It’s late on a Saturday night and Metalhead is at some kid’s basement party. The kid got the new Slayer album that afternoon and has it blaring because his parents are not home. Rockgod holds both hands up in the air like he is prey for bandits, but the rest of his body convulses, his head shaking back and forth, up and down and windmilling along with the drum beat. Metalhead laughs and then there is a body careening into him, pushing him into another kid who is jumping and shimmying against the wall because heavy metal is the stuff that binds kids together, the fray that keeps their blood inside them. When Metalhead’s sister has her friends over, they dance in the living room to Madonna or Culture Club while his father complains that the music is too loud. Metalhead can feel the guitar in his teeth, can feel the speakers’ rumble deep in his chest.
St. Christopher strides across the river. Both hands grip a walking staff bracing him against the current, his calf muscles flexing as fish swirl about his legs. He is looking up at the infant Christ perched birdlike on his right shoulder. This is perhaps the moment in which the Saint, who does not yet know the identity of the child, is said to ask Him, “Why are you so heavy?” and Christ answers, “Because I bear on my shoulders the weight of the world.”