Excerpt from The Shepherd’s Journals: “Don’t Hurt the Pope”

The release date for The Shepherd’s Journals by Drew Andrews is fast approaching, and we here at Blue Skirt couldn’t be more proud to bring you this amazing work. As a treat, we’re posting a special preview of one of the journal entries in the book. We hope you enjoy, and if you like what you see, you can reserve your autographed copy now through our site, or preorder the book through most major online booksellers. And if you’re in the Portland area on March 15th we’d love to have you join us at the release party! Scroll down and check out “Don’t Hurt the Pope” now!

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Don’t Hurt the Pope
(excerpted from The Shepherd’s Journals by Drew Andrews)

Don’t hurt the Pope Don’t hurt the Pope Don’t hurt the Pope Don’t hurt the Pope Don’t hurt the Pope Don’t hurt the Pope

There was no beer in the cooler this morning, and I couldn’t tell you where it went. It’s just gone. Don’t know who stayed here last night. Don’t care who stayed here; my things are in order. My life is still going on; things happen. But the beer is gone.

Undying Journal, sadness this morning and not joy pervades me. Tears are in my eyes this morning. Tears are in my eyes.

No beers. No coffee. No food. Here I am, young and infinite, tears in eyes. A cigarette would be nice.

Another dream last night, Journal—this one so close to the secret I strive to uncover. I was on the shore of a city, some East Coast waterfront port, and coming onto the docks, a ferryboat arrived, began to unload auto after auto. Lastly, a lightly guarded rig pulled out and a crowd began to gather around it. I followed and watched the back flap open wide to see what was inside the truck.

And what the hell, it was Pope John Paul II.

He was being wheeled out, ever so slowly, by a sentry-type guard who looked more like a circus worker than a bodyguard. The crowd gasped in amazement, and silence befell everyone. Il Papa was a frail man; he held his head in his hand, and he did not want to be bothered. All the while he was murmuring silently to himself or to God or I don’t know. They lowered the rig as the crowd stood there and watched. I began to fear the violent youth around us, with this gentle figure so loosely guarded.

There I was, in the crowds, in the transience, in the maelstrom, the violent youth all around, pointing at me, whispering. I was sweating and ducked into an alley. I hid out. Finally, I managed to get to the other side of the alley where there were the crowds again, only this time they were smiling and walking together—families and community members, all dressed up and off to this big cathedral church.

I don’t like churches. I don’t like them at all, Journal.

But in this, my dream, I decided to go into the church and see what the big fuss was about.

The sound of singing filled my ears as I entered. Pews were filled with people singing and smiling. The cathedral smelled of person and age. I looked left and saw him, Il Papa, sitting there on stage, on a throne, holding his head in his hands and mumbling, still. I began to cry and said, “Forgive me, forgive me!” and ran up to him, embraced him so terribly hard, like a vice around a mouse. I wept and wept. His face grimaced in pain, and he crumpled to the ground in a huddle. I stopped crying, filled with horror. What have I done? I screamed inside. I grabbed the throne to steady myself, feeling faint, and the crowd stared at me blankly in disbelief. I started to think, Such a place of belief for such disbelief, but then realized what I had done and stumbled slowly and defeated out of the church.

Two blocks down, shuffling the dust, a violent beat-up fucky-type of youth came upon me. He smiled at me in an alley, by trash dumpsters, and pulled his knife on me. I let it all out. I flew upon him before he had his way with me, grabbing his knife, plunging it in his chest, and out, and in, and blood was all over everywhere, his heart was exposed, and I was making a mess of it, and he was gurgling and blank and horrorstruck. I got into him really good, and then startled myself awake.

I don’t want to hurt the Pope. I don’t want to hurt him at all.

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