of what to talk about with her strange new visitor.

"Erm, well not really. Well I do have a chia pet," Clifford said, squirming in his seat and refolding the napkin at his place.

"Oh that is wonderful!" said Millie with true enthusiasm, "I love chia pets."

Clifford looked at her in surprise and said nothing.

"Well, um, I hope you like my scones," Millie said, "What food do you usually like?"

"Ribs." said Clifford quickly and firmly.

"Oh" said Millie, "I am a vegetarian. I'm a Buddhist you see."

Clifford looked at her with a measure of distrust and looked once again at his Cadillac gleaming in the sun.

"What religion are you?" said Millie nervously, as she had noticed the glance at the parking lot.

"Ahem, well I am Catholic," Clifford said, a note of quiet joy creeping into his voice for the first time.


  1. hmmm... I kind of like them both!

  2. i know me too! i did notice that millie isn't even catholic though :)

  3. wait are you writing this...why did you stop? what happened? true love??? or did he return to his Cadillac as i suspect. Oh lordy if only there could be a marriage between these two sorts of extremes.

  4. maybe i will finish it just for you sarah. and just a bit of foreshadowing, yes i think there can be a marriage of sorts between the two halves. they are both right and mistaken at the same time and yet so incredibly lovable and amusing!