“Bless me, Father, for I have sinned,” I say, as I sit down in the dark room and begin my Confession.
“Oh, is it lunch break? I am so sorry. Please don’t feel like you need to stop on my account. I will make this quick.”
Wow. The priest is really attacking that sammich, isn’t he?
“Well, okay. This week has been a rough one as a mother. My oldest is five-years-old, and I had her showering because . . . well, do I even need to get into that? You’re human, you know. Sorry, I never know what is pertinent information here.
“Anyway, she got in there, and of course she had to piss . . . err, I’m sorry. Is ‘piss’ appropriate language in here? I mean she had to tinkle. But I didn’t want her to get out and get everything wet, so I told her she could just go in the shower. And I think that might have been a bad idea, because she got this gleam in her eye and she said: ‘Mommy, do you do this?’
“I responded that no, I didn’t really. Okay, yes, I lied to her. That wasn’t right. And the consequence is that I have probably created a shower wee-er. Which is why lying is bad. And because The Big Guy says so—but also, shower pee.
“Next, I have a three-year-old. She is a handful. She doesn’t go to sleep. I mean, she does eventually, but it takes forever to wear that child down. I have to admit I’ve thought several times about trying to get some tranquilizer darts to ‘use as necessary.’ I haven’t done it, but I still feel like even thinking about might be a sin. I don’t think it’s in the ‘Big Ten’ or anything, but it feels a little wrong.
“Next on this list is . . . let me check my notes . . . ”
“Zzzzz . . . fhmpk! What the . . . ? Who are you, lady? Why are you in here?”
“I’m giving Confession.”
“This is the janitor’s closet, ma’am. You can’t be in here.”
“Oh, I remember. I had a couple drinks before walking over to pick up my daughter from school today. That was the last on the list. Am I forgiven and things?”
“Ma’am. I repeat, this is the janitor’s closet. I don’t know how you got in here.”
“Well, sir. With all due respect—there is a door. I opened it and came in. Isn’t that how doors work?”
“I’m going to have to ask you to leave, Ma’am.”
“And I’m going to have to ask you what kind of confidentiality or nondisclosure agreement there is between a janitor and his confessors. Am I protected by the Seal of the Janitorial Closet? Also what do you use to clean the mirrors here? They are amazingly streak-free.”
“Ma’am, I really have no idea what you are talking about. I didn’t even hear anything you said. Please leave, so I can get back to work.”
“‘Work.’” So that’s what you were up to?” I snorted. “How about I don’t tell anyone about your ‘work’ and you don’t tell anyone about my disclosures.”
“Whatever, just leave.”
“Will do. Do we agree that I technically did complete Confession? I’m just asking because the priest usually ends by saying something to absolve me and tell me what kind of penance I have to do . . . ”
“I absolve you of your transgressions. Much like bleach absolves the germs from a plethora of surfaces. Use newspaper to clean your mirrors to get a streak-free finish while reciting three Hail Marys. Amen.”