Waiting for the Saints
Giovanni "Hank" Gramsci

These are hard times for me. Illness. Confusion. Voices in my head.

I've tried:

- Lamenting.
- Deploring.
- Protesting.
- Complaining.
- Bemoaning.
- Making lists.

Didn't do any good.

The voices tell me to make lists, but so far, it isn't helping. If making lists doesn't help, what will?

Yesterday, I decided to try something else. I went to a church. The priest said I should pray for help: He said I should:

- Pray to God.
- Pray to Jesus.
- Pray to Holy Mary, mother of Jesus.
- Pray to the saints above.

I've been doing that. So far, it hasn't helped either. What I really need is one of those saints to be here right now, not later when I'm dead and in Heaven. But are there still saints among us? I haven't seen any lately, have you? Maybe saints are no longer allowed on Earth. Maybe they've given up on us.

I sit here all alone in this tiny room, shades pulled down, staring at the slowly-peeling-away wallpaper, listening to the creaking of the pipes in the wall, thinking about saints. The voices tell me lists are my only hope, so I will make a list about the saints:

- Where is the saint who will stand up to those mean bastards, those rich and powerful unknowns who, I'm sure, are secretly controlling me? What I need is a saint like that teenaged girl who led her own army to victory. I need a saint like that, someone who will lead me to victory over my enemies, the betrayers, the controllers, the puppet masters who are pulling, pulling, pulling at my strings. She would help me, and laugh when the flames of their so-called-legal punishments begin to lick at her feet.
- Where is the brave soul that will walk among the wild beasts, the psychiatrists, the judges, and the evil politicians, and soothe them for me?
- Where is the one who can teach me to ignore the pain, ignore the loneliness, ignore the voices that never, never, never leave me alone? Like that saint who wore a cilice of barbed wire to prove his faith. He wore it everywhere he went. He ignored his pain. He paid no attention to the trail of blood that pursued him everywhere. He paid no attention to the scorn of his peers who also pursued him, laughed at him, made fun of him as if he was some kind of nut. He was not a nut. He was brave, and I'm sure he would help me, if only he would come here right now.

If any of those saints can hear me right now, I'm asking you to

- Help me banish my loneliness;
- Help me banish my self doubts;
- Help me banish my fearfulness, my worry, my anxiety, my grief, my anguish, my regrets, my remorse, my disappointment with every single thing I have done in my entire life.

If only you will come. Maybe you can even help me banish these damn voices that force me to make more and more and more of these damn lists.

What I need is a miracle. Are there still miracles? What happened to them?

- Why are there no longer any burning bushes spontaneously set alight to show us the way?
- Why is no one out there parting the seas of evilness that are upon us?
- Why, in the middle of a drought (a drought of honesty, a drought of fairness, a drought of goodness and mercy), can no one draw the water of solutions from a rock?

And what about the heroes? I need a hero. Like:

- That kid who felled a great big giant with one little bitty stone.
- That guy who lived for a real long time in the belly of a whale.
- That guy who can made friends with the lions in their own den and didn't get eaten even when the lions got real hungry.

Why don't we have those kinds of heroes anymore? Why don't we have saints anymore? Are they gone for good? Does it mean I really am on my own, and no one is ever going to come and help me no matter how many lists I make? Does is mean the saints will never, ever come back and we are all, everyone on this Earth, entirely on our own now?

I wonder about such things, sitting here in the darkness. Do you?

Copyright 2014. All rights reserved.

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