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Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Next Chapter of Lena: Confession

aren't you getting tired of seeing no updates? yet you return, day after day.

depression feels like desperation, and I refuse to submit a dishonest post.

Lena: Return.

Lena walks back to a place she has been before. A scaled-down Babel pierced the sky. A sound came out of the rip - bells. A woman in an ugly hat walked out. The church.

Entering the confessional, Lena walks back again to a place she has been before. 

"When was the date of your last confession?" the virgin asks her.

"Age fourteen. A requirement before Confirmation."

"And how many years do you have now?"

"Twenty-Four. So ten. Ten years since my last confession."

The virgin says nothing. Lena decides this silence is the least offensive prompt of all possible prompts which are directed as instigating one's admission of vulnerabilities.

"My first sin is that, when I was younger and forced to participate in this sacrament, I made up sins," Lena says. "I never felt as if I had done anything wrong."

"And now, you feel you have done wrong?"

"No, not really."

The virgin says nothing, and then says, "Why don't we continue anyway?"

"Why not I suppose. My second sin is not believing in God."

The virgin automatically responds, "Mother Theresa was plagued with doubt until the day she died. She wrote of it every night in her journals."

"I guess I don't see what that has to do with me, because I don't give a fuck if God exists or not. I write about interesting things in my journal."

The virgin clears his virginal throat. He reswallows the virginal mucus he has just worked so hard to dislodge, virginally. "Perhaps confession is not the right step for you at this moment."

"Jesus man. I'm getting there. I'm just fucking around right now."

"So you do have something to confess which burdens your soul?"

"No, but one of my characters does. Do you mind if I read a part of her confession to you?"

"I'm not sure I understand." Virgin clears his dumb virgin throat again. 

Lena clears her own de-virginized throat. "Her name is Aletea. She is conflicted right now because she is having an affair with her cousin. They played the 'show me' game when they were young, and now, their paths have mysteriously intersected again many years later. Their attraction is magnetic and natural and mutual. Yet of course it is wrong."

"Is this you? Are you talking about you?"

"No, Father. This is Aletea. She is one of my characters. From my journals."

"Ah - I think - "

"Anyway Father, may I please read you her confession? She is quite a devoted Catholic and I need to know what penance you would give her. For contextual accuracy."

"Er, alright then."

Lena opens her purse and removes a small red notebook from one of its compartments. She turns to page 17 and begins reading. Slowly.

"When he finally touched me it was how I remembered touch felt. It was bare sex, elementary sex. Everything else has since him, a footnote. Like I tapped into the center of a system. Its maxims. Its gears. At one point I said, as he was cautiously reacquainting himself with me, I said, in a last attempt to salvage my ethical self, to squander his carnal appetite, I said, 'Don't do this to yourself.' He said, 'But I'm doing it to you.' And god. I just fucking let him."

"Is that it?" the virgin asks after a few moments of dead air.

"Yes. What are the damages?"

The virgin merely swallows. "15 each Lord's Prayer and Hail Mary."

"Is that really it?"

"And a tremendous effort to change."

Lena frowns. "But if she changes the plot will be ruined. I have many more pages after 17."

"Well, then I guess she's not really sorry."

Lena ponders this a moment. 

"I guess you're right."

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