RDP Wednesday: RIPOSTE
When I was a kid, maybe six or seven years old, I used to take a break from going to Mass and I would go to Church- maybe once every other month or so with my friend Lori.
Lori’s family were Lutherans and when it was time for the Sermon, the kids would be shunted off to ” Bible Class ” with their age group.
I was a Catholic kid and I was into the drama that is Mass.I loved the ceremony and those statues that were in cages or standing against the walls. It was spooky and mysterious. But we were actually expected to learn things and nobody bribed me with cookies and punch to get through my lessons.
When Lori went to bible class they got to draw pictures, have snacks and the bible verses they had to memorize were easy easy compared to the prayers I had to learn. I enjoyed Bible Class, it was fun.
Given my nature though I was getting a little bored until one Sunday we ended class with a prayer that we sere supposed to say at bedtime:
Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my Soul to keep
If I should die before I ‘wake,
I pray the Lord my Soul to take.
My ears perked up and in that moment I decided maybe Bible Class had some promise after all.
That night I was saying this prayer over and over under my breath during Star Trek. I kept it up at dinner. I said it at dessert and finally my Dad asked me what was I chanting so I ran through the prayer that I could have said backwards and forwards at this point and then I laughed and said:
” If I die before I wake-” That’s when a vampire when it gets a stake through it’s heart. Before it wakes. They die before they wake.”
” What?” my Dad asked- if you think he looked surprised at what was merrily marching down from my brain to my mouth involved Dracula and a child’s bedtime prayer, he wasn’t.
For a minute there I saw Bela Lugosi’s Dracula saying this prayer before he slammed his coffin lid down on himself and I started to laugh. Whatever I was eating or drinking at the time went up into my nose and I started to sneeze and cough.
My Mom looked at me and said, ” Bless you”
My Dad looked at my Mom, rolled his eyes to the ceiling and he added to that, ” Maybe this time it will stick. ”