Chronarchy (chronarchy) wrote,

Ghosti is alive and well in Ohio, and dreaming the WalMart Dream

This morning, I walked into my office and passed a car with the license plate at right.

Well, at least someone here gets it :)

Last night, I had a strange dream. It took place in a WalMart, and I was late getting there, but just on time. I was met back in the camping section by an attractive blonde executive-type, and asked to hurry up and follow her.

She took me back into a room filled with various priests in various states of "vestedness" (which, I suppose, is the clerical equivelant of "dress"), and she asked me where my robes were. For a moment, I panicked, thinking, "Damnit, I knew I forgot something this morning!" but was saved when the cute executive blonde said, "Nevermind. Just find some here. We have a number in stock for priests who can't afford to dress nicely enough for our standards."

At this, a number of the priests looked knowingly at each other, while an equal number gave me that, "Don't worry, we've been there" sort of look that is always strangely comforting.

Hanging on the wall were some very Catholic-altar-boy-looking vestments (they came to above the knee, were slightly yellow with age and lack of care, and were completely out of place for the Pagan service I knew I was going to give. I decided that my suit was good enough, and would cover it well, checked the time and saw it was about my turn to go out, and slipped out the front door.

There, I came out into the WalMart chapel. Yes, it is exactly what you envision with the words "WalMart chapel." The service going on before mine was still in full swing, and they were cutting into my time. I caught a sneer from the woman who was preaching, and I knew she was going over her time on purpose.

I scanned the crowd for my congregants, and saw my parents sitting about three rows back. I sat down near the left wall of the chapel, and they got up and came to sit near me.

I'd invited them because this was a major thing: this was our first service here, where we were on par with several other religions, given the same honours and duties as they were, and also our first real service where it could be considered truly "hostile territory."

"We're playing with the big boys now," I whispered to my dad.

"Yes, you are!" he whispered back.

At that point, I started running through my ritual. I suddenly had to take into account that my liturgical design had to work around pews and the sanitized, indoor feel of a WalMart: truly a trick, as you can imagine.

I let my mind roam freely, blocking out the sqwaking of the lady who was running into my service's time, and started imagining what I would say in such an atmosphere.

The rite was in summer, and I thought of the camping and outdoor area behind me, and my inspiration ran wild. There was something tangible that Joe Blow and Susie Shoppingcart could relate to: the feel of nature, regulated through bugspray, high gas prices to get into the world, and expensive Ozark Trail tents that are more like houses than canvas. That was the natural connection I needed to stress: not full abandonment to nature (the WalMart crowd wouldn't understand that), but cautious entry into the realm of the unknown and amazing, the wholely other that was the edge of civilaization.

I felt very good about the service, very calm and comfortable.

Then I woke up to my alarm, thinking I had to get to WalMart before the service started without me.
Tags: clergy, dreams, family, freedom

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