Priests were a natural part of the social fauna, in both Coalcoman and Modesto. They were men, but not entirely, their maleness was shrouded in a surplus of mystery, formality, and authority. To my adolescent mind, half of who they were was either obscured in some unquestioned privacy, or just missing. The lives of the men around me, the uncles, fathers, and compadres, were evident and clear-work, and more work, providing for their families. Their lives set all they were before you. I thought nothing of it. But the priests lived in some other male realm, where silence and solitude reigned.