I wait for the doorbell to ring hoping I could finish the pizza first. “Father,” our secretary said, “there’s a gentleman here to see you.”
“I’ll be right there.”
He greeted me like an old friend. “Can we talk privately?” We went into an office and sat down. Two visits ago I had interrupted his story and said, “Why don’t you just come to the part where you ask for money.” Of course he was hurt and I felt mean so this time I sat through the whole telling. It was worth the price of admission and ended with an unprompted promise that I would never, ever see him again. Probably. Unless things changed.
During the story I was thinking of my pizza and the twelve things that had to get done today as priorities for the diocese or one group or another that needs to have whatever done today about the same time this guys needs his money or the world will end. I was at best a tolerant host.
He left and I went back to my seat at the table noticing that men in tuxes were beginning to show up for the next wedding. I wish I could be as pleased to see my gentleman beggar as was to see them. Sebastian was crying. It was very late for his walk. And the dishwasher is broken so first I would have to clean dishes.
And despite my angst and put-out-ness – everything got done.