Grief by Andrew Holleran:
This place turned out to be a Georgian house on Florida Avenue; upon entering an usher took us to a small waiting room in which other people sat staring down at their shoes like people on a subway, until the usher came and led us to a dark wooden door that opened into a large, high-ceilinged room with Palladian windows looking out onto a garden bordered with rhododendron bushes. There was no cross, no pulpit—no singing, incense, or ceremony. The people sat quietly, waiting, like satellite dishes, for the Holy Ghost to inspire them as they listened to the rain drip on the rhododendrons. They were gathered in a room—like people at a sickbed—to wait for God to inspire them to speak; like Mary Lincoln holding seances in the White House after the loss of her son Willie, and later after she’d left the White House and lost her husband. Finally a man stood up, and then a woman, and then another man. What they said was like Washington itself: polite, idealistic, and cerebral. “That one’s so hot,” my landlord whispered as he nodded at a man two pews away from us. “His lover did two years ago and left him a lot of money, which he spent on travel and drugs. Then he got sick, and looked really awful, but the cocktail brought him back, and now he’s gorgeous again!
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