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Lockwood uses the nine months she and her husband live with her parents as the springboard to examine her extraordinary upbringing by two very eccentric individuals.
Patricia Lockwood is the daughter of a Catholic priest'”and that is actually the blandest fact about her. She is one in a million, a fresh and honest and hilarious observer of life. And Father Lockwood is one in a million as well'”a priest who takes the Lord seriously, even though he’s most comfortable when half nude and jamming on his electric guitar in the living room.
In her memoir Priestdaddy...
Father Greg Lockwood is unlike any Catholic priest you have ever met—a man who lounges in boxer shorts, loves action movies, and whose constant jamming on the guitar reverberates "like a whole band dying in a plane crash in 1972." His daughter is an irreverent poet who long ago left the Church's country. When an unexpected crisis leads her and her husband to move back into her parents' rec...
"Before they allowed your father to be a priest," my mother tells me, "they made me take the Psychopath Test. You know, a priest can't have a psychopath wife, it would bring disgrace."
She sets a brimming teacup in front of me and yells, "HOT!" She sets a second one in front of my husband, Jason, and yells, "Don't touch it!" She situates herself in the chair at the head of the table and gazes at the two of us with total maternal happiness, ready to tell the story of the time someone dared to question her mental health.
We are congregating in the dining room of my father's rectory in Kansas City, where I have returned to live with my parents after twelve long years away. Jason presses his shoulder against mine for reassurance and tries to avoid making eye contact with the graphic crucifix on the opposite wall, whose nouns are like a poem's nouns: blood, bone, skin. We are penniless and we are exhausted and in the grand human tradition, we have thrown ourselves at the mercy of the church, which exists for me on this earth in an unusually patriarchal form. It walks, it cusses, it calls me Bit. It is currently shredding its guitar upstairs, across the hallway from the room where we will be staying for the foreseeable future. Through the east window I can see the same dark geometry of buildings that surrounded me all throughout my childhood: closed school, locked gymnasium, the squares and spires of a place of worship plummeting up into the night.