The Reverend Broderick Sloan MacDougal
Everyone knew Brod was gay, but no one said a word. Tomorrow was his forty-fifth birthday and he was watching the clock beside the bed tick off the seconds. He had checked in after nine o’clock and asked for a quiet room. In spite of that request, he could hear the drone of the TV through the shared wall. Brod poured his second glass of Chivas Regal Scotch while sitting at the desk and stared at his own television at the foot of the bed. He hadn’t bothered to turn it on. He removed his wristwatch, resetting it to match the clock in the room and placed it next to the bottle. He stared at the blank yellow tablet, picked up his pen and started to write.
Broderick Sloan MacDougal had been the minister at the Edenville Community Presbyterian Church for more than a decade and yet he hadn’t been there more than two years before the single ladies gave up asking him on “unofficial” dates.
At first every Sunday evening presented an offer of a home-cooked meal and upon his arrival with a box of chocolates tucked under his arm or a bouquet of fresh flowers, depending on the season, the modestly handsome preacher would find himself predictably seated next to a parishioner’s sister visiting from Morgantown, West Virginia or the daughter of a major contributor to the organ fund.
Brod was an excellent listener (a job requirement as well as an asset) and brilliantly diverted personal questions by feigning interest in an oil painting over the sofa or the mention of a recent essay regarding the interpretation of the “feeding of the five thousand.”
Father Brod (as he liked to be addressed, particularly by the Sunday school set) truly felt blessed on his appointment to the well-to-do village parish. Not quite big enough or modern enough to be labeled a “suburb,” Edenville was a perfect fit for Broderick Sloan MacDougal…