Oh, I am banging my head again, now it is over a name of a girl. Or, I should say, a lady, a genius Southern lady writer, who sadly died relatively young. It happens during the liturgy service, so I am definitely committing a sin of distraction. But it is a relevant distraction. As the story goes, once she was invited to some party of academics, where one of the ladies-professors said about Eucharist: “Sure, it is a nice metaphor.”
 (The professor wanted to please their writer guest, who was a devout Roman catholic.) To which the writer, who had sat silently at the end of the table, replied: “If the Eucharist is only a metaphor, then to heck with it!” Oh, she sure hit the nail on the head, but what is her name?
When my memory goes that bad, I usually go through a routine: syllables first, if this doesn’t help (and it does not) I start browsing through girl’s names. Mary, Eudora, Hester, Abigail, Sondra, Virginia, Emily, Claire, ... on and on, ... Domna, Gretel, Brunhilda, Rapunzel, Tcheralindra !!!

The liturgy is over, my mind is weary, and, obviously, useless too. A minute later I am walking out of the prison chapel. Sun shines and reflects from the head of a fellow walking in front of me. His mirror-quality shaven cupola is adorned with a large swastika tattoo ... and then it happens like in a flash: skinhead, Skin head, Sinead, Sinead O'Connor, Oh my God: Flannery O’Connor! I’ve got it, it’s Flannery O’Connor!
I admit, I could sit a week in a chapel and I would never come up with this name, but association of words blasting from Hell to Heaven like a lightning bolt did the job.

Dear Flannery, if you hear me now, I love your stories and I will never forget your name again, I promise! And thank you for your creed.

Bela Abel


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