An alley separates the gothic church and the baroque royal chapel.
One door leads from the alley into the royal chapel. Above the door is a carving of three boars' heads with long tusks and red mouths and red necks. Above the boars is a Latin inscription in gold.
Another door leads into the back of the church. The church can hold 25,000 people. It is the tallest building in the city. The door here is heavy, carved, wooden. This is where they take out the garbage.
While I try to make out the Latin inscription, I hear a low gurgle, a growl, thick spitting. In the high church wall, just to the right of a rusted drain pipe, there is a small square window not big enough to admit a head. The window is swung open and a light is on. I hear a flush and then the light goes off.
On an electrical box on the church wall, a bill pasted over the skull-and-lightning warning sign advertises a Zen meeting at the university.
An hour later, at the meeting, a woman asks the master how to solve a problem with raising her son. Then a man two chairs away from the woman clears his throat and begins to ask a question, but the woman interrupts to announce that the man is the father of her son. Everyone laughs but the man, who looks as if someone has hit him. The Zen master does not tell a story about the empty chair between the man and the woman.
I go home to watch Barbara Stanwyck cry into Gary Cooper's chest.