Today, driving to church with Dorothy, I was thinking what an experience it is.
Dorothy has this quiet voice and the car motor drowns it out. But she just keeps talking. Every once in a while I have to respond and I say, "Yes," or I laugh. Hahahaha ... I just thought of one morning last winter when I picked up not only Dorothy but also Josephine, our organist. Dorothy was in the back seat talking and Josephine, from the passenger seat, spoke up.
"Dorothy, your voice is too quiet," she announced. "I can't hear what you're saying."
Josephine is a plain-spoken Southern Italian while Dorothy ...
... as we reflected once before, is a Northern Italian.
"Oh," Dorothy said to Josephine. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry."
Then she went on talking. I remember that morning because I was hungry because I had forgotten to eat my before-Mass snack. In the Catholic Church there are those who would impose a long pre-Communion fast but I oppose that idea because it is so individual, you know? If I am hungry and my blood sugar plunges and I run off the road in a car carrying our organist and a 90-year-old woman, I would like to know how that profits my soul. Anyway, the reason I remember all this is that Dorothy, after apologizing for her quiet voice, broken open this zippie bag of biscotti she had made for our after-Mass coffee hour. And the three of us are driving along crunching these biscotti. And Dorothy kept talking.
Unfortunately Dorothy had never heard of Leonard Pennario. Of course she has heard of him now. Meanwhile she has a million stories. One is about how when she was a landlady a tenant got knifed in one of her apartments. The tenant died and Dorothy found the body. Another story is about how Padre Pio appeared in her room one night. He did not say anything but he was standing by the window with his robe and his beard. She saw him clearly.
But in the car the conversation usually sounds something like this:
"Padre Pio .......... the Dominicans ...... my garden ....... the Alps ......our village .... and the man was from Milan .... her aunt's sister. .... their 75th wedding anniversary . .... Our Lady ..... your husband ..... the weeds in your garden. .... my niece's dog ..... the concert you missed last week, I asked you if you went and you said no .... my sister Clara. ... Pope Francis. ... Why didn't you go to that concert? You are too busy. Always too busy."
That is how it goes, downtown and back.
I should write a book!