I was lucky enough to win tickets to see Pope Francis drive through Central Park, and it was one hell (can I say that?) of an experience. And because the number 12 is thrown around inthe Bible a lot, I’ll be snapshotting my 12-hour-experience by the hour.

7:00 a.m.    

I woke up like hell—that’s right, I said it again.

8:00 a.m.    

I got on the N6, which is the type of bus you never want to get on again after you’ve gotten your license. The people on the bus looked as downtrodden as me, as we began our commute to the city.









9:00 a.m.

My mother—who I gave my second ticket to—and I arrived at Broadway and Columbus Circle to take our place among the thousands waiting in line to enter Central Park.









10:00 a.m.

A strange little rainbow appears above the sea of people, mystifying those who witnessed it. Although some believed it was a sign for the Pope, I couldn’t help but think it was for Donald Trump, whose tower stood to my right in all its glory.









11:00 a.m.

The park finally opens and we start to make our way through security. The guards confiscated my mother’s miniature Vatican flag and removed the stick, which is made out of a straw. I guess the Pope’s one weakness is hollow plastic.

12:00 p.m.

The closest spots to the Pope’s route have been overtaken, but my mother and I found a tall rock to sit on which give us a perfect view.

1:00 p.m.

People are demanding that the cops remove a barricade to an adjoining viewing-section. They’ve begun to chant and they are gaining steam, they scream, “Remove the bars. Let us through.”









2:00 p.m.

The people’s efforts have failed. But my rock has become quite the popular spot for others to congregate. It wasn’t a contest, but I won. And upon this rock, I shall build my church.









3:00 p.m.

It’s been days since I’ve been waiting. I finished my sandwich, and the veggie chips my mom bought me that are drying up my throat. My back is killing me, so I get up from my rock and move away from the shade. The sun is now fiercely pounding upon my face, and I only have one question. Why have you forsaken me?   

4:00 p.m.

The commotion is starting. I’d like to take a great photo, so I ponder climbing a nearby tree. As I ignorantly envision myself being beaten by the NYPD for racial reasons, a woman in her 50’s beats me to the punch and begins climbing the tree. Her selfie at the top was especially soul crushing.









5:00 p.m.

The smiling rainbow had returned, and it’s dying down now. The crowds grow even more feverish. Hundreds of hands, cameras, tablets and phones fill the air. I realize taking a picture of him will be near impossible. My mom worries that she won’t be able to see him, so I give her my spot at the top, figuring I’m tall enough without the peak’s boost. The crowds roar like thunder, and Pope Francis finally arrives. I can’t tell how many times I pressed the small button to will the camera to capture a second in time. Then I look with my real eyes, and I witness the Pope looking in my direction, blessing those on his left side. My mother tears ups, and the whole day feels like it went by in a second.









6:00 p.m.

Soon after he exited Central Park, a mass exodus occurred. A human stampede kicked up a huge cloud of dirt and sand. Most people lost all their humility and kindness as they pushed and shoved their way through the crowds, cursing at those who would not move out of their way. I make it out safely with my mother, and we board the insanely crowded F6.









7:00 p.m.

We stop by Taco Bell, and after we get home, I threw myself in bed and watched Supernatural on Netflix. I notice the promotion for a free PS4 on Taco Bell receipt. Since I won Pope tickets and was even blessed by him, I arrogantly text in my code to win. I lose.    


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