I am in an apartment now because the workers on our house cannot seem to reach the point where we can live/work in harmony together. This apartment is across the street from a Franciscan Nuptial Hall, whatever that means. Not that I have anything against St. Francis, what with his affinity for animals and such. No, it's just that the place seems like a sad anachronism when you take in to account everything that's going on around it. And maybe that's always been the case with the Franciscans; there has always been something potentially distracting going on around them through the centuries. I guess for the purposes of full disclosure I should now report that I am not Catholic, have never been a Catholic, although I once wore a St. Christopher's medal for about a month, and it is not my intention to offend anyone who is or might be thinking of becoming one. I only have two affiliations with the Catholic Church: (1) I once had a roommate who was a convert, who whooped it up on Saturday nights and then quite piously visited the priest sometime the next day. And (2) There was a period of time when I conducted psych evaluations on prospective priest candidates from Latin America because I happened to be able to communicate in Spanish.
Garbage trucks play music here. You can hear the innocent voices of children lifting from afar on a recording that repeats itself twice a minute. Their song implores us all to be ecologically minded and to separate our trash: set out our inorganic materials on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; our organic on the rest of the days of the week. Being able to hear this song from afar gives me plenty of time to hustle around the apartment and collect whatever type of trash is on tap for the day and get it down to the street, tied on a fence up high so the street dogs don't get to it, before the garbagemen arrive to take it to some unnamed, but I'm sure perfectly sanitary location. I like to hear the voices of the garbage choir.
But today, for some reason known only to God or to the Department of Sanitation, the Franciscans decided to chant, and not just chant, but chant at the same time that my beloved refuse truck was approaching. I am not opposed to things Gregorian, calendars or otherwise, but I have to tell you, a good old fashioned serious dirge-like chant just does not go well with a garbage-themed children's tune. I tried desperately to make out what the chanting was all about, but sadly failed to decipher even one single word. Perhaps it was a chant about the need to separate other types of garbage and to place it in the hands of some other higher power besides the Sanitation Department.