We’re gonna get a brand new Pope! Very soon. Maybe.
Gregor is so excited he can hardly breathe. The Geezers in Red are finally back home, all hanging around the Vatican, ready to slap us with a fresh Papa. The stage is set. The pumps are primed. The party is at hand.
This is a fine time to be Gregor. These are days of being absorbed in ancient ceremony, tasty secrets, crunchy rumors, CNN, and fellow old men trying to get it together for their 1+ billion supporters. It’s hard to think about anything else. Gregor has made reservations at every Italian restaurant he could find, just to be ready for the grand celebration.
Gregor also wants to conclave. He doesn’t know what that really means but he definitely wants to give it a try. He’s been bugging his neighbors but they’re just ignoring him. No one out in the boonies wants to conclave, at least in public. Gregor has stopped wearing those fancy dresses like Papa and the Geezer Guys. People were laughing. But conclaving is a serious matter, isn’t it?
Gregor is still waiting for an answer from Papa. His letter must be somewhere in the archives by now. But he hasn’t given up hope. He knows the old guys have a lot of work to do. He understands that things move slowly at that age. He has sympathy. He’ll be patient for a while longer.
Wait for the smoke, they say. Gregor is waiting. Black is bad, white is good. Or is it the other way around? Gregor isn’t sure. It really doesn’t matter anyway. Some lucky winner will eventually get up there, high up on that grand balcony, and give us all the hand gesture thing. Gregor hopes there’s a good translator nearby. He wants the blessing, for sure, but he also wants to know what’s being blessed, what’s really going on back there. Gregor is stuck in English.
When the great moment arrives, Gregor will celebrate along with the rest of the Universe. He will dance around his living room, pretending he’s back there in Vatican Square with Dan Brown. He will probably swoon. He’ll put on that fancy dress, one last time.
It’s coming soon. CNN told Gregor it would all come together quickly. The Red Cards in their fancy dresses are already in place. All the sumptuous food is ready. There’s probably lots of good wine from those secret cellars. All those tricky Swiss youngsters are polished and ready to party. Gregor hopes Dan is ready, too. If it wasn’t for Dan, Gregor would have no idea what’s going on back there.
He still doesn’t.
But none of this matters very much. A party is a party, even if you’re too old to know what’s going on. Got to get into the swing of things.
Wait for the smoke.
Dust off that bottle of Valpolicella and break out the salami. It’s gonna happen soon. It’s gonna be on TV. There’s going to be a brand new Papa strutting his stuff. Gregor can hardly wait. Who could?
It’s a renewed hope for Gregor and all the others who wait for, umm, something new and forward-looking.
Gregor lives here.
Oops. Someone at the front door.
Just a minute . . .
Oh, it’s Gregor’s old friend, Jack.
He just arrived from Nepal.
Gregor will explain later.
For now, just wait for the smoke.