Then, one of the Twelve to be, I watched his ‘tricks’, I watched our new ‘magician’, thought he was skating on thin ice that day, he was walking on water, in the end, he was skating on thin ice.
A loving violent voice through a mouth full of locusts and honey, his cousin shouted at us from the desert on the outskirts of town, we went along for the show.
Mental John shouted a lot, at everyone, loudest at religious poseurs, always there, posing and watching, and they had ‘tricks’ up their sleeves and time on their side as ‘Mental John’ pushed more and more poor heads under water.
Mental John upset golden sandal wearing oligarchs, and the rest, and the Romans couldn’t give a shit, they had their own collection of gods and demons, they exported omnipotent ephemera, never imported it, well not yet.
But oligarchs are greedy, always not too sure of themselves, rash decisions made on the hoof, so Mental John’s head cut off for a dancing slut passed a due diligence test there and then.
That man, our man Jesus, cried buckets for cousin Johnny, he cried a lot, disconcerting for ‘hard men’ like us, and we left him alone when he got weepy about everything going on, and what would be going on after the arboretum visit.
All of us, with our mate Jesus, what a blast as he threw demons down wells, demons into pigs and over cliffs, some invisible surgery on withered hands and kicked away white sticks; what a showman!
Got to tell you, our pal Jesus had it all, from a good family, height, good looks, charisma, top of his class at oratory school, ‘magician’s tricks’, and a travelling supporters club, and one woman wouldn’t leave him alone, ever, she got under our feet and washed his with her tears, we didn’t have a towel, and he didn’t ask for one.
Down-Town in the Big City now, high walls with rising smoke from burnt offerings, hanging in the air like a good and bad smell trying to stay apart, but always getting together, and we hung about there and then with our best mate Jesus.
He insisted we stay the whole week, but we ran out of money, now we felt just like the table-men felt when the ends of his feet met the ends of their business.
Room and Board was a problem, always a problem when it’s twelve men with a great pal.
Who had the room, but need I even say it, our mate Jesus knew a guy who knew a guy, and what do you know, once again, current problem solved, dissolved.
This room and board went weird, wine was downed, food was on the big table, and our pal Jesus gave a best man’s speech, made one of the gang feel it was time to go, so that guy left and went shopping, he’d just come into a little money.
The door to our big room closed over, and our pal Jesus soon got our hard attention, said he was leaving us alone, but together, what?
Big room now given up for the outside, and our best pal, our comrade, Jesus, wouldn’t leave, go on the run, and Big Pete said he was in charge, but Big Pete went into hiding as soon as, if you know what I mean.
I’ll cut to the chase, the poseurs auctioned of a contract on my pal Jesus, and the Roman Mob whacked him good, killed my pal Jesus.
He’d got under too many skins, did too many ‘tricks’, so the Mobsters tortured him for a confession and with an eye on their payment, hung my pal Jesus on a wooden stake shaped like a cross, a warning to others, and I was guilty by association, so I ran away, self- imposed witness protection, but washing tears woman watched, wept as my pal Jesus drifted away.
I was getting hungry, hiding wasn’t working and my back was sore from lying on stone, then out of nowhere a kid came up to me, whispered a get out clause.
Big Pete was at it again, a Leader again, he’d found another big room to hide and grumble in, so I went, cloaked and in the dark, so did the rest, and we talked about our now dead pal Jesus.
But that woman, again, that woman who’d got under our feet, she’d found us, she’d barged in, told us all, told me, my pal Jesus was walking and talking again, not quite the same pal Jesus, but the same pal Jesus, what?
Then my pal Jesus came to dinner, but Tommy was out so he missed all the fun, but my pal Jesus had left by then anyway, made tracks, not sure if he left by the front door though.
Thought I’d never see him again, but would you believe it, saw my pal Jesus again, there he was, walking along the seashore, there he was, chilling before the inevitable, we had a nice chat and he talked in riddles, I liked that.
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