Some Jesuses

24 Mar

As an ex-Catholic atheist I find Jesus a fascinating character. On a couple of occasions I have improvised stories about him on twitter. By which I mean I start with the shell of an idea, and write it live, warts, typos and other literary infelicities and all.

Here they are, as tweeted.

I Had No Idea I Was Jesus

When I first came out of the desert I had no idea I was Jesus. I awoke already walking, aware at first of a grinding thirst and a dull ache

of limbs grown used to the pain. I thought at first of my wife waiting for me, the comfort of our marriage bed, the sound of the children

playing with beetles in the shade of the courtyard. So weary I would just fall asleep once more to the sound of trickling water.

But as I walked across the dry hard ground and followed the ruts into the village, the fear grew in me that she had gone away. I found it

hard to picture her face. My children, run out of the gate, left banging on its hinges. I heard their laughter fade as they ran away.

Eventually I stood by the well in the main street of our village. Dried and cracked and matted, unrecognisable. A few figures staring

my figure swimming into focus, back into their memories. Thought gone these forty days and forty nights, and suddenly dawn in that

mid-afternoon, the dawn of dread. All gone. For I am Jesus. I am alone. I have no wife no children. And my father too is dead.

This was Satan’s finest wrought work.

* * *

A Jesus

During the many long, undocumented years of his adult life, Jesus fought with himself on a daily basis.

He bit down on his drinking, the surging love he felt inside him, his anger. But it rose with the bitterness of bile in his throat.

He revelled in his apparent ability to speed up the processes of nature until they seemed like magic,

and then he felt shame at the child-like awe of those who followed him. He didn’t want to earn faith with tricks.

He pushed up against the dead weight of nepotism. The “You will do this for me”. The “If not for me, then do it for them”.

If not for them, then for yourself. One day you will have everything.

He wept, then swathed himself in robes and stepped out into the night, walked amongst the men and the women of the villages.

By day he preached and by night he fought and drank and cursed his father.

Slowly, slowly he gave in, gave up all of himself. Until at last he felt so calm, so light and empty that he could just step out of the door
And float away.

Now he waits, in silent halls, the only sound the soft pad of his feet on marble floors, the sighs lost in silken drapes.

Man’s idea of Heaven. And he fears that he will never come again.

Or that if he does, man is no longer the same creature in whose image he was made.

They will turn their blank eyes on him and devour him.

* * *

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: