Wednesday, September 15, 2010

St. Maurus (512 to Jan. 15, 584)

I don't believe men and women can be friends without there being some type of sexual tension or attraction from one or both parties. I see it at work and I see it with friends.
As for myself, I've never been a flirt. So, I think I'm excluded from this, because I was always the one who didn't a feel connection with my friends of the opposite sex.
When I was younger, I had several gay male friends who were helpful when it came time to go clothes shopping or try a new hairstyle. They also gave good dating advice, much like a girlfriend, but minus the cattiness.
And I was always leery of boyfriends with female friends who didn't want to include me in whatever it was that they were doing. Because, as we all know, friendship can lead to something more.
When I was a journalist at a daily newspaper some years ago, I became very close with a police sergeant named "Ken." He was polite, helpful, and well groomed and he wasn't at all like many officers who have an attitude about them.
I didn't know Ken was married until he called me one day from a camping trip and mentioned he was with his children. I checked it out further with my editor (who knew him from high school) and she said he had a wife. So from that moment on, I told myself any attraction I had for him was completely gone. But, we continued to be very good friends.
Ken supervised second shift and we were in contact every day. We trusted each other and worked on everything together from the arrest log to solving 10-year-old murder cases. It was always professional,
until one day, when Ken showed up in the newsroom dressed in plain clothes. I didn't even recognize him at first. He said he wanted to talk to me, so I took him into the office of the seniors editor who was gone for the day and closed the door.
"You are driving me wild," he said, as he pushed his body toward mine up against the wall.  "I can't take it any longer. Look at you. You're smart and you're beautiful."
I was 36-years-old at the time and, yes, I was smart, and beautiful, but I also knew better. I could have gone for it and had sex right there on the office couch with him. But, I also thought about my cousin who was involved with a married man who never left his wife and she warned me early on about the consequences. And, like myself, she was the one who was being pursued.
At this point, we had worked together for more than a year. Ken was born in the Azores, was a devoted husband and father, and had St. Michael the Archangel tattooed on his arm.
When Ken mentioned the overgrown pine trees in my yard and gave a description of my house, I realized he'd done a drive by. I was more shocked than flattered, afterall he was a police sergeant.
As he continued to profess his passion for me, I walked over to the desk and sat down. He leaned over me, and I pushed him out of my reach. Ken apologized and then we started talking about an unsolved crime.
In the weeks and months that followed, Ken would call me and arrange to meet at my house and then cancel.
For the rest of my time at the newspaper, he thought he was playing a game of cat and mouse with me. Surprisingly, I'm the one that had their act together.
Growing up in a Portuguese neighborhood, I know that the culture has a strong devotion to the Holy Ghost (I actually have one tattooed on my lower back) and St. Maurus is the patron saint of the Azores.
He was born in Rome, Italy in 512. His parents were noble Romans and they brought him to live at a monastery run by St. Benedict of Nursia. St. Maurus was his first disciple.
He lived at Monte Cassino Abbey in Cassino and in 543 was founder and abbot of Glanfeuil, France. He died on Jan. 15, 584 and his feast day is Oct. 5.

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