Catholic girl speaks to the dead. Not all that unusual actually considering my youth when I spent hours kneeling under a man nailed to a cross. A man who, we were told, died for us. I found the guilt about his death unbearable. Inventing sins as I waited my turn for the confessional was far easier than accepting blame over a brutal crucifixion. When I hit sixth grade, the whole class was escorted two blocks to the neighborhood funeral home where I witnessed the boy, who I was crushing on hard, all puffy and red-faced, his dead dad laid out in satin and mahogany. It was then that I turned my attention away from the harsh cross. I stared into this father’s placid face and gently folded hands and thought, maybe this guy would listen to my pleas, even those about his son falling for me. Connection seemed possible with a real man. No guilt. I talked to this dead guy for years longer than I remembered his son’s name with no care if he ever heard me.