Last night our priest (who's also a very close friend) came to suppper, bringing with him a religious brother from Bayonne. Or the Philippines. I'm not quite sure which. A lovely man, quiet and gentle and affable....and when he pushed his chair back to use the bathroom, part of the porch floor collapsed, the part my dad's been meaning to fix for six months but hasn't. (Let me remind you how old our house is, and why there is still the occasional rotten floorboard on the back porch.)
In truth, it's not quite as scary as it sounds; only one wrought-iron leg went through, and Brother Jim didn't even lose his seat, nor did he go ass-over-teakettle through the screen behind him. But I damn near had a heart attack--being the one seated closest to him--and leapt from my chair to grab his arm with both hands. Because, you see, under that part of the porch is a sixty-foot brick-lined cistern. In fact, had the floor given way entirely, I might have jumped in after him rather than having to explain his mysterious disappearance to the bishop.