“My mother always said never talk about religion, politics or sex.”
“So you became a priest?” Ian asked genuinely confused.
“My father talked about nothing but religion, politics and sex. I was caught in the crossfire.”
“Ah.” Ian stared at the stained-glass of Jesus dragging his cross. “Why did you sit next to me, Father?”
“I was told to go find out what the scary looking guy wants and call the cops if I see any weapons.”
Maybe it was the deadpan delivery but Ian began to laugh; he quickly found he couldn’t stop. Old ladies gave him dirty looks. The laughter was contagious and the young Father cracked up as well. The two of them quickly found themselves being shushed and shooed out into the courtyard.
“I’m sorry,” Ian said.
“Don’t be. I refuse to believe our Lord never laughed. Not when people are so funny.” Ian sat on a graffiti covered bench. “Isn’t there anything… priestly I can do for you? Confession?”
Ian shook his head. “No. I’m gay, my husband is a Jewish atheist, and my job involves hunting and killing bad people for the Federal Government, and I don’t feel particularly guilty about any of that. As far as I’m concerned I did my penance long before the sin. Between me and God… well I think the balance sheet is a little complicated.”
The priest sat next to Ian. “Is there nothing in your soul you wish to unburden?”
“In the third grade I looked up Sister Mary Sarah’s skirt.”
“And… You’ve never confessed to that?”
“She was wearing grey, thermal long underwear. I think it put me off women.”
The priest put his face in his hands and began to laugh again. “I don’t even know what to say to that.”
“There’s nothing to say.”