Cloud 9 [Part 2]: (1)




            The doors open to the first floor, displaying another door.  A sign above this double doorway reads WELCOME in bold, white letters.  To my right, the left of the door presents a schedule listing weekly services with Sundayin bold.  First come, first serve—the subtext.  This is first church I have seen with its own motto.  It doesn’t even look like a church.  For Christ’s sake, I’m in a hotel.  It, the church, is but a simple room with a makeshift altar, appearing to be made of cheaply produced wood similar to the boxed desks or shelves you can find at white-trash superstore.  A spark of curiosity can’t really fail.  I turn the door handle, and I feel the technicalities shift through the knob until the bolt unlatches.  I guide my body headfirst into the dispensing light.

              Squinting as if I had been in a dark room for a while, I notice the hallway isn’t lit terribly well.  It’s an odd adjustment.  The fog of the temporary blindness clears itself, and I find myself in the church, facing over a balcony.  It’s an interesting placement for an entrance, if I do say so myself.  The walls are a light cream color, which are almost glistening.  Over to my lower left is the altar accented with the bluest of stained glass, glistening from the sun’s shining behind—immaculate and moving.  How can one fathom the design of such a place.  A smile comes across my face.  I am at ease.  I am in some kind of Heaven.
            The sudden, loud cranking of chain and gear friction wakens me from that short-lived ease.  A large stone cross raises in front of me from its resting spot just before the altar, ascending to a hole in the ceiling.  I move aside in preparation of potential swinging; I don’t want to be injured.  A hand upon my shoulder gives me another scare.  I turn and notice the priest behind me.  My hand quickly covers my mouth to block the impending yell that would disrupt the tranquility of the environment.
            In a hushed voice, he states:  Son, you cannot be up here. Please join the rest of your group down below.
            My eyes slide to see the crowd below.  I’m sorry, they reply to the onlookers, I’m not with them.  I’m just visiting, right?
            You can’t stay here.
            I turn to the priest:  I know.  I’ll be on my way in a moment.
            Father descends the stairwell as I continue to look around.  The high ceilings are decorated with faint patterns.  The floor-to-ceiling stained glass windows are so vibrant that they could be portals into another world.  The Stations of the Cross displayed along the walls:  terrifyingly assuring.  The wooden pews spanning all the way down from one end of the church to the other:  never ending.  The wooden seats, those below me I am not sure of their purpose, two rows against each wall, parallel and facing one another: they very much have a gothic and complex structure to them. Their backs are rising to points, looking almost like steeples to a church and decorated with crosses at the peaks.  A rich feeling of comfort and excitement melts over me, streaming down my limbs and over the tips of my fingers.
            I can’t stay here.
            I back up slowly and walk out the door I came through, looking back and missing the sight of being a part of a familiar feeling from the past I’ve almost forgotten about.


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