Sunday, May 14, 2006
London Day Three
Working in Leslie's office on her website, plus answering email. And yes, more games. We go to her local church, where the lead priest has a very nice, typically British style -- erudite and apologizing for the lack of a reader. He's sure we'll get bored listening to the same voice the entire mass. No music which is blessed; it means the mass is a good ten minutes shorter. Then the priest apologizes for his sermon; again, we have to listen to his voice and really, nothing he says is important, we can feel free to nod off or perhaps read the church newsletter. Perhaps we'll find something useful in there. Then he proceeds to deliver a lovely sermon, quoting EM Forster among others. During communion, another priest pops up whom I guess rightly is the one Leslie has befriended. (They went to a play together.) He has a very off-hand manner when giving communion. Doesn't look up, mumblers "Body of Christ." When he gets to me (I look rather slovenly or perhaps he just realizes this is someone new), he gives a slight peek at me before keeping his eyes downcast again. At the end of mass, the priest apologizes AGAIN when reading the notices for the week. During mass, a young man is sitting about three rows past us on the side aisle, with empty pews before and after him. Five or eight minutes into the mass, an old man comes in and sits in the same short pew on the other end. Young man looks up but makes no nod of recognition. I think how odd. Why would the old man sit there? At one point, the old man puts his arm across the pew, which is almost touching the young man's shoulder. Then at the end of the mass they go up the side aisle and out a side door (leading to the rectory?) together. Very odd. I mention them and Leslie says she's been watching them for years. The old man always shows up late and they always leave together. She has three theories. One, the young man is his gay son and the son is estranged from the mother. This is the only time each week the old man can spend with the guy (who is late 20s or 30s; old man is 60s or older). He goes to mass with wife and then comes again with son. Two, Leslie thinks they're gay lovers. Three, Leslie thinks they're spies, passing information. According to the younger priest, this Church was famous for spies (presumably German) coming here to pass off info to one another. Back home for more games.