Sitting with Fr. Charlie Sitter, SJ
"Stone cold", said Charlie twice about the chocolate milk I offered to his hunched up and shaky form, so recently reworked by the angry artist known as Virus, stuck in a dark, destructive style. When back I came with a warmed cup from the kitchen Charlie was a different man. He craddled the steamy sugar to his cheeks--first left, then right, then left again-- sighing such a depth of contentment that suddenly all seemed right with the sinister world. Now, two days later, those same colorless cheeks are caverns framing a sink hole that bottoms out in Hades, from which one tortured, volcanic breath erupts and returns with a nail-on-chalkboard chorus repeating everytime as if ad infinitum. His poster of history's many popes, save the lastest, the mini menorah atop of the TV, his sleeping scarf, which just the night before bandaged his sore, cold throat, all adorn a room famished by death and as sultry as a desert island to keep Charlie's bones from knocking together under the tight tarpaulin of his skin. I sit in vigil alone, with a late morning hunger lunging on its leash towards lunch, alone and aware that my clawing stomach and his gaping mouth are worlds apart four feet distant, rendered incommunicable by a two-faced loneliness both of us share.