submit something - it will feel good*

I work in a medieval office of an ancient crumbling empire.  I record the sums every day, carefully, neatly.  I send out letters to His Excellency or, more rarely, His Eminence.  The difference is significant.  I have not yet been made to kiss a ring.

My office is, as you would expect, cramped and dark.  The darkness is from the towering wooden files containing copies of all the sums and letters.  It is very important to save copies. We work in silence, the better to encourage ceaseless prayer.

The ceaseless prayer is, I think, supposed to be to Christ our Lord.  I have abandoned that. I have began to pray to Catherine of Siena to intercede on my behalf.  You see, she ceased eating and concentrated on devoting herself completely to her mystical husband, Jesus.

I do not have a mystical husband.  My husband is quite material and is one of the reasons I will never advance beyond this particular shadowy medieval office to the better lit upper regions.  I will never be allowed to do more than add sums and send out form letters to His Excellency in the heathen mission regions informing him we have no funds for the advancement of his ecclesiastical projects.

Because I have a husband and so am duty bound to partake of the fleshly vices, I am viewed with suspicion.  The distrust is also due to my lack of a penis.   Possession of one would allow me to lie with my forehead on the cool marble floor of the Cathedral before His Eminence and receive the sacred priestly orders.

Catherine was married to Jesus by the Blessed Virgin Mother and her wedding band was made from His foreskin.  No one else could see it.  My wedding band is white gold and has dulled somewhat since the day I received the sacrament of marriage.

The penis requirement is rather confusing considering that once one receives the sacred priestly orders one is very strictly not allowed to use it any more.  But I will obediently submit my will to the teachings of the Holy Church, Our Mother, and also the Spouse of Christ.

I have developed an insatiable appetite.  While tallying my sums and personalizing my form letters all I can think about is food.  Salty, sugary, savory, tempting food.  Cheese on fresh seeded Italian bread, gruyere, boucheron, asiago, garrotxa.  The cheese must be exactly room temperature so that the flavor truly comes through.  Olives, pale green, black, puckered, marinated, stuffed with cloves of garlic.  Coffee made very strong, diluted with warm milk and exactly two teaspoons of sugar, preferably brown sugar.  Gelato, melting slightly, dark chocolate, pistachio, ginger, bilberry.  Paté, made from duck liver with port, or chicken liver with black truffles spread on crisp crackers.  And red wine from Sicily.  Of course, we are not allowed to drink at work unless it is the Blood of Christ.

I have attempted to fulfill my longings by eating continuously at work.  But I smeared strong cheese on my sums and dropped oily smoked fish on a stack of inscribed form letters.  I was scolded and instructed to meditate on the sin of gluttony.  Instead I think about the penances Catherine performed to bring herself closer to her mystical husband.  She flagellated herself, never slept, became involved in papal politics and drank pus from the cancerous sores of her patients.  Envisioning the last one is helpful in assuaging my appetite.


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