Father Pipe resisted the urge to close his eyes as he threw up a silent prayer and randomly poked his hand into the dark recesses of the broken motor. Poncho, Juancho, Flaco, he had grown up alongside these boys, but never shared their young boys’ interest in taking things apart and putting them together to see how they worked. Even then, he knew that it would never tell him why things worked, which seemed to him a far more important question.

On the other hand, Poncho, Juancho, Flaco and the other fishermen had been taking things apart and putting them together, out of necessity now, rather than boyish curiosity, for generations. They had in those generations, cultivated the kind of religious suspicion that might have served their native ancestors well in the face of zealous missionaries. So, as much as they loved him as a brother, they knew Father Pipe was a fool to think that Jesus had anything to do with the weather or the catch. They knew the sea had a mind of its own, that the sea, if anything, was god unto itself.

So they waited patiently while he splashed their boats with his Holy Water and listened politely as he praised Jesus loudly over the roar of the resurrected boat engine, but when he retreated triumphantly into Santa Clara’s Restaurant, they agreed amongst themselves that while Father Pipe didn’t know much about god, he sure could fix a Yamaha.


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