I decided to go to the 11 a.m. instead of the 8 a.m. mass this morning. When I went outside at 10:40 and saw how much snow was in the driveway, I decided to call a cab. However, the cab company said they would take a half hour to an hour. Okay, never mind. I grabbed the shovel and waded through waist-deep snow, not stopping till I reached the driveway.
It's amazing how annoying my neighbors can be. One neighbor gestured to me to pace myself and take it easy. "I don't have time, I have to get to church." "Ah, forget church." Don't tell me to forget church, you asshole son of a bitch! Instead of standing in your doorway grinning, telling me not to shovel snow into your snow-covered lawn, why don't you grab a shovel and make yourself useful!
Other folk weren't much more useful. I finished shoveling a few minutes after noon. I trudged upstairs. A quick glance in the mirror revealed an abominable snowman. My clothing and hair (including beard and mustache) were crusted with snow and ice. I took off my coat, gloves, and scarf and called the Archdiocese of Boston. I asked the operator if there were any churches in the Boston area with 12:30 or 1 p.m. masses. "All churches are closed." "All day?" "Yeah, all day. Don't you watch the news? <click>" Gee, thanks.
I didn't buy that answer, though. I tried calling St. Clements on Boylston Street, where I like to go to church when it's not football season. Nobody answered. I called St. Francis Chapel at the Prudential Center, which usually has a 1 p.m. Spanish mass. "Hi, do you guys still have a 1 o'clock mass?" "Yes, 1:15." "It's not cancelled?" "No, nothing's cancelled." Sweet.
I bundled myself back up and went outside. There was a young man shoveling the remaining two feet of driveway. I grabbed a shovel and joined in. I thanked him and asked him if he lived around here. "No, I live in Arlington." Arlington??? What the hell is he doing shoveling a driveway in Somerville/Medford if he lives in Arlington??? Turns out he's my downstair neighbor's Norwegian boyfriend. When I knew I wasn't going to make the 11 a.m. mass, I went ahead and shoveled the sidewalk and stairs, and they decided to help me out by finishing the driveway while I was upstairs looking for a mass to attend.
Thanks to his help, I was able to finish the driveway quickly. I got out of the driveway alright, slipped and slid a bit on our road, but otherwise had no problem getting to the Pru. The highways were more-or-less decently plowed, so I was able to go as fast as 35 m.p.h. at times. And with so few drivers on the road, I didn't have to worry much about staying in my lane, choosing the least treacherous path instead. I got to church just after the service started, before the first reading.
I went to such lengths because last night's birthday get-together was postponed until tonight, and I didn't want to cancel tonight's get-together for mass. But no one's coming tonight either. <sigh> What a miserable birthday weekend -- all work, no play! But at least I made it to church.