Thursday, July 22, 2010

Monica Ragland Graduates

From My Flat on Wit's End

Hello Friends,
I'd like to introduce you to my neighbor twice down. Her name is Monica Ragland. She graduated from Cloverdale's Comprehensive School at the end of May. Her graduation announcement was delivered to my home yesterday by our Adequate Just Postal Service. She addressed it to my home in Utah. An innocent mistake considering I spend five days out of seven there. Unfortunately, the US Post Office redirected the letter back to my flat here in Cloverdale. The announcement and I must have passed each other twice in our journeys.

I opened the letter at the kitchen table. Her picture fell from the envelop and landed face up. I was puzzled by her choice of backdrop and pose. It just didn't look right. Most seniors are ridiculously posed in front of something natural in the senior pictures. Some photographers urge them to take their pictures from odd to bizarre by having another image of them super impose onto the left or right quadrant of the photo.

In my opinion, the goal of a senior picture is to make the graduating student look cool and grown up. Monica's senior pictures failed on both counts. Her photos make her look strangely religious and pious. Odd for someone with the reputation of being on the wild side. Monica was known to stay out past 11:00 P.M. Last year I overheard a few teens near the gumball machines at the Piggly Wiggly say they'd seen her in the park holding hands with a local boy known for always getting a good night kiss on the first date! You can see why so many questioned her morals and values.

I called Monica to congratulate her for graduating and explain why my congratulations came so late.

"Monica, I hope you don't take this wrong, but your graduation picture is different than most," I said, hoping not to put her on the defensive.

There was a short pause. "Haven't you heard?" she questioned. I'm accepted into the Convent of the Sisters of Ever Increasing Hope at Saint Bartholomew's. I'm going to be a nun!"

"A Nun!" You could have picked my jaw up from the floor. I stumbled to the sink to pour a glass of water wanting to stabilized the shock ebbing from the top of my head to the tip of my toes.

"I enter the convent in August. I'll pray for you Mr. Williamson," her voice was calm, assuring me her decision to abandon the world of the living was what she really wanted.

"Yes please do. I need all the help I can get," I laughed. She didn't. There was a long, uncomfortable pause.

"I know you do Mr. Williamson. There is help for you Mormons. I believe faith can move mountains!" I thought offense would be the next feeling to cross my mind, followed by anger. It wasn't.

"Ah, thanks Monica," I said, realizing I was starting to feel a form of gratitude for her concern.

We spoke for several more minutes and then hung up. I went back to my chair in the front room thinking how lucky I was to have a future nun for an acquaintance, you know, just in case I get to the other side and find myself in a very unexpected Purgatory.

Monica was my Faith Insurance.

Well, its time for bed. It is 11:20 P.M. Cloverdale time. Cloverdale Weekend Television is showing reruns of "Are You Being Served" from the BBC in England. I love the show but watching the Staff of Grace Brother's Gentleman and Woman's Departments working in the department store's Toy Department for the tenth time is enough.

I'm gone.


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