Last week I was talking with one of my friends from Scotland and we were talking about some of the mischievous things that we had done when we were kids, or has he puts it, wee lads.
Out of nowhere popped a memory, which had been long buried in the back of my mind. Back when I was only about 3 foot tall and in grade school I lived in San Francisco, California. We lived in was locals called the “Avenues,” the avenues were of course located in the Richmond District of San Francisco and such because the Richmond Distrect started a 2nd Avenue all the way to 48th Avenue. At the time I believe that we were living on 16th Avenue and Balboa, I attended Frank McCoppin elementary school.
On California St. there was a house that we called the black house; it was a place that people carried out devil worship, as kids we avoided this house at all costs. It was the Church of Satan and we use to hear stories of all the crazy things they would do in that house. As a kid it scared the heck out of you to be anywhere in the area of this house.
The house as I remember was between two larger buildings or flats as they were called. It was a
Victorian house, not as fancy as most in San Francisco, but still a Victorian. They had painted the house Black with what I think was like a dark purple trim it also has a tall chain link fence in front.
I use to wonder if the fence was to keep people out or to keep “things” in. It’s been along time since I was in grade school and I’ve tried to recall as best I can what it looks like. Although I am not an artist I’ve taken pencil to notepad and drawn as best I can what the Church of Satan looked like as best as memory serves.
One day, for reasons that I have now long forgot, I decided to attack this evil place and what it stood for, in my mind I must have wanted to be champion of good, whose job it would be to battle evil. So I went to our refrigerator and grabbed two raw eggs and proceed on my way to the Black House. The black house was a good 10 blocks from my house; remember these are San Francisco blocks so that would be about 20 normal blocks in suburbia.
I finely arrived on the block where the Black House, the Church of Satan was, I walk across the street from the house, sort of nonchalantly of course and scoped out the house to make sure that when I made my attack I wouldn’t be seen by the evil within. I seem to remember a surveillance camera on the peek of the roof; but to be honest I don’t know for sure if there was or it was something my mind fabricated.
Nobody outside, nobody in the windows, ahhhh time to strike!!! Still my stealthy self, I crossed the street at the intersection so as not to be noticed. I walked the quarter block and like so many GI’s I’ve seen in war movies I pressed my back-up against the wall of the adjoining house and peeked around the corner at the black house. Still all clear! I reached in to my pocket and held the egg in my hand like a grenade, my heart was pounding, I could hear it in my ears, bubump, bubump, bubump, and I could feel fear as my chest tighten up. But still it pushed on… I counted in my head 1… 2… 3… and I threw the egg, DIRECT HIT!!! I heard myself tell me!!! Hurry! RELOAD!!!!
Without counting this time it grabbed the other egg from my pocket and threw it. This time I didn’t look because as I threw that last egg I turned and ran like the devil himself was chasing me. I ran and ran, I ran as fast as I could to the corner and turned the block and still ran more until I was sure I was not followed. I stopped out of breath…. Yeah! Yeah! I did it!! take that you devil worshipers I thought.
By now I was now on 23 rd (I think) and Lake St, Lake St. is one block north and runs parallel to California St where the Black House was and after catching my breath started walking home, I remember having a little strut to my walk so proud of what I had done.
It must have been about 18th and Lake when fear over came me… what if I was seen? Oh no the demons and evil sprits are going to know who I am and come after me.. I began to panic.. my heart was racing, I could once again hear my heart pounding bubump, bubump, bubump what do I do! What do I do! Then I though, THE CHURCH!!!!!!!!!!!!
I broke in to a sprint, running until my legs hurt, running for my vary life. It felt as though evil sprits were chasing me. I ran like I never ran before. I ran all the way to family parish Star of The Sea.
Out of breath and with pounding heart I grabbed the main door, LOCKED!!!!!!!!!!! Oh no! THE RECTORY! My brain shouted, I ran the short distance from the front door of the church to the rectory. I walk at a heighten pace in to the door and was greeted by someone; I can’t tell you now if it was a nun or just someone working there but when I was asked if I needed help I blurted out “I NEED TO TALK TO A PRIEST!” I guess she could hear the urgency in my voice and took me to a priest’s office.
Sitting behind a large desk was an older man he asked me to sit and what it was I needed. When I think about it now I think I told him the story of what I had done in supersonic speed. I told him how I was afraid that evil sprits and demons might get me. The priest calmed me and told me that the church doesn’t believe in such things and assured me that no harm would come to me. He walked me to the exit and said; “Now, if you ever need to talk, come back and see me.”
Honestly, this was of little comfort to me because I knew that there were evil sprits. Once out the door of the rectory I ran like hell all the way home…
I think back now and I bet once I left the rectory that priest had a good laugh at me, my fear and what I had done. All I can say now is Hmmmmmmmmmmm…..