The Bus Trip – La Custodia

La Custodia
La Custodia


12/19 – El Paso

The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception is a six block walk from the hostel.

A light snow fell.

I stopped into a CVS and bought a Rosary.

I arrived at the Cathedral in time for the prelude to the Noon Mass.

When I saw the altar I fell to my knees and wept from shock.

At the center of the altar and slightly above it was a huge crucifix with
a bleeding Corpus Christi.

In front of it was a statue of St. Joseph, hands folded in prayer.

Spreading out and up were angels, cupids, gold scrolls, candles, incense, incense burners, wings, what looked like a menorah, and a huge painting of Mary ascending as Enoch into Heaven.

The host was at the center of an un-blinking golden eye.

It is a container called a Monstrance.

A Monstrance or La Custodia is used in Catholic tradition for
venerating the Host.

The Monstrance was raised and slowly displayed to the congregation
by the Archbishop of El Paso.

Three tolls of the bell signaled the start of the liturgy.

The congregation sang in reedy unison: He is the King.

After Mass, I hopped a bus to visit the Venus bookstore.

The Venus was listed in my Dameron’s guide as a gay bookstore.

A quick glance revealed a flytrap: a porn arcade.

I stepped outside and crossed the street to wait for the bus back
to the hostel.

I watched as soldiers, business men and construction workers stepped into the flytrap and were out within minutes with brown bags tucked under their arms.

But some stayed.

Where did they go?

I wondered if there was a theater hidden in the Venus.

It was 2:00.

I ran across the highway and into the shop. I was right.

There was a small theater behind a heavy leather curtain.

I bought a ticket and entered.

It was black and for a second I thought I’d been struck blind
because I’d just been to Mass.

As my eyes adjusted I could almost see that I wasn’t alone.

I went into the light, which was also the john.

On the wall I saw a fresh scrawl: 12-19, Back Row–love to wear
women’s panties.

Impossible, I thought as I rolled my eyes.

I stayed for a few minutes to get a look at the author.

He removed a pair of hot pink panties and waved them at me.

RG (c) 2016




12 thoughts on “The Bus Trip – La Custodia

    1. When I took this trip I was in the process of converting to Catholicism with the intention of entering the Conventional Order of St. Francis — I knew in the back of my mind that the name of the bookstore had nothing to do with classical mythology but if I hadn’t gone to check it out I wouldn’t have had the story to laugh about 20 years later. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The storyline seemed familiar but new as well. I thought it was a continuation. I’m looking forward to your upcoming revision. But, don’t revise too much — your writing is already compelling!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I also was raised Catholic. I love this- like following you down the rabbit hole with the wonder, the incongruous and the amusing. Loved reading this. Well done! I wrote a story inside a church too- only mine was a more tragic tale. A Canticle for Meg.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading it. I went back to the Chelsea sim the other night and I couldn’t find your work. If the hotel has a visitor tracker than Bobby Ormega and the Narrator should be listed.

      I have an idea. Perhaps we can co-ordinate so that you’re on when I am–then we can “meet” and I can see the work.

      Liked by 1 person

I appreciate your comments, though I can’t always reply immediately

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