our village (29)

I saw her face in the butter, I mean I think I saw her face in the butter, I mean … I thought I had seen her face in the butter – Lilly-Anne’s; Lilly-Anne’s! – and then I thought I was crazy, but I’m not crazy. Okay, so the Virgin Mary’s face has been seen in all sorts of kooky places, I mean people have claimed they’ve seen her face, I know, I know, I mean what are they even seeing? I mean, first of all, who knows what Mary looked like? So I know, there’s a whole crazy culture of seeing her face or her shroud or her shape, I don’t know, the point is I know those stories are out there, and I know that I know those stories are out there so, sure, my knowledge of the stories is affecting even the idea – or it’s planting the idea, fine – that I could see a face in a melting pat of butter on my hotcakes. But here’s the difference: I know that people would think I’m crazy if I told them I saw a face in the butter, so doesn’t that make me more credit … more … trustworthy? I mean, I know how this sounds, so for me to still say it out loud, to still believe it, to still dare tell it, doesn’t that prove … or at least, doesn’t it seem more … ? No, fine, but it’s more than that, I mean it’s something else: I know what Lilly-Anne looks like, don’t I? So when I tell you I saw her face in the melting butter I’m not just making up a face: I’m seeing … I’m telling you, I think – yes, I think – I saw Lilly-Anne’s face on top of my hotcakes, as I poured syrup over the stack, there she was, just like the Virgin, I mean, just like other people talk about seeing the Virgin Mary in a puddle or a shadow, or a stain, there she was: Lilly-Anne, calm, serene, and before I could help it she was all covered with syrup and melting into something else. Butter. But she was there. What do you make of that? If it’s not a sign then I don’t know what is. Imagine: Lilly-Anne appearing in visions. Of course it will start right here in our village. Here she is, after all, the next Virgin Mother. Imagine: she used to spend afternoons right here in my house. What is Gretchen going to say? I really should tell Mr. Bellis, don’t you think, or talk to him about it, I mean, because, like I said, maybe he already knows. Who knows?!  Well, now you know.

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