Fluff up the satin and flatten the hem as you hear the water splashes of brother and sister who are right behind.
The sun rays sparkle the scene of the morning ritual of Sundays that demands the mandatory rise sometime after sunrise.
The service of choice always depends on when bodies and soul promise to converge and since the choices all lead to the same road, pressure is minimal.
For some, it’s best to stroll in for the 11 am because crushes usually prefer that crowd for obvious reasons. The communion parade is so much more than the reverence of the blood and body of Christ. It’s surveying of well-dressed worshippers and whether or not he’s going to have his curiosity triple when he checks out the fluffed frock from Londontown.
Sitting in the sedately arranged pews is the meditative treatment you never take for granted.
The organ soars with rendering of hits from dead saints and the varying gems from British colonial handbooks as the leathery scribes contain the dusty imprint of White males who dictated the Word with selfish adherence to their supremacy.
As you swing your legs with boredom, you wonder what it would’ve been like if Things hadn’t Fallen Apart.
What if primal nativity had been allowed to thrive in the tapestry of palm trees, the oil of the ground and the languages that were awarded with the currency of intimacy within the quarters of untouchables.
Decades later you think about the missionary who sailed into uncharted territory and got the Arrow of God for the audacity of weaponizing faith for the purpose of dangerous misplacement of enlightenment.
Who gets to advise on matters of the heart when it’s a vessel that can be fired up by quick glance to the sky as the puffy clouds spell your name with the signature of your god beautifying the accents.
Those mornings in church were long and laborious, and often the perfect period to imagine the home scenes of the faces around, as you stumble upon the view of mothers pushing down hiked up dresses of little girls, and fathers imagining what their sons will be like when they reach the same age.
My mother always sang loud and proud even though her voice was far from perfect, and now that I’m older than she was when we were dragged against our will to Anglican ceremonies, she still believes church choirs need her.
My favorite part was the communion because somehow the hymns were theatrically soothing, almost like stepping into the preview of what heaven would be like when you’re half-dead and only showing up to size up the place, in case it’s not up to par.
Hearing the sensation of a rousing organ and the chimed voices in unison would evoke emotions of joy, wonderment and pain all at once, and for a young girl with big dreams and little understanding, it was the overwhelming climax that shuddered.
Why was Jesus Christ a White male with silky hair and blue eyes?
Why did I have to take back to back lessons to learn about the body that was nailed to the cross and the blood that was shed for sins that will never go away as long as I was alive?
And now the line to the alter where Ribena juice serves as blood, and tasteless dough serve as the body.
There’s a method to giving and receiving and mastering it takes practice, and so you watch others around you and copy mannerisms while adding personalized touches to the way you sleekly let you tongue make the contents disappear, while the liquid washes it away.
Sometimes it gets stuck and you have to discreetly push it down, as if anyone notices or cares about your dilemma.
Getting up also demands a degree of thought, as you smoothly rise from your knees and begin the descent down the carpeted stairs and head back to the bowed down faces of your members.
I never knew why additional prayer was needed but I bowed my head down and closed my eyes anyway.
By the time the last hymn was almost done, hunger pangs would become the initiated contemplation that would overtake the next phase of the day.
Are we stopping at Eko Hotel or going straight home?
My brother and I match gazes and our wide eyes are saying the exact same thing.