I looked up at the cathedral door and I thought this is what it means, this is how it all culminates, in this big round arch towering above my head. It was like a mouth, opening wide to swallow me up and draw me down inside, to consume and digest me. Just like the church, I thought. This is what it does. Consumes me.
After I'd breached the threshold, the sounds of the war outside hushed and all I heard was the soft murmur of the others, deeper inside, the soft crying of lost and destroyed. Here's where we come, whenever the war outside get bad. This is where we hide, which is ironic. We come for safety in the place we feel least safe. We think they won't bomb the church but once inside we have to be careful of what's inside the church, down in the catacombs. The beasts.
Jorge is here too, and he's with his mother, who's blind and stooped and they sit together on a pew. I greet them but they don't hear me, because I try to speak quietly, so I instead sit behind them and wait out the attack. Muffled explosions somewhere to the west of the city thunder and roll and there's nothing we can do now but wait and look up at the Mother and Her Child. I feel the revulsion inside me and I look around at all the others here, with their beads and their prayers and I feel the contempt. The hypocrisy. It's everywhere.