Recital

At the little table for two, breakfast on our plates, I am looking quietly at him and I am thinking about how I really like that little crinkle at the corners of his eyes.

"So, you don't think religion is crazy?" he asks.

And I say, "No, I don't."

He wonders now if I know the Lord's Prayer. 

"I know the Lord's Prayer."

"Let's hear it then."

"I am not reciting the Lord's Prayer for you."

"If you don't say it, how will I know you know it?"

"Because I just told you that I know it."

He looks at me.  I look at him.  I look at the soccer game on television.  I look out the window.  I look at my breakfast.  I look at the fat, marmalade cat rubbing his cheeks all over my winter boots, establishing his ownership.  When I think I have avoided the topic long enough to make it go away, I look at him again. 

And he says, "So, what is it?"  I know full-well that he knows it.  Crinkle, crinkle.

"Jesus Christ," I curse – the unofficial, alternate introduction to the prayer, then begin.

Unused to repeating it without a congregation, I wonder if the magic of the prayer will be lost with my lone voice only to carry it.  Or if memory will betray and I will stumble on words that became rote in childhood.  I say the prayer as quickly as possible and display my annoyance with an emphatic roll of eyes.  My voice carries, my memory serves.  The brown eyes crinkle at me throughout the performance.  I have proven something important about myself.  What exactly, I do not know.

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