And hadn’t everybody else escaped? Was I the only diehard left, like one of those aged and confused Japanese soldiers who periodically emerge from some island jungle, bristling with loyalty everyone supposes is for the divine emperor but which might more truly be passion for the war itself.
Let it go, the battle is over–and we won. Nobody is making you fight anymore. There’s nothing to be loyal to do, and nothing to desert from. Nobody cares if you’ve fallen away or not. You’re free to make the usual jokes about the nuns, to take your stand on abortion, to roll your eyes at the latest word from Rome on women and gays.
At intervals during the day, from the cloister side of the second-floor chapel, the choir nuns reeled out a taut line of Gregorian chant into the school corridors as they sang the Divine Office, trolling by hour and season back and forth over the fathomless pools of the Psalms.
I doubt that I was the only one, pausing in study hall over the memorization of irregular French verbs, who heard the music and took the bait, going deep with the beauty of it, seeking whatever lagoon a creature dives for with the lure still bright in the imagination, though the hook has already imbedded itself and any chance of escape is lost.