Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The Incessant Murmur

Fall of 1968 (Perugia, Italy). She did not dare to say no when her best friend invited her to her daughter's First Communion. And there she was in the church hearing the unbearable murmur of the people before the mass began. She felt warmth. She ran her hand through her dark, wavy hair and she slid it slowly to the high neck of her dress, she touched the lace lightly. "Will not they ever shut up?" she thought. She looked back, the baroque door was open and the light poured in. She had sat in the last row and there was no one else with her. It was better there. But that murmur was driving her crazy. And the place too.

1960s lace chiffon dress.
Even being a Catholic, she was not in the mood to get in a church, and less in where her mother's funeral had been celebrated only a couple of months ago. She began to feel an unbearable anguish in her chest. And heat again. Fortunately her dress was loose, straight and did not stick to the body. She had bought it last year, but she had never put it on because her mother got sick and she did not have time for herself. She turned her head to one side and another. The waiting on that bench was getting endless. "When the hell will this start?" she whispered on the verge of tears. She looked at her hands, they seemed tired even with the nice lace of the cuffs around them. She looked up at the long chiffon sleeves of her dress, if for some reason she had bought it, it was because she wanted to feel them around her arms. She smiled a little. At least she had an enviable dress. "I wish I had someone to help me down that long zipper," she smiled a little more and rested her hands on her covered knees. She got straight and looked straight ahead. The murmur continued, but she seemed to start feeling a little better.

Suddenly, the door slammed shut. It seemed that the mass was about to start. The stillness began to take over the place. The priest came out of the sacristy running a little wearing his white cassock. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw her friend raising her hand to greet her, she waved back. She got up and that dress of such pure yellow showed itself in all its beauty. The heat was gone and a feeling of full well being flooded her delicate body. The priest made the Sign of the Holy Cross. And the murmur stopped.

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