Posted: August 12, 2012 in Felines, Magic, Writing Books

We walked a lot around the retreat, and when we could, we held hands. Gene pinned me to a tree and kissed me. “I’ve never had sex with a woman,” he said.  “Ever. But lots of men.”

Funny thing, but from the moment we met in the soup kitchen down my block, the attraction was immediate. He gravitated to me, and dove head first into magic.  But Jesuits are within breathing distance.  Their leader is Rome is known as The Black Pope.  You can’t educate a priest with a Ph.D. and not expect him to have some problems with logic.

One day, we were working in my apartment from the book, The Golden Dawn, because Gene loved rituals of course, and afterward, he laid down on the rug beside me. Stroked my hair.  I could feel him, poking me below.

It was a small item that didn’t appeal, but that wasn’t the point.  Gene could have scores of men and reconcile it.  I couldn’t.  Vows I took seriously, though I was doing a half-hearted job. “Not now,” I choked.

But I did kiss him before mass in the sacistry in his full regalia and got off when he pulled me into a seating position and for dear life hugged me. For a nominal Jew, magician or not, this was Very Bad Behavior, although I knew David would find it stupid, funny, or just a waste of time.

In magic, Gene turned out to be an excellent student, even though he eventually became obsessed with one of his male grad students, which was so pedestrian on the rule-breaking statement.

But he more than made up for it at one of his five o’clock sermons, an event Gene insisted I attend, when he refused communion to the thinning congregation.

“I am not going to absolve you of your sins,” he said. People whispered, alarmed.

“You drone the prayers. You don’t even hear what they say.  You hurt others and ignore people, then come here and think that now you’re fine with God. The Lord as band aid.  Well, it isn’t fine.

You won’t be absolved until you go out and do something nice for someone in need, and it doesn’t have to be a homeless person.  Someone at work.  A family member.  Do one kind act.  A christian act. With a small c. Do you even know what that means anymore?

Until then, I will no longer absolve you of sin.”

I knew Gene was looking for a way out, searching for life.  He was tired of living in a building with 16 other men, stealing each other’s pornography, mainly male-oriented.  He also was working in the Theater Department at NYU, Tisch School of the Arts (one of the best) and they offered him a position.

He could no longer abide the Catholics.  He believed in alternate methods.  Fact was, that old Church proved a wealthy and wily serpent.  They sent him to a mental institution for six months, to somewhere in Kansas, and relocated him afterwards.

I never heard from him or about him again.

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