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NINE

          God may have mercy on my soul but in response to my Facebook post concerning Why We’re Catholic my son Kevin comments back, “Trent Horn is a nice man. You be nice.”

          I shoot back, “I’m going to read it word for word,” and shake my head. Last night I have an in depth conversation with a woman who believes wholeheartedly in the power of astrology while simultaneously valuing science and its methods and  eschewing religion and  today my son, who thinks the Roman Catholic Church is the direct descendant of Jesus Christ via His proclamation that Peter was the rock upon which He would build His church and that somehow makes popes and church divine, is my cross to bear. Madre de dios! So many perspectives and so many people convinced that we have found the way, the truth and the light. I sigh, Jean looks my way.

          “What’s up?” she asks.

          “Kevin. He’s in love with this abysmal book,” I respond, waving Why We’re Catholic in the air.

          “Chocante!” Jean replies from the driver’s seat. “I told you he’d be bothered.”

           “And so I’m not supposed to express myself?”

         “Blessed is the peace maker for he shall have a pleasant Christmas. Or something like that?”

          “No. they’re the ones who inherit the Earth, or at least a three foot by eight foot section. Don’t beatitude me, my attitude’s not the problem here.”

           “Who sang it takes two to tango, takes two to even compete?”

         “Man! That’s a good one! Song’s called Pillow Talk; not sure who sang it. Diana Ross? Sounds like a Google question.” I hold up my left index finger, tap my phone and say, “Okay, Google who sang Pillow Talk?”

          Google directs me to Wikipedia where I learn that Sylvia Robinson is the soulful voice behind Pillow Talk, and that despite my ignorance of MS Robinson, she had a long and prosperous career dating from 1951 through the end of the Twentieth Century. “Not Diana Ross, Sylvia Johnson. Wikipedia says she had lots of hits and died in 2011 at the age of seventy-six.”

           “Died young, didn’t she?” Jean responds.

          I bite the right side of my lower lip, toggle my head back and forth while saying, “Kind of. Younger than I’m planning to go.”

           “Life is short,” Jean replies, slapping her left turn signal on, checking her side view before pulling out of the right lane and into the left in order to pass the merging tandem tractor trailer that lumbers down the on-ramp ahead of us. “We all need as many blessings as we can get. Be nice, Tony, until I tell you it’s time not to be nice.”

          “Hey! That’s my Roadhouse line! You can’t use Patrick Swayze against me; I use him against you, you hot-headed New Yorker!”

           “Looks like I did, hot shot. And hey, nobody puts Baby into a corner.”

          I shake my head frantically to dispel the mixture of movie madness my beloved has sent my way. “Just get us to Florida,” I reply, “I’m looking forward to having the time of my life,” I deadpan.