Surely other guys had gone through this. Ok , I had committed the worst sin possible -I ahd fucked - really fucked - I had intercourse with a woman.. And I wasn’t married . I was fifteen.
.But I didn’t know who had done it who wasn’t married . But there were guys who did it .. Did it often . I just didn’t know any of them.I wanted to know how to go about going to confession and how
to tell this sin , because it was bothering me so much .I had asked a few of the senior guys in the school. But I could see now that they didn’t know either . All they wanted to know was who was
the girl I’d done it with . I knew by the sly way of their talk that they hadn’t a clue and that after they realised I had done it all they wanted to do was to have a go themselves. They made
me sick . I‘d heard about this priest - a Father Clohessy . He was supposed to be deaf, and often fell asleep during confessions. And the smart guys went in to the confessional while the angelus
bells were ringing so he couldn’t hear the sins. .And he‘d just say .. Fair enough “ God Bless you my son .. And give them the penance -.Job done !. He sounded like my man .
So I made my way along to the church the following Saturday . The church was dark coming in from the weak September sun. I spotted his name . There were quite a few unshaven stevedores-( dockers) kneeling in the pews .Fr Clohessy. ;-read his name over the confessional it seemed to send out a sort of bleating to other lost sheep ; with - and all these real hard sinners waiting ..This was my man !. The place reeked of whiskey and wine. All the hard chaws were lined up to go in. And if they were there for the same reason as me. Well…
I took my place at the back .I was the youngest person in the church by about sixty years .Every so often one of them would turn around pretending to be looking at the clock. I knew the dodge. They weren’t kidding me. Besides I was feeling fervent. I mean it felt like feeling fervent. I liked the sound of the word . Fervent
As the penitents came out each shuffled to the back of the church to say his penance ; Head down looking like he was real mortified .But that was fine too. Just to prepare myself I checked a couple of times to see how the penitents were doing , so I sneaked a look at that same clock to see how long it was taking them to say their penance and leave . The confession itself , I was figuring was taking about five minutes. And the penance about another seven minutes ..on average . This didn’t seem at all bad ! I was the last in the queue and when my turn came I went into the confessional . Then everything seemed to change from the way I'd pictured it. I could see the old priest’s silhouette through the grid. He seemed to be bald and have bushy eyebrows. Things jutted out here and there . He looked like a disorganised man in the dark , which was fine by me . We were going fine until he asked me how long it had been since my last confession. That was all of about two minutes in to the proceedings.
- About 3 months father
-I see .. Is there many more out there..?
I was thrown by this .
-I mean outside. .Outside ! Is there many more waiting for confessions...
- No, I’m the last one father .
-Thank God ,Haachhaa!! Thank God I've a wedding at four .I’m on my own you know .. !! Well now what’s troubling you my son...Ahha chaa! Crarrachh - he had something in his throat.
I was hoping to build it up with smaller sins as a sort of intro.. But with his wedding I decided to go for it. Just slip in in handily .
-Father I committed adultery...
There was one of those pauses that warned me that this could be difficult.-Well well my man.. son. Can I ask you are you a married man ...son..
-Well son its not quite like that so.. Its adultery when you take another mans wife son .Did you take a mans wife son ?
- No father.. It was the other the thing father. .
He wasn’t listening . He seemed to be settling in for a good old session.
- You didn’t sound like a married man son. . Well..now could we start with your age ..son .
- Fifteen father..
He shook his head behind the grill . I could see the hairy eyebrows moving like brushes in the dark. And his hand going over his face like sandpaper.
- Well now... So lets start at the beginning.. Well , tell me your story...who was this .. this ..woman . ..this girl. ..and where did this happen . Now tell it all in your own words .. There’s no shame in here . We’re all sinners …So slowly now son what did you and this young woman get up to. From the beginning .
So I started at the beginning. But where did he mean beginning ..so I started about the casino and the duke box..
-You can skip all that son and move on to the .. well the event itself.. How did it start.. at all…?
-I did .. I had carnal knowledge with her father. And I’m fully contrite and I firmly resolve. Never more to offend.. ..
-Hold it !.. Steady on now.. Tell me . What age was she , son .
-Eighteen or nineteen father......
-And tell me son .. ..tell me , was she a virgin ...
I had to think about that . I mean I didn’t ask her .. I wasn’t sure.
-I don’t know.. I don’t think so...
-And would you know...
-No father .
-Do I take it then this was your first time .. at the carnal knowledge I mean --Yes Father.
-What age was this girl. Did you say.. Eighteen or Nineteen .? Go on now . The lord is listening.. Shame the devil , tell me the truth son .. You have to tell the truth....Don’t make me drag it all out of you. son.. Speak to the lord. We have to have details. Now .Let me see ... Where did this sin take place.. Did she bring you to her flat? Was that it ehh ?
- No it took place in a field
- My God _- go on boy...in a field ... an animal....the beast of the field , God in Heaven. Now go on speak to the Lord..thats what your'e here for.. Now tell me… Tell the lord...Who started it.. I mean tell me from the beginning. Now confess ... The way it happened...everything..
His breathing seemed to have quickened. I felt he hadn’t had much carnal knowledge business that morning. That’s for sure . Well I had to go through the whole thing. Some times he made me repeat the same part again..
-Now ..tell me again .. You say she opened your pants- - Unbuttoned your fly? ..is that what you're saying.? . I see ..she did this .Hmmm...You didn’t. open your fly yourself .That’s important..that kind of thing.. that’s important Think hard ..
-She opened it..
-I see And ? ..
-Well she took out my ..
-Say it son ..your penis.. She took out My Penis..say it , and the two of ye in a field ..in broad daylight is that it..Am I getting the picture right . I see I see ...go on .. And she handled your flesh.. Is that what your saying.. She took it out.. She opened your pants and took out your penis... Is that it eh..was that the act ? Have you left out something here son..
Well I had put my hand on her ..sacred parts..
-That would be her vagina .
-And I had my other hand on her breasts ..
-How ? Did she let you take off her brazier or did she take it off herself or what .. Think hard boy.. You‘re in the house of God
-No she didn’t have one on..
-Hmmm… I see !! I see ..Go on..
-It was happening so fast , father … I was overtaken by the moment..
I knew this was wrong the second it came out. It was a bit of advice that one of the guys gave me. I thought it would rush him on to the forgiveness part, and out the door of that hell. But of course he had to make hay of it .
-“ Overtaken by the moment ”were we.. I see .Indeed . “Overtaken ”- no less . “ by the moment” - Now boy , what is that supposed to mean , Are you trying to conceal your sins from God.. Is that your game.. Because it will not work . You hear me boy.. ?
- yes father
- someone told you to say that , am I right .
- yes father
- take my advice now boy, and tell it in your own words.. Slowly ..in your own words ..- you were saying that she didn’t have any brazier on and I asked you what happened next ?
- I put my finger in her private parts.. The Vagina .
- We got that far .. Right-ho . And she had no brazier..Right.. And what was her reaction to all of this ?
- I don’t know father.
- Yes ..I see.. Well was she groaning .. Groaning ..like she was in a great pain ..like an animal.. Was she breathing fast..
- I..I think so
-And then she opened your trousers and took out your mickey ., you‘re penis.lets get the thing right son... Have I it right so far.. ?
- go on . Do I have to drag it out of you .?
- No father ..I’m trying to think..
- That’s right now . Think hard Now you said she was 19 or 20.. Tell me what colour hair had she .. ?
-Brown I think .
-I see go on now.... And there you were with your finger inside her in her vagina …your finger in the woman’s sacred place..
- Yes father... And she didn’t stop you..? At all ?. While you were putting your finger into her ?..... Ohh lord above ; and she was only 18.. I don’t know at all ...
And so it went on . Every single part had to be gone through again, and again. Then he startled me... He paused for a while to get his breath. He seemed to be agitated, restless somehow. I felt he was trying to sneak a look at me ,with all his shuffling .about in the confessional .He took out a hanky and blew his nose. It made one on those flapping sounds .Like a ducks taking off from a pond. Generally those big whiskey noses did that. I was wondering what he looked like .Now he seemed to polish the tip of the nose like polishing the edge of a table. Which proved my point .
- aKaachh.. He uttered clearing his throat.....Jesus disgusting, .. I could almost taste the slime , and he didn’t even excuse himself, then he was off again. Well .this is a most grevious sin... akaaachh... Some would say a reserved sin... aahchraachKarachi !!
- Do you know what that is son..! Aa-acchhha haa !- He was nearly finished .I could tell. Do you know what a reserved sin is son..
-Yes father A reserved sin is...- when .. And he cut me short. I did know what it meant but he had to give it to me ._
- Its such that thevileness of the matter is of such gravity that we ordinary priests may have to refer to the bishop.. akaraccch.. .. And ,yours .. Yours is such a case son.. Unfortunately, yes It is just such a case , I regret to say..
He paused again.- I seemed to have been the longest penitent in history. I could hear his hands against the bristling eyebrows , and the sandpaper sound of his hand massaging his face.
- You would like me to keep this from the bishop now son wouldn’t’t you ?
-Of course father If you can
- Well I don’t know .I don’t know .. In a case like this ..well , I'll try , in a case like this.. .. I .I would have to see both parties to the sin...... You and the girl.. You'll have to bring her around to the refectory ... Ahhraca.. And to the confessional box.
- bring the girl to the confessional father ?- I could barely believe my ears .This after asking me what cououred hair she had . I was beginning to wonder.
-You’ll both have to make penance together . It’s the only way I can see...
Will you convince the girl she has to come lad.. ?
- If I have to father .
- You are contrite lad I can see that . You’re a decent lad . And I’d like to give you absolution son..but there has to be a conviction from both parties.. Remember what you say.. “ and I firmly resolve ” , Now like I say you sound like a good a lad. You just fell from grace ..And maybe you were led astray by this woman .. Maybe this girl was also led astray .. Fifteen is very young to be involved in the sin of the flesh son . Very young .The only way I can assure myself that you are both atoning for this awful sin of the flesh..and such young....No !.But no need for names..Nothing like that... We don’t go in for personal details …
Could you believe that . And all the details he made me tell ,over and over But he went on .
-No .. we have no interest in intruding into the privacy of the individual . This is between you and the lord .. Well we'll make it as easy as possible.. But you must be sincere son and the young girl ..will she come..?
- I'll tell her she has to
- Good ..good that’s a good sign any way....Tell me son , would you say she did this before .?
- I don’t know father But I’ll tell her she has to come
- Good lad .We’ll make a good fist of it , the three of us .
Fuck me . Was I duped by those idiots in school.. The deaf old priest.!!.My Ass ! Sure ! and get him during the angelus .Oh yea .But he was off again.
- Is she a local girl..lad ..
-I dont know.
- what I mean is did you know her to see from school say.. Or around town,
- No I never saw her before
- was she a skivy type ..you know a scullery maid type .. A housemaid type, maybe working in one of the doctor‘s houses or up there on Taylor‘s Hill..
-I don’t know
-Well I’ll try to be easy on ye..The light will be on outside the box..Come at three sharp.. . They'll all be gone by then...I want ye both to come in to the box together ..on each side ..that is the way . So I can talk to both of ye at the same time . You do understand me son don’t you ?
Now this sounded was really weird to me .. I mean the confessional is sacred and its sanctity is preserved under threat of steel .. So we were taught .. And here is this priest telling me to bring another sinner into the confessional with me ?. Well I mean.. I could hear her confession and she would hear mine . I had decided then .No !. No way ! But he went on
- We’ll do this thing together .. The three of us ...will she go along with that do you think lad . It has to be that way..it’s loathsome sin boy.. loathsome....
I hadn’t thought of it that way loathsome' and now the word had a sickening feeling to it .like coffin or shroud.Like the way those words sound as sickening as the things they are. “ spasms “ is another one,
- Saturday afternoon so.. . All of this is confidential.. And the girl .Make sure !That’s vital for the full atonement you understand .I don’t want any jiggery pokery about this now .. Because .. Well its the best thing..That you resolve.. Firmly RESOLVE ! resolve.. FIRMLY ! y ..that’s why we say firmly resolve never more to offend thee.!!. Will she be frightened of me do you think.. The girl..- ?
Jesus the thought of it . If there was anyone outside , they’d have heard my full confession now that he was almost shouting . But he was on a loser now . That’s for sure but I went along .
-I hope not father.
-Well there’s no need for that .. This is something ye both have to face ,,and that’s what I’m here for ..a facilitator.. If you like..do you understand the gravity of all of this son ?
-I do father.
- I wonder ..I wonder .. Dear god I wonder.. ..now be on your way son .. I’ll pray for your young soul dear god..
Suddenly I felt a further surge of panic. . As if I’d been denied.. What I wondered would my penance be .
- What is my penance father.?
-Ah boy.. Your not listening at all .. I cant grant you absolution today boy.. No no ! that’s part of it now .. You see I have to pray for you .. And when I feel the time is right. I’ll exercise the power vested in me by the lord to...to expunge this carnal sin...akaach-hha
It was back again. and so i resigned myself .
-Kacccachh - It was revolting . I was wondering if the confession of the loathsome sin was having that effect on him-
-Thats why you have to come here with the girl .Now do you get my meaning son . This is a grave matter..
That word grave sounded sick too sick like bestial , vile, like coffin and shroud...and vomit ....thats what it felt like now in there.
He started to wind up matters there .
-God bless you my son .. Till Saturday then.. I'll pray for ye.. Don’t let me down now... And the girl too .!. We have to do this this together .. The three of us..You me and herself , the lady friend , the three of us together do you follow, now go on with you In Nomine Patri et filius et ..Spiritui Sanctus..
And that was it. After all the panic and the worry , I was still nowhere. So much for the wise old priests who heard it all before and so you murdered a man son ! Well how times did you murder a man son,- all that was pure crap !!- . didn’t happen like that . As I came out of the church , the sun was harsh . I was a little queasy like the way I’d felt coming out of a hospital or something. That sick feeling .
There were a group of old fishermen sitting on the wall overlooking the quay. The men seemed to be staring at me. It could have told you it was paranoia, but I deserved to be paranoid. I started walking home. The quay where we used to fish - of all places - had an open sewer running into it just along the harbour wall.. And I thought of all the carnal and bestial sins of the flesh...all spewing out there ..Were all these signs of the beginning of my atonement. There was a seagull wheeling over the end. of the pier ;diving into the murky water. He looked so clean and white against the puke water. I wanted to throw a stone to get him away from all this sickness. And then I started thinking of the trouble free life of a seagull.
Why did god make it so easy for us to fall? I knew we were made in his own likeness.. But then if we were like him why was I like me, and not him . God I mean . It still bothers me ..
Why did he invent sex for example if he knew we were going to be such suckers for it. And the other thing was that if we were made in his likeness , did he have the same passion for sex.. Yea I know it’s heresy. But what else can you think. We are like him or we are not .
You’re wondering about the girl and the next Saturday? Naw ! I chucked the whole thing in after that.
I mean there was something really pervy about that priest.. Oh yea ! Big deal.. Man of the world and all that.. That’s what they told me . My ass he was .!
You know , I know this is a terrible thing to say , but it wouldn’t surprise me if he was jerkin off inside there . Not a bit . Not one bit !
See . The way I looked at things now was I was a condemned sinner . And what if I did a few more ..sins.. Well if I got the chance . Then I’d have another go and maybe if I had a good few sins to tell ..the penance couldn’t be much worse for more than one sin ..just so long as I didn’t die in the meantime.. what difference did it make ? See what I mean ? But No . I wasn’t going back to this pervy guy. I mean to say what did it matter what colour she had . Why did he have to know all that .
Fukin perv . that’s all he was .
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