an excerpt from the first chapter of
St. Cecilia’s School for Wayward Youths
Justine Abilene, where were you, that night I knocked so long at your door? I had never been one for intrusive mysticism, but I needed a seer—I needed you. I was a lonely drunk with delusions of sainthood, warbling cat sounds at each and every one of your windows. You never answered. Neither did God. I needed something more than faith. I wanted the expiration date. Oh, I was stupid for it, I know, but I was young, and that meant I had everything to be stupid about.
I was also drunk. I'd been wandering Main Street since earlier in the evening, drinking, putting off phone calls, and dealing with stress headaches. I was that fucked up kind of miserable, that masochistic kind, where “hope” seemed a word in the language of the angels. It was something I just couldn't touch.
I would not have recognized my own mother and father, I was so gone, although I was still certain I