Before we get started, let me say I have no idea where this story will go. It doesn't have a plot, nor does it have a main character. Actually it does have a main character...a Maine character. We'll call him Maurice. Maurice is seriously considering joining a Trappist monastery in Tennessee. And why not?
Maurice is not married. Once, a cashier asked him if he was single and he replied,
"no ma'am. I'm actually plural. I used to be single a very long time ago, but then I discovered Id and Ego. They're my invisible friends in a...um...very very complicated way."
The cashier miscalculated his change and so he donated the proceeds to Charity. A pretty homeless lass who made basket cases for a living.
Maurice hasn't had a girlfriend in 13 years...thirteen long and very unlucky years. The very thought of holding a girl's hand brings tears to his eyes. This used to bother him when it occurred in public, but some time ago he aquired a taste for Vidalia onions and garlic bread. Now when he weeps spontaneously in public, he blames it on the food.
This story is a happy one-really. Only Maurice doesn't know it yet.
Maurice hails from the little town of Bethel, Maine. Bethel is located halfway between Gilead (not that Gilead) and Paris (not that Paris.) I've never been to Gilead, or Paris, or even Maine (yes-that one) for that matter so you can just imagine what the places look like. Bethel, I'm sure, has a lot of churches and gets cold in the winter. Maurice doesn't live there anymore. He moved to Goshen. The Goshen in Virginia with warmer winters and less churches.
Thirteen years is quite a long time to live a monastic life without a monastery while still maintaining an air of normalcy in public. In private, it's easy as long as one keeps busy and maintains a prayer life. It's only natural Maurice wants to be a monk. It's peaceful and quiet. There's the free rent. And one gets to wear the same brown uniform-like the fellows in prison or the United States Forest Service.
Maurice believes with his whole heart that this is his life's calling. Now Maurice may or may not join the Brotherhood of Trappists. He may move to Alaska and work as a trappist-collecting beaver pelts and selling the fur to support his onion and garlic habits. Somehow, I think his life is about to change.