The head of St Vitalis of Assisi

Alas, I’ve missed the auction of the head of St Vitalis of Assisi, which I guess is just as well as it was expected to go for at least £700. Still, I kind of feel like my entire life as an RC might have been heading for that purchase. I’ve gone on saint-head related pilgrimages and generally have a fascination with relics….
As I see it, the major problem with having a first class relic like this one is where to put it. St Vitalis is the patron saint of STIs and it doesn’t seem fair to keep such an obviously useful saint to oneself. The owner of the head really ought to build a chapel for it. As I don’t have any kind of space for such a construction, the head would be doubly beyond my means.
Indeed, as I live in a two room flat that’s already a bit overly full of stuff, storing the head until I could build a chapel would present a major problem.
I really don’t want a holy relic on display in my bedroom. A skull of any saint looking down on my bed would be a bit of a mood killer. I can’t decide if this particular saint would be better worse than other saints. On the one hand, he is kind of appropriate, if you don’t mind his dead, judging eye sockets. But on the other hand, do I want to send the message to overnight visitors that supernatural help is required in addition to the normal precautions?
I think he could also be distracting in the living room. Alas, I don’t even have room for him in my living room. It’s already stuffed to the gills with rather too much furniture, two tubas, a bass amp and a synthesiser. I have no idea where I could even find space for a head.
He may have died in 1370, but the kitchen seems unhygenic even for a very old and holy skull. And the bathroom is humid, which might lead to corruption of the sort saints are supposed to be spared. A mouldy relic would not be very nice.
This leaves the toilet, which in some ways is the ideal space. I have unoccupied space on top of the cistern, where he could gaze down upon possibly afflicted areas as guests wee. It also gives the faithful a private place where they can take a moment to determine if the saint’s prayers might be helpful before invoking them, and/or possibly calling their local GUM clinic. On the other hand, it does seem somewhat disrespectful to the saint to perch his head in a loo.
(American readers of the linked BBC article should note that in British English, an “outhouse” is a kind of a shed. In American English, an outhouse is a privy. So moving from an outbuilding to a toilet would be a reduction in his circumstances.)
Alas, I’ve been unable to discover ho bought the head, how much they paid or what their plans are. Do I want to know? I’m not sure.

Waiting waiting waiting. The pamphlet that hospice gave us says that people often have a surge of energy a couple of days or a couple of hours before they die. Most people use the time to say goodbye. Yesturday may have been mom’s surge of energy. She was kind of wakeful this morning, but then she got a bath and now is tired. waiting waiting. i wonder what she is waiting for. she’s not in pain. there’s no hurry. maybe she wants her son or her brother to show up first. but there’s a limit on how long she can wait. My uncle has pledged to come “soon.” My brother will come “later,” probably “today,” after I pushed him, saying there wasn’t any later, or at least not very much. My dad has decided not to move mom. He didn’t tell me that, he told the social worker. Group therapy with my father would be a lot of fun. Everytime the social worker asked me or christi how we felt about something, my dad would interrupt as soon as we started to answer. usually with some inccorect factual thingee. He doesn’t like talking about feelings I guess. The social worker has the worst job ever. She was very graceful as my father lectured her on the dying process (he doesn’t know what he’s talking about) and the shortcomings of the medical field (still mostly clueless) and finally the mismanagement of the San Jose symphony (strangely not at all clueless, but definitely short on facts).
So we’re waiting. I made muffins. I hope people come over because nobody wants to eat the muffins. A nun came today and a friend of my mom who decided that maybe it was time to finally come over a for a visit. yep. It’s finally time. the nun was very nice. she brought roses and a relic of the founder of their order. I didn’t ask what the relic was exactly, it didn’t seem right. An elbow? An eyeball? It’s a very small package. It’s a little plastic vinyl folder, about the size of a breast cancer stamp when closed. It opens up to a portrait of the founder and a short prayer. Christi examined the contents of the folder and din’t find any bits of bone or anything. I mentioned this to my dad and he said that a relic is anything the holy person touched. The I noticed that the portrait had “material placed in her coffin” printed below it. I thought catholics were more serious about relics. Soon this whole house and everything in it will be relics. soon. waiting waiting.
Christi and I slept on the couhc in the living room last night, next to the hospital bed. the couch is lumpy and short. My back hurts. My mom woke up at 3:00 am. I held her hand. We got her a blanket. I think somebody ought to be sitting next to her whenever she’s awake. So right now it’s christi’s turn, but shen I give back the laptop, it’ll be my turn. It won’t be anyone else’s turn, since everyone else is fleeing. Even the man who decided it was finally time for a visit barely touched her arm and then ran away. It’s ok, I think she appreciates it anyway.
A couple days ago, I was listening to the soundtrack for Oh Brother, Where Art Thou and almost all the songs on it are about death. They’re all period songs. Then people sang and talked about death and tried to pretend sex didn’t exist. Now we sing and talk about sex and try to pretend death doesn’t exist. Our culture can only handle one great mystery at a time, I guess. I was showing my mom pictures of chocolate from a book called Desserts to Die For not thinking maybe the title was inappropriate. I wouldn’t have noticed it except that it was shelved next to the Weight Watchers cookbook. She’s not thinking about food. She doesn’t want water, she doesn’t want food. She doesn’t want to take her pills. The pharmacy is supposed to be delivering a suppository of her medication today. They were supposed to bring it two days ago, but they forgot. Maybe they’ll forget it again. My dad is upset, he wants mom to drink. He wants her to want to drink. Her cathater line is bloody. Margie says that’s normal for people when they die. She has hidden the line from view of my dad because she knows it will panic him. He’s eating peanuts obsessively. He must have eaten ten pounds of peanuts on the last week. unsalted.
He’s pacing. Mom’s breathing steadily and looking around. Margie is resting from having to wake up every two hours to check on mom. She needs to be rolled from side to side, since a sore is developing. My eyes are red from crying. I need sunglasses or something. I need something. It’s my turn to go hold mom’s hand.