We survived the last week. That is to say my family and I survived the last week. That is to say it was horrible, only on one aspect though: my Dad's old friend. He lives in Vietnam. A couple of months ago, his family in Florida got him a Visa to visit them. Having been apart for over thirty years, my Dad wanted to reunite with him. So, I bought him a plane ticket. My Dad originally asked him to stay for a whole month. Thank God, he only wanted to stay for only one week...one week too long. We are very hospitable people, and we tolerate visitors' behaviors a great deal. But, this man topped them all.
I won't talk about him here, but one thing that had crossed my mind many times during his stay was, maybe, it would have been nicer to be among the Carthusian monks than be with him. The Carthusian monks...how do they do it? How can they be silent all the time? I think they can talk once a week during their communal walk or something like that. For the rest of the time, they have to be silent.
I do wonder about them sometimes. They are divided into two groups. The choir monks mainly pray and plant flowers. The lay brothers do labor work. Now, that's not fair! Wait, I change my mind. It is fair. If this rule is applicable to us, I would be the choir monk because I can sing. By deduction, Jim would be the lay brother who can manually labor...for me! Interesting...
If I were a choir monk, I'm pretty sure I would, at least, once in a while spurt out a soft sound just because my OCD tells me to do so (actually, I only have the OC trait!). Days in and days out, wouldn't you think someone would slip?
How about the lay brothers? After a hard day of manual labor, wouldn't they be a tiny bit pissed off when some choir monks slip them a note saying: "Your bread is too dry, today"? How can they keep all that anger bottled up inside? One day, when one choir monk accidentally sings a wrong note, would they burst out a "BOO"?
Why are there two groups in the first place? Why are there a group of grown men who go into the secluded mountainous area to live together and vow to be silent in the first place? I have a theory.
I think they were a group of gay men who knew they could only be themselves in secret. So, they and their lovers moved to the mountains to live. And, because way back then being gay was unspeakable, no one was allowed to talk about it. So, being in the mountains where everything you say echos back and forth, these gay couple were very careful about what they say. If they said anything homosexual and the echos get to the Cardinal, they could be beheaded.
But, how could a bunch of gay guys who just came out not talk about gay stuff?...like: What is LOL? What is "top/bottom"? What is a rice-queen? How do you make bread? Am I still Bi?...They kept on talking gay; yet, they were so afraid. So, every time someone said something, the whole group would "Shhhh" him. So, the whole day and night, people would hear echos of "Shhhh". "Shhh" here; "Shhh" there; "Shhh" everywhere.
In years, they stopped talking. Or...Maybe, it all started with a cat fight between a gay couple in the group. One gay guy was jealous of his boyfriend after the boyfriend befriended another man. He started a fight and said to his boyfriend, "I'm not talking to you any more!" The boyfriend said, "I AM not talking to YOU!" The boyfriend's friend stepped in, "Neither will I TALK to YOU!" Then joined the boyfriend's friend's boyfriend: "Why are you defending him? I will STOP talking to YOU!" Pretty soon, everyone joined in. It took about three days before all the "I'm never going to talk to you again" echos to stop.
From then on, some of them would stay in their rooms all day fetching up things to scold at their boyfriends when they meet at the communal walk while the rest would manually labor and make breads as a way to apologize to their lovers.
I have another thought. People often curse in some form when accidents happen, like when something dropped on their foot. How do these people curse? Maybe, they have some type of sign language...hmmm...interesting.
I have to go back to my paperwork. This was supposed to be a short break...GRRR.
Addendum: the "lay brothers" are actually "laid brothers". They make breads for the choir monks so they can get laid...that's it.