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Messiah Remix


No one ever said life would be easy. I didn’t say it long ago, and I don’t say it now. My dad did some crazy stuff when he made all this, and even though we are supposed to be one, I find sometimes that he doesn’t always tell me what his plan is. Not like he used to, anyway.

The last time around we talked a lot. I mean, I could just close my eyes and talk to him. And he made it clear what he wanted. Even if I didn’t want it. You know, the whole dying-on-a-cross thing was not my idea. Left to my own plans, there would have been some serious ass-kicking going on. Here I was, son of God, the Messiah, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. And my main gig for most of the time was being a carpenter, and preaching to a bunch of starving Middle Eastern fishermen. I did the best I could with what I had to work with, but let’s face it, that deck was stacked against me from the beginning. It was rigged. “Born to die”. Would have made for a bad-ass tattoo when they tore off my clothes to whip me and nail me to a tree.

I tried to talk to God about it after I rose from the dead. That was on a Sunday, and this Sunday would one day be called Easter, celebrated with brunches, seersucker suits, hidden eggs from (of all things) a rabbit, and lots and lots of chocolate. Oh, and ham, a food I could not eat because of Jewish food restrictions at the time. I admit, even though I share the being of the All-Knowing, All-Mighty, and All-Everything, I did not see that coming.

I mean, what the hell?

But the Father had a plan, and in those days as now, the son doesn’t get a lot of opportunity to change the Father’s mind. So there it was. 12 dudes, a bunch of pissed off religious nuts, and a whole crew of clueless Romans who just wanted a little peace and quiet in their empire which had grown faster than they could manage.

However, there was one big difference that first time around. My mom was a virgin, angels sang about me, prophets foretold me. I could walk on water, heal blind people, clean lepers, and generally piss off anyone that thought they had it all figured out. Those were the days. You should have seen my bros when I told them we were going to feed 5,000 people with a couple of fish, and a loaf of Wonder Bread. Well, it should have been Wonder Bread, because I friggin’ did it! And don’t get me started about turning water into wine.

Seriously, there really should not have been any doubt that I was the Son of God. But, my dad made people, and he gave each of them a brain capable of making its own decisions, and also put a defect in the brain to allow it to believe it was its own god.

Again, not the way I would have done it.

But here, now, more than 2000 years later, I find it amazing that many people do not believe I ever existed, or even more crazy, the ones that believe fervently that I existed, now claim I said and did things that were not even close to what really happened. They even believed me when I said I would come back. And yet, now that I am here? Forget about it!

Of course, the Father in his infinite wisdom, and man how I wish he wouldn’t always be such an ass about how smart he is, chose to bring me back to earth without the benefit of a Virgin Mom, prophets, angels, kings, and miracles.

No, instead he chose me to be born to Mr. and Mrs. Albert Kettleman, my new earthly mom and dad. And did they name me Jesus? Or Jesus the Second? Or anything that might even remotely have been appropriate for the Second Coming of the Messiah?

Hell, no.

They named me Larry. Larry Kettleman. And raised me in Queens. Gabriel did not mention a word of this to them, and as a result I grew up as a normal, lower-middle class kid in New York.

Yes, the Father has some crazy ideas. Of course, a lot of folks say the same about me. But I know. I am 99% sure. I am the second coming of Jesus.

Probably the ability to perform miracles will be coming soon. As well as the Father’s instructions.

Of course, there is that 1% of doubt. The doubt that the people that say I am a whack-job are right. That I am not Jesus II, but just plain, old Larry Kettleman, a former C-student at John Adams High School in the Ozone Park section of Queens, and now a plumber with Right-Way Plumbing.

In the meantime, while I wait for my purpose from God, and my Jesus superpowers to develop, I know I must be getting on with my mission. People here need me. Some of them a lot. In my first life, I was a carpenter. I built things, using the very material that I would one day be killed upon.

This time around? Plumber. Fitting, because I am pretty sure I will need to move a lot of crap before this mission is over

God works in mysterious ways. And frankly, it pisses me off.




---
I thought growing old would take longer.
4/11/2018, 12:07 am Link to this post PM bigbarry2u
 
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Re: Messiah Remix


I hadn't seen him since that big graduation party we had after high school. But here we were at the Fifth Reunion, and I was surprised he was there. Yeah, I mean, look, he was sort of a nerd in high school and I can't believe it holds many happy memories for him. Why would he come to the reunion?

I was there because I was on the reunion committee. You can't believe how many grads nobody can find after only five years. Some got killed in the wars in the middle east. Geeze, how many wars do we have going in the middle east? But anyway...

There was Larry Kettleman, for reasons I didn't quite get. I greeted him at the sign-in table and slapped the HELLO tag on him. It had his graduation picture and his name on it. The picture was weird. Something about the lighting made it look like he had a halo on top of his head. When our annuals came out in mid-May, everyone noticed it and gave him a hard razz about it. Yeah, I mean, look, who is supposed to have a halo? Larry Kettleman? Give me a serious break.

He'd grown. I'm 5' 7" and he'd always been a little squirt. Now he was taller than I am. And more filled out, like he'd been doing weights, or something. I'd say he looked pretty good, actually, except it was Larry Fookin' Kettleman, after all. I'm not going there.

My name tag said ROBERTA, my full name. Nobody ever called me that in high school. I was named for my great aunt, which made the name two generations worth of old. I went by my nickname. Except that Larry Fookin' Kettleman greeted me tonight by my full name.

So I thought of my dad's racist joke. It went like this:

An American Native married a woman of Polish descent. They had a child, and wanted to give it a name that reflected both of their heritages. They named it Running Dumb !@#$.

Yeah, I mean, [sign in to see URL] think Larry Kettleman was that child.

---
Robbie
4/11/2018, 2:32 am Link to this post PM Miz Robbie
 
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Re: Messiah Remix


I looked back over my shoulder as if to make certain I was not trailing toilet paper on my heel, and bumped into the sign-in table. When I straightened up, a redhead, who had come around the table, was slapping something on my shoulder.

“Mary!” the redhead said cheerily. “Welcome!”

It was my old enemy, Robbie. I looked her up and down. Still tall, and now willowy. Not a wrinkle in sight. I hated her. I gave her what I hoped was Mary’s uncertain little smile, and, looking down at the name tag she had pasted on my silk shirt, hated her even more. Next to Mary’s name was her graduation picture, the one with her oversize tortoise shell glasses slipping down her nose.

As I squinted at the name tag, my contact lens got shifted, and I felt my eyes watering. I could use that. Mary’s eyes had always looked watery.

“You look fabulous!” Robbie said. “What have you done to your hair?”

I couldn’t decide whether to say, “I washed it,” or “I combed it,” so I mumbled, “You look fabulous too.”

My name is Judith. I’m Mary’s twin, the one they tried to keep under lock and key; but occasionally they got careless, and I traded places with Mary and went to school while she spent the day locked in that room. I had Mary so intimidated that she would do anything I told her to, but in this case, she was a willing conspirator. She was terrified of people, and being alone all day gave her a rest. My jailers never noticed a thing.

While I was being Mary at school, I got to know Robbie really well. She sat at the lunch table with the popular girls, and all the cool boys fell at her feet. She had the life I would have been living if I hadn’t had to look and act like my wimpy sister. I swore then that someday I would get her.

Giving me a patronizing pat of dismissal, Robbie turned to a newcomer. I looked around. Five years had gone by, so it wouldn’t be unusual for Mary to have grown up some. I had successfully passed at the sign-in table, and that’s all I needed to abandon Mary’s persona and look people who used to snub me in the eye.

All around the room, women were squealing with delight at seeing each other again. Men were beating each other on the back, and I heard one bunch of them guffawing the way men do when they hear a dirty joke. Somebody poked me in the ribs.

I whirled around. A funny little man was grinning at me. I glared at him and he jumped back and raised his hands. “Don’t shoot!”

“Tommy? Tommy Douthit?” It WAS Tommy. I laughed in spite of myself.

He squinted at my name tag and looked as if he couldn’t believe it. “Mary?” He studied my face and looked deeply into my eyes. “Mary, are you in there?”

“Do you doubt it, Tommy Douthit?” I said. I couldn’t help it. Tommy made me feel playful. I almost never felt playful, and I didn’t like it much.

“Well, yeah,” he said. “If I didn’t know better, I’d think you were Mary’s evil twin.”

I felt myself flushing. I never flushed.

“There,” he said. “That looks like you. Hey, Larry!” he said, catching hold of a man who was passing. “Come and see Mary. You won’t believe it.”

Then I was face to face with this HUNK. He was tall. He had muscles. He had shoulders. On one shoulder was this name tag with a picture that looked nothing like the hunk who was wearing it. The name said “Larry Kettleman.” I felt myself flushing deeper.

Mary had had a terrible crush on Larry Kettleman. She worshipped the water he walked on. “He has the most beautiful voice I have ever heard,” she said, her eyes rolling like a sick cat’s.

Larry had been little and scrawny and insignificant, except on the debate stage, where he took all the prizes. He made his points by telling little anecdotes that were supposed to illustrate his arguments. I never understood the analogies, or cared to. “It would be my greatest happiness to spend my life sitting at his feet,” Mary had said longlingly. I wanted to kick her.

Looking up at Tarzan now, I knew how she felt.


Last edited by Bellelettres, 4/12/2018, 8:28 am
4/12/2018, 7:02 am Link to this post PM Bellelettres
 
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Re: Messiah Remix


You would think if you were the Son of God, that you would never feel out of place. I mean, you can pretty much do whatever you want, whenever you want, as long as it does not cost much. But here I was, at my five-year high school reunion, and feeling like a beetle crawling around in a side salad. It was a mistake. I should not have come. I missed my old high school friends, and I loved them all dearly. I mean, I love everyone so it is not that big a deal. I was still not ready to let everyone know who I was. Would they believe me? No. They did not last time either until I performed a few miracles. Even then, the miracles did not make everyone love me, worship me, follow me. In fact, most of them could kill me off fast enough.

No, until my ability to perform miracles shows up, I will have to work on finding my disciples, about 10-12 guys who can share life with me and be sure that I don’t get beat up, and help me test-market my messages, and then fine-tune them for mass distribution. When you think about it, I did pretty well with it last time. Does anyone know what any other carpenter in the past 2000 years did with a bunch of impoverished fishermen? No. I don’t think so.

Imagine if we had had Facebook.

But, then I guess there would not be much need for faith. We could all just sit around and watch YouTube movies of me being holy and perfect, and solving the sins of the world, one guest at a time. And half the world would look at it and claim that it was either photoshopped or fake news. Or borrowed from some pagan religion. Or such.
Anyway, I saw Roberta here again. Love her. And, as I said, everybody. But it was especially good to see her again. At first I wondered if she recognized me as Jesus. She looked at me much differently than she did when we were in high school. But clearly she did not think of me as anything more than a dude. Still, she sparkled as much as the earrings she was wearing, and then sparkled a little more.

Tommy Douhit was there, and he might make a fine disciple. And Mary was there. Odd cat, Mary. But, of course, I just loved her, too. Still, not sure she would make a good disciple. First of all, she was a she. Second of all, she had some days where she really did not seem to be herself.

Still, maybe all this was the Father’s plan. I’d ask him, but we don’t talk too much these days.


---
I thought growing old would take longer.
4/15/2018, 12:33 am Link to this post PM bigbarry2u
 
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Re: Messiah Remix


I had slapped Larry Kettleman's name tag on him when he arrived, of course. He didn't strike me as being all that special, but Mary seemed interested in him. Mary was such a loser.

The main party was taking place through the doorway behind me. The reunion committee had set up sign-in tables just in front of that doorway, so that people couldn't get in without us verifying their reservations and, of course, our opportunity to slap name tags on them. One of the fun ones was Roger Burbank who had been the soccer team captain and had led our team to victory against the cross-town rivals, the dreaded Roosevelt High team. Roger arrived wearing a rugby shirt. Maybe there's no such thing as a soccer shirt. Anyway, it had green and navy strips across it, our team's colors. Go Adams High! I enthused at him in overly-dramatic tones when he approached my sign-in desk. He smiled as though I had named him team captain all over again. One wondered, though, if touting that victory as captain of the John Adams High School team got him many points post-graduation. He walked in the doorway to the party and was instantly greeted by the rest of the team and the girls who had... what shall we say, admired?... him in high school. Word was he'd gotten at least two of them pregnant and paid for their abortions.

Bill Nader and Paul Gillstone were both in their first year of law school. Peg Dennison was in her first year of teaching. German, as it turned out. Teri Sue was in her first year of banking, something I never would have imagined of her. She'd been my old locker partner, and a whole lot of fun. But banking? Holly was married and had one child with a second on the way. There'd always been rumors about how quickly Holly got married and had a kid.

And then I heard shrieking from the main party room. I whirled around in time to see that Luis was on the floor, with people crowding around him.

"Holy cats!" one of them cried. "Is he dead? Is he gonna die?"

"Call 911," somebody else commanded. "Get Medic 1 here!"

"No pulse!" cried someone else, feeling the carotid artery in his neck.

"Is he dead? Is he gonna die?" came the voice that had already asked that. It had a hopeful sound to it.

I watched as Jordan and Taylor tried to move people back. "Give him space!" they shouted over each other.

And then I saw Larry walk confidently, but not hurriedly, up to the scene. He began CPR, giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and pausing to give chest compression. He kept it up for a long time. When the EMTs arrived, Luis was just starting to respond. He stirred a little, and Larry yielded to the EMTs who gave Luis oxygen and checked his vital signs.

"Man," one of the EMTs said to Larry in appreciation. "Where'd you learn that?" Larry just looked at him. "You saved his life. This was a dead man, and you brought him back."

Larry looked at his shoes. "Glad I could help," he said. "Thanks for getting here so fast."

The party seemed subdued until Luis was taken out of the room. Then Larry spoke.

"This could happen to anyone," he said. "But we're meant to appreciate life and enjoy it. I'm sure Luis would want us to do just that, so let's have a little music and dance!"

The Rent-a-DJ took the cue and started something by Bruno Mars. I don't remember what it was.

Last edited by Miz Robbie, 4/19/2018, 12:41 pm


---
Robbie
4/15/2018, 1:26 am Link to this post PM Miz Robbie
 
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Re: Messiah Remix


Something made me turn around and look back into the main room. I saw one of the EMTs continuing to talk with Larry. I looked at him harder, trying not to do a bad movie version of a double-take.

Was that...? Yes, it was! It was Harold King, who was a hunk in high school and was even hunkier now! Harold and I first got to know each other because we both had names from generations long past, but we treated them differently. I hated my full name and used my nickname. He refused to use a nickname and used his full name.

We dated for a while in our junior year, but finally concluded we weren't meant to be. We parted amicably enough and remained friends, although not terribly close friends, through the rest of high school. He was very popular with the girls, and I used to tease him about his harem.

I waited until he was through talking with Larry, then approached. We greeted each other with a warm hug and did a brief catching up. Finally he turned back and gestured toward Larry.

"That was just amazing," he said. "Larry Kettleman, of all people. I swear Luis was a goner, but Larry got him back." Harold shook his head in wonder. "I have to go, but give us a call if Larry walks across a swimming pool."

We laughed together, then Harold was gone.

---
Robbie
4/15/2018, 2:55 pm Link to this post PM Miz Robbie
 
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Re: Messiah Remix


All around the room people were going ape over Larry Kettleman for getting to Luis in time to save him. Mary would have been blissing out, but I couldn’t manage pretending to do that. Heroics bored me, and after that performance, I found myself losing my taste for Tarzan, muscles or no muscles. Too bad Mary hadn’t been there to see it. I would have to dig her up when I got home and tell her about it (ha! ha!).

Over at the punch bowl I spotted another person who looked as unimpressed as I was. I walked over and saw that it was Saul Tarsus. I hadn’t recognized him at once because he had grown a beard. He had a glass in his hand and a smirk on his face.

“Saul,” I said. “Why aren’t you over there beating the hero on the back?”

“Why aren’t you over there squealing at him?” he said. He looked at my name tag but didn’t seem to know who Mary was. When I thought about it, I remembered that he had never shown any interest in girls. Maybe he had never noticed her.

“I’ve seen CPR before,” I said. I saw dear old Dad use it on Mary once after she had one of her “accidents.” “Weren’t you impressed?”

“It was an act,” Saul said. “I was standing there when Luis fell down. He thought he was Hamlet again in the school play. Larry winked at him just before he went down. I saw it.”

I remembered that Saul had tried out for Hamlet and had sulked for a week after Luis got the part. Mary was Ophelia, of course, and Robbie was Gertrude. I never went to rehearsals to do Mary’s part. I couldn’t stomach it, and I couldn’t watch Robbie in a part that would have been mine if things had been different.

But I knew Luis and Larry had not been putting on an act. You can’t stop your heart by an act of will unless you’re Swami Rama, and Larry had been all the way across the room when Luis fell. I know because I hadn’t taken my eyes off him. Saul was the same uptight prick I remembered.
4/15/2018, 4:52 pm Link to this post PM Bellelettres
 
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Re: Messiah Remix


The word “miracle” was getting thrown around, and I didn’t like it. Was it a miracle? I mean, yeah, Luis was dying. And I performed CPR. But that’s not a miracle. That was just high school health class, taught by Coach Rudin as I recall. But my first public miracle was not going to be simply doing what anyone else would have and could have and should have done if they had the most basic CPR training.

Imagine how it would be recorded in the new gospels someday.

“And Jesus didst save Luis from choking by laying his hands on him, looking up to the heavens, and saying ‘Arise, my child. Your faith has healed you,’, and then vigorously administereth basic CPR.”

Or some such.

No, my first miracle in my first go-round as Messiah was to turn water into wine at a wedding. I did not think my first miracle in the reboot would be to save a man, probably from drinking too much wine, at a high school reunion. No, apparently it was still not my time to have my all-powerful abilities. Damn. Dad, can we get on with this please?

I was convinced more than ever that being here was not a good idea. No one at a high school reunion wants to learn about God, or experience God. Maybe the party will run out of punch, and I can turn….

Oh hell, never mind.

“Oh its you, God!”

What??? Uh-oh. Somebody has recognized me. But how? I just knew it was not my time yet.

“Oh God, you look great!”

I turned around, probably blushing, and about to be shushing. I mean, I know I am Jesus and all, but really, was this appropriate?

And then I saw whose adulation I had gained. And my heart sank.

Dad-dammit.

It was my ex. Well, sort of my ex. I mean, it was complicated. You know how opposites sometimes attract? Again, my father has a really sick sense of humor sometimes. At least a bad sense of balance and justice. Anyway, while I dated a few girls in high school, I was mostly a pity date. If you could not get a date to prom, or the homecoming dance, or whatever, well, there was still Larry Kettleman. He was always available.

But there was a couple of months my freshman year. We were all young and stupid, as freshmen are, and we held on to anything that validated us.

You’d think the Son of God would not have an inferiority complex, but hey, the heart feels what the heart feels. And most of my freshman year, my heart felt like it was going to throw-up, or pee itself.

But then this red-headed angel appeared. Well, I thought she was an angel at the time. Beautiful. Great hair. It was red, did I mention that? Red lips. Freckles that were cute, adorable, and sexy as hell. And, well, she did what all girls do to boys when they are smarter than the boys. She tempted me. She told me she would fix me great meals. She told me she would always be there for me, no matter how hard I might fall in life. And she told me that all the world was waiting for me. And that together, we would freaking own the whole place! She might have even known who I was before I did.

I had been swimming with my cousin, John. He was also an outcast, and by outcast I mean a weirdo. But he had a following of friends that liked him for who he was, whatever he was, which was a common point of debate.

He dunked me mercilessly in the pool, and when a pigeon almost crapped on my shoulder he started laughing, and told me that some really great things were going to happen to me. He said it with such conviction that I believed it. At least I accepted that he 100% believed it. And that was something.

But after a while, just less than six weeks, I decided to end it with Lucy. She was persistent but I told her to back off, and she did. Gotta admit, that felt good. We did not talk much after that, which was probably for the best. In fact, I had not seen her in years, though I would hear the odd story. I heard she harbored resentment, and I think she had become worse after our breakup, and her life had picked up troubles the way a dust mop picks up dust.

“Lucy,” I said. “Lucy Ferrell. What can I say?”

“You can say I look like hell. I think you told me that when you dumped me years ago.”

Well, in fairness, in those days Lucy Ferrell had an attractive quality about herself. She was slim, her face was pretty, and if she ever tried make-up, a hairbrush, or maybe even soap and water, she would probably have been a knockout. Well, that was then. But now? Yowza. Lucy was hot. Red hot. Flaming hot. Ok, I’ll say it, she was hot as hell.

“Damn, Dad” I whispered, “you make some amazing creatures in your world.”

He did not respond. Not surprised.

“Actually, Lucy, you look gorgeous. And it is very nice to see you again.” I reached out my hand to hers. Let her decide what to do with our somewhat awkward situation.

She took it, and surprisingly shook it. Then held it inappropriately tight, her fingernails digging into hands, maybe even some blood.

“Well, well, well,” she said. “If it isn’t Larry Almighty?”

---
I thought growing old would take longer.
4/18/2018, 9:33 pm Link to this post PM bigbarry2u
 
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Re: Messiah Remix


I'd done my hour at the greeter table and was ready to join the party. Evidently our class didn't have members who wanted to be fashionably late; everybody who had signed up to attend had already checked in.

I picked up my cup of water, then walked into the main room. I was pleased to see a lot of familiar faces, now five years older than when I'd last seen most of them. As in high school, the girls seemed to have taken more care in deciding what to wear and how to be groomed than the boys. Hmmmm, I mentally chided myself, I guess I should think of us as women and men now, not girls and boys.

The mob around Larry had dissipated, although Lucy was shaking hands with him and Larry was trying not to grimace in pain. What was up with that? She stepped back, and Larry nodded at her as he also stepped back. Evidently that nod was a signal that he was moving on. He headed for the bar and got a paper napkin, which he used to mop his hand. As he turned back toward the room he saw me coming in, and smiled. I smiled back.

We each took about ten steps, then were face to face. "You're off duty," he said, not as a question. "Can I get you anything?"

"Sure," I said, teasing. "Change my water into wine." I held out my cup.

"Easy," he replied. "Red or white?"

"White," I said, wondering how he was going to do that.

"Be right back." He walked over to the bar, then returned with a glass of white wine.

"It's a miracle!" I enthused, laughing.

"Miracles are easier when there's a bar nearby," he admitted, laughing with me.

"I can hardly wait to see how you manage walking on water," I said.

"Pfffft," he exhaled. "I do that every day. I'm a plumber."

I chuckled in appreciation.

We each sipped our drinks in companionable silence. Nothing about standing next to Larry without feeling the need to talk was uncomfortable.

Geeze, maybe Mary did know something about him.

---
Robbie
4/19/2018, 1:12 pm Link to this post PM Miz Robbie
 
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“Hey, Jude!” a voice called from behind me, and I felt another poke in the ribs.

I whirled around ready to throw a punch, but remembered who I was supposed to be just in time to change what would have been a vicious hiss of “Asshole!” to a simpering gasp of “It’s Mary.”

“Yeah, sure,” Lucy Ferrell said. “And I’m Stormy Daniels.”

We laughed and hugged and laughed and hugged some more. She looked terrific. Her red hair was shiny and luxuriant, and her face was flawless (where had the freckles gone?), with just enough makeup to highlight her beautiful mouth and eyes. She was wearing a light green slim skirt and silk sleeveless shirt, with a necklace made of three tiers of large silver coins around her perfect neck.

Lucy was the only person in our class who knew who I really was. Her folks moved into the house next to ours when we were both in the eighth grade, so we knew each other at home as well as at school. She was friends with Mary first, and was as sweet and meek and dowdy as Mary; but she was a lot brighter than Mary, so she naturally gravitated to me.

“What have you been doing since I saw you last?” I said.

I wondered if she remembered that meeting. I had seen her on the street around two years ago, pushing a stroller with a baby in it, and holding a leash attached to a toddler walking along in a harness. Her hair was dull and stringy, her clothes hung on her, and she didn’t seem to be awfully sober.

I oohed and ahhed.

“The little angels are not mine,” she said, with a bitter laugh.

“Still hiring out your body?” I was trying to get a real laugh out of her, but my joke fell flat. I said we should get together, and asked for her phone number; but the kid on the ground shrieked and jerked at the harness, so she turned away without showing the slightest interest in seeing me again. I was too shocked and offended go after her and make her talk to me.

“I’m still hiring out my body,” she said now, with a sparkle. “I’m doing some modeling and some shampoo commercials.”

“Well, you look smashing!” I said.

“Doesn’t everybody?” she said. “Have you seen Larry Kettleman? Ooh-la-la!”

“The hero,” I said. “He looked right through me. Or I should say, he looked through Mary.”

“He’s not looking through Ro-BER-ta!” she said, pointing to the couple, who were laughing together across the room. “I remember when she wouldn’t give him the time of day.”

In fairness to Robbie, nobody would give him the time of day back then, except losers like Mary. Mary’s pitiful pining after him got to me, particularly when I had to pretend to do it while pretending to be her. That had to be the main reason I dared Lucy to seduce him.

“Why would I want to do that?” she said at the time, wrinkling her nose.

“I’ll give you a makeover,” I said. For all her natural beauty, Lucy certainly needed one. Her folks didn’t have much money for clothes, and her Puritanical mother wouldn’t let her wear makeup.

“Makeover first!” Lucy said.

“After you get the first date with him,” I said. “You’ll be transformed gradually before his eyes, and he won’t be able to resist you on the Big Night.”

Well, the fool fell for him. She started out acting, and then it became real.

I kept warning her that she was offering him too much too soon. “Don’t throw yourself at him,” I said when she spent all her small allowance one week on presents for him. “You’ll lose your mystery.”

“You don’t know him,” she said. “He’s divine.”

But the better I made her look, the cooler he got to her. I was certain it was because of the way she acted instead of the way she looked. So on the Big Night, I outdid myself. I painted her unmercifully, and made her wear a blouse cut low enough to give him a glimpse of heaven.

Her first words to me the next morning were, “He dumped me. He said I looked like hell!”

Remembering that, I said to her now, “Wait till Larry sees you today.”

"That’s what I thought,” she said. “He said I looked gorgeous, but there wasn’t any lust in his eyes. It was just like before. I wanted to crush him. Look at the way he’s looking at HER.”

It was a disgusting sight. “We need to embarrass both of them,” I said.

“We do!” she said. “I dare you to walk over and kiss him, right in front of her.”

I was tempted. “Make it worth my while,” I said.

“What do you want?”

“How about 30 pieces of silver?”

She blinked for a second, then burst out laughing, took her necklace off, and put it around my neck.

Jangling, I walked across the room, shoved Robbie out of the way, and laid a wet one on Larry.


Last edited by Bellelettres, 4/20/2018, 5:35 pm
4/20/2018, 3:56 pm Link to this post PM Bellelettres
 
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Re: Messiah Remix


He was old, black, blind and a comedian. He called himself “Zay”, but most people called him “Zay Zay”, though neither was his real name. He sat, as always on an old barstool, his cane resting against his legs, and a basket at this feet. He did this every afternoon into the evening, calling out to people as they passed by outside “Cackles”, a small, struggling comedy club on Northern Boulevard in the Jackson Heights section of Queens. He handed out flyers announcing the nightly show at Cackles. To any passerby he would say “Make yourself feel good with a laugh at the comedy show tonight, or make yourself feel better by dropping a dollar in my basket.” He would politely laugh, and tip his old, worn fedora whether anyone took a flyer, dropped a dollar, or walked by with a New York City salute.

He did it every day. An on occasion, when enough people took his flyer and came inside the club, he was invited to come on stage and perform his comedy act. Happened a couple of times a month. Without pay, but hey, even an old, black, blind comedian has to start somewhere.

I walked by him several times a week, and eventually decided to talk to him. He was cool, funny and easily irritated. When I had time I would stop and chat, which he seemed to enjoy, even though he never stopped calling out to passersby even as he spoke with you.

Earlier in the day I approached him.

“Comedy show tonight,” he called out. “Or, you—“ he stopped. Turned his head in my general direction, and said “Oh, there you are.”

“Hi, Zay Zay.”

“Larry, I knew you would come. I’ve been expecting you for a while.”

“Why is that, Zay Zay?”

“Because I am going on stage tonight, and I knew you wouldn’t miss it.”

“Hey, that’s great. But I have a high school reunion tonight. Not sure when it will be over.”

“Oh God, sounds like hell. Why on earth would you go there? Want to catch up with lots of friends you had in high school?”

“No, its just that… well, its my high school reunion. You go to those things, ya know?”

“Not me. I’d rather go to the funerals of all my high school friends than to be with them all at once at a party. Hell, couldn’t see’em anyway. And sure wouldn’t want to smell’em.”

“Yeah, I understand you blind folks get super senses on account of being blind, and all.”

“Yeah, lucky us.”

“Have you been blind your whole life?” I asked.

“Not yet,” he said. “Comedy show tonight!” he called out as a couple walked by. They politely took his flyers, and dropped them in the trash can at the intersection. “But no, I was not born blind. No, God chose to take my sight away in my 30s. Diabetes.”

Ouch. “You think God did this?”

“Well, sure. He created eyes, diabetes, and blindness, didn’t he? So I reckon he figured it was time for me to stop seeing the world he created.”

I didn’t think he was right about that, but it was pointless to argue. He’s probably spent a lot of time thinking about it.

“But don’t worry about me. God took my sight, but now he gives me visions. And a sense of humor. If only he would give me heightened bank account.”

“I hear ya,” I said. “Hey would you like to get some coffee some time? Maybe a sandwich?”

He paused, turning his head as he processed what I said. “Ah, now you shouldn’t be seen in public hanging out with people like me. Might hurt your reputation.”

I laughed. “Yeah, a plumber’s got to keep up appearances, Zay Zay. Hey, why do they call you ‘Zay Zay’?”

“When I was little, my friends gave me that nickname. They didn’t like my real name.”

“And what is that?”

“Come see me tonight. I’ve got some new material. Maybe you’ll like it. Damn sure like it more that the party you are going to.”

“Why do you say that?” I asked.

“It’s just a matter of time before you get your ass kicked.”

“Is that so?” Hmmm.

“Afraid so. But, like my blindness, you’ll get through it and be better off for it. Maybe we all will.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Call it a hunch. A vision,” he said. “Or hell, it could be the eggs I had this morning for breakfast.”

“See ya, Zay Zay. Good luck tonight. I hope I have so much fun at the reunion that I lose track of time and miss it.”

“Right. I’ll be on around 11pm.”

---
I thought growing old would take longer.
4/21/2018, 1:20 pm Link to this post PM bigbarry2u
 
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Re: Messiah Remix


OK, I know I'm a snob. I'm a Columbia University graduate, and none of the people in the room were. I really don't know how I got a full-ride scholarship to Columbia, but I got one. I mean, I got the kind that pays tuition, books, fees, and a dorm room with a meal card. I thought only football players at Alabama got scholarships like that.

I have a sneaking, hunch, though, which isn't very nice. John Adams graduates only a bit over 50% of each class. It's rated the worst high school in Queens by the school board. But I'd gotten great grades, scored really high on the SAT and ACT, aced the essay, and showed well for my volunteer work in literacy at the elementary school. But the not-very-nice sneaking hunch has to do with my name. Who's named Roberta in this millennium? White girls? Uh... no, not so much. I think Columbia figured it was about to award itself minority student points. Joke's on them.

The main requirement of my terrific scholarship was that I had to do four years in four years. That's not easy these days, in that colleges seem to schedule prerequisites such that they won't appear in the semesters you need them. I studied them carefully, mapping out what I needed and when those classes would be offered. I got a BA in English after my allotted eight semesters.

My parents, Randy and Faith, were beside themselves with joy. They'd helped to the extent they could, but that extent wasn't much. We lived in Ozone Park because we didn't have much, even though both of my parents worked.

They cheered at my graduation, Faith in her best dress and Randy in passable slacks and sports coat. After the graduation ceremonies they took me to lunch at Chick-fil-A in Queens Center, which was an expense they'd probably been saving for. I almost felt guilty that they'd incurred that expense, but it was obvious they felt proud of me and proud of their ability to take me to lunch. I didn't want to deny them their good feelings.

"So," my dad began as we sat down. "What can you do with a degree in English? Teach?"

"Not unless I go back and get a teaching certificate," I admitted.

"Oh," said my mom. "We figured teaching's what you'd do. You know, a steady job. Something with some certainty. A pension." She stared out the window, unfocused. "Not like us."

Dad looked sharply at me. "You mean we've sacrificed for these four years and you've got nothing you can use to make a living?"

"Sacrificed?" I asked, not understanding what my education had cost them.

"Well of course!" he bellowed.

Mom looked around nervously and gave him a reflexive "Shhhh."

"You could have gotten a job and contributed something to the household," he explained. "As it is you got to put your head in the clouds for four years and didn't help with anything."

I hadn't thought of it that way.

"And," he continued with disgust in his voice, "I suppose you're one of them liberals now."



Last edited by Miz Robbie, 4/22/2018, 12:49 am


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4/22/2018, 12:48 am Link to this post PM Miz Robbie
 
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Re: Messiah Remix


So she kissed me. Hard. She had her eyes closed which was probably good because mine were open, and were probably both wide-eyed and cross-eyed. She had a good grip on me and I was not sure what to do.

I looked out of the corner of one eye at Roberta, and saw she had pretty much the same expression that I had. Finally, Mary let me come up for air.

She took two steps back. Smiled and winked, and said "Thanks, sometimes we all need a little CPR. I feel better already."

I flushed. I mean, I don't have any previous experiences to draw from here. Should I say a clever one-liner, like "Hey, happy to help. Any time, baby."?

Or "Aight! Who got next?"

Or "Did I tell you to stop?"

Of course I did not say any of those things because I'm not cool like that. Instead I said "uhm... I... uh... you're welc---... WHAT???" Confused, I looked toward Robbie, who looked annoyed at best, pissed more likely.


"Well said, sweetie. When you are ready for more mouth-to-mouth, give me a call." She patted me on the cheek, winked at Robbie and strolled off like a cat, swinging her tail gently back and forth with each stride.

Damn. High school reunions were much better than high school.

Robbie looked at me, wondering what my next move would be. I explained, "Mary is a little crazy sometimes. Usually so sweet and timid, but every now and then--? Whew!"

Robbie's lipped tightened. She clearly did not have anything to add.

"Hey, ya wanna get out of here?" I asked. "I've got a friend about to go on stage at a comedy club. I've had enough excitement tonight, and could use a laugh. Wanna come with?"





---
I thought growing old would take longer.
4/22/2018, 4:12 pm Link to this post PM bigbarry2u
 
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Re: Messiah Remix


I couldn't believe my eyes, then I couldn't believe my ears. Mary had planted one on him that must certainly have gotten his attention. His eyes were wide open throughout, however, probably matching mine. I mean, what the what?

After she sashayed away, he then asked me out. What the what all over again. I was surprised at myself that I really did want to go with him, but there was a wrinkle.

"Larry," I said in my most sincere voice, "I'm flattered that you asked, especially given that you got... a... another invitation." I rolled my eyes Mary's direction.

He looked uncomfortable.

"But, unfortunately, I'm stuck here until the party's over. I'm on the reunion committee and I have to stay to the end and help clean up."

He looked like he'd just gotten his twelve-millionth rejection.

"Larry," I said again. "Please look at me."

His eyes came up off his shoes and met mine.

"I hope you'll ask me again."

He nodded, without much enthusiasm. Wanting to prolong the conversation, I asked "Who's your friend? Where does he do his thing?"

"Everybody calls him Zay Zay. He's an old man and performs occasionally at Cackles on Northern Boulevard. It's worth the trip when he's on stage."

"I'm so sorry I can't join you tonight," I said. "I really hope you can understand."

He nodded, then turned away.

"Damn," I thought. Then I wondered why I was so concerned about Larry Freakin' Kettleman getting away.

Last edited by Miz Robbie, 4/22/2018, 7:59 pm


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4/22/2018, 7:58 pm Link to this post PM Miz Robbie
 
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Re: Messiah Remix


"Party of one, sir?" said the condescending little punk of a waiter.

I wanted to say "Drop dead", but the way this night has gone it would probably be my first miracle. So I just nodded. Jerk.

"Drink, sir?"

"No, thanks, I'm good. Maybe a water."

"Uhm, it's a two drink minimum, sir. The comics are funnier when you've had a couple. Trust me, I'm here every night."

"Wine. Red. And some crackers if you've got'em."

"We have party mix. Take it or leave it."

"Take it."

I sat alone, dammit, at a table for two. Pretty good crowd, all things considered. Zay Zay will be pleased. And they had mostly long since fulfilled their two drink quota. That should please Zay Zay also.

The lights dimmed, and music started. Showtime. Good luck, Zay.

“And now, everyone,” said a faceless, bodiless announcer over the speakers, “let’s keep this party going with a very funny, very old, and very angry comedian. Give it up for Isaiah “Zay Zay” Taylor, everybody. C’mon, let’s hear it!!!”

Isaiah. Got it.

The crowd was in a good mood, and generous with its applause, but not overwhelming.

As Zay Zay came on the stage, it was immediately obvious he was blind, with his cane and dark glasses. And the crowd showed a little more love by keeping the applause going a little longer.

Zay Zay hammed it up, “Sit down, sit down, thank you,”, he said, motioning with his hands, “no, really, sit down”. The crowd roared with laughter because they were not standing, and clapped even more. “Thank you!”

The crowd settled in, and Zay Zay moved smoothly into his performance.

“What a crowd, you look great,” he said adjusting his sunglasses, and waving his cane over the crowd as if it would help.

“What a crowd, and what a day. Tough day, y’all. Tough day. I had a little fender bender driving my kids to school today.” He mimicked putting one hand on the steering wheel, and tapped his cane out in front as if that is how he did it. Blind humor, I guess he laughs at it so we can, too.

“Any of y’all got kids?” He waited as several people applauded. “I gots one beautiful and intelligent daughter. Love of my LIFE! So proud of her.” The crowd applauded politely, and he set the hook. “AND I’ve got three ugly and stupid boys.” Laughter. “What a disappointment they are. No, really. Look, I wanted to be proud of’em. But let’s be honest, sometimes kids just suck, right? Now… don’t get me wrong, they were all beautiful babies. Wonderful babies. I love babies. But then, when they learn to talk? Oh. Forget about it.”

“I mean, you try to raise’em right. Give’em what they need. Give’em what they want. But it ain’t never gonna be enough. You buy’em a phone? They want a better phone. They want an EYE-Phone. You buy’em a game? They want a bigger game. They want an EXX-Box. You buy’em a car? Well, that’s on you because I ain’t buying these stupid boys a car. They can get a job if they want a car.”

The crowd was enjoying it, clearly a highly relatable rant for many of them. They recognized they were either the parent or the kid.

He continued, “So I got an open mutiny at my house. It’s like I’m Darth Vader and they are the glorious rebellion. Y’all see Star Wars?” A few applauded, and a lady in the front said “No.” He looked in her direction. “You didn’t see Star Wars? Yeah, well, I didn’t, either.” Laughter again.

“I watched it in braille. I’ll tell you what its about. Its about a cute little kid, he is smart and funny, and he gets his own racer, his own spaceship, his own light-sword, a lot of money and he gets to bang a beautiful princess. But BIG SURPRISE! It’s not enough, and he turns into an asshole.”

“Now since I can’t see the movie, I think it is like a reality show. It sounds just like my kids.”

The crowd applauded. He nodded. And started back in again.

“But I don’t know. I tried my best to raise’em right. You know who I blame?” He paused, smiled, and pointed his finger. “You people. That’s right. It’s all your fault. No, not just you people, but everybody. All people. That’s right. Everybody sucks. Yes, I said it. Everybody sucks! Ev-er-y-bod-y SUCKS!

“The kids suck. The schools suck. Bad guys with guns suck. Good guys with guns suck. The government sucks. Donald Trump sucks. Hillary Clinton sucks. White people suck. Black people suck. Cab drivers suck. They all suck, suck, suck, suck, SUCK!”

It was a rant, for sure, but he was smiling as he said and the audience was happily going along.

“Yet, to my kids, somehow I’m the one that sucks. Yeah. Right. I’m the asshole in the world. That’s not fair, is it?”

And on he went.

“Straight people suck. Gay people?” He paused, and smiled. Would he go there? “Nah, they all right. They cool.” The crowd roared. “Don’t want to piss of the gay people. They’ll have a parade on your ass. Well, you know what I mean…”

“It’s like people can’t do anything right anymore. You do, and you get sued. By the lawyers. And they suck, too. Eat meat? You’re a murderer. You suck. Be a vegan? Well, that’s just plain weird. They suck, too. Drive an SUV? Guest what! You suuuuuucccckkk!!!”

Punky Chumpster brought my two glasses of wine and stale trail mix.

“Don’t you just wish sometimes, that God would say ‘All right, assholes. That’s enough.’ And then rain some fire and brimstone down on a place that deserves it. Like, say, I don’t know. Chicago?”

“But y’all know, as soon as that happened, we’d all be like ‘Well, of COURSE he wasted Chicago. They’s bad. They deserved it. And we wouldn’t learn a DAMN thing! God’s gotta be pissed off, and wanting to rain down hell, but ya know, already seems like hell all over the place. So why should he bother?”

“So relax. Have another drink, my people. It’s all gonna burn. But I’m not worried. I’m not worried at all. Ya know why? Because I’m old, and old people are always cold. I’m blind, so I won’t see it anyway. And besides, I’ve bought lots and lots of marshmallows. So. Bring. It. On!

“I’ll see you all in hell! Or Detroit. I’m blind, so I won’t know any way! You’ve all really sucked! Thanks so much, everybody. I’m Zay Zay Taylor! God bless you all! You still suck.”

The crowd stood and cheered, and the announcer shouted “Isaiah ‘Zay Zay’ Taylor everybody” and Zay Zay flipped them off dismissively as he left, and they cheered even more. It was a good set. I’m sure he was happy about it.

Last edited by bigbarry2u, 4/22/2018, 11:10 pm


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I thought growing old would take longer.
4/22/2018, 8:43 pm Link to this post PM bigbarry2u
 
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Re: Messiah Remix


It took the last ounce of my nerve to make it back to Lucy, but I walked the damn walk all the way.

“Let me out!” Mary was screaming.

“That was stunning!” Lucy was laughing and clapping. “Did you see his face? Did you see HER face? It was worth every penny.”

“Take back your damn blood money!” I ripped the necklace off and threw it in her face.

“What is WRONG with you?” Lucy looked astonished. “Larry sure wasn’t ‘looking right through you’ when you walked away just now. He never looked at me the way he was looking at you.”

“I don’t want him to look at me like that,” I said. What did I mean by that? I didn’t want him to look at me at all. I had pranced around like a floozy and made a fool of myself, for what? What could ever have made me do that?

“Get a grip!” Lucy hissed. “He’s leaving, and Roberta is not leaving with him. We have to follow him.”

“Why do we have to follow him? And how could we do that, even if we wanted to?” I said. “Do you have a car?”

“We don’t need a car. He’s going to Cackle. We’ll take the bus.”

“How can you possibly know where he’s going? Are you psychic?”

Mary was beating on the door.

Lucy grinned at me. “I hear like a bat,” she said. Her teeth were shiny in the light from the ceiling bulbs. I could almost see blood on them.

My head was hurting so much that I didn't have the energy to stop her from dragging me out of the room.

Cackle was crowded. The waiter put us at a table in a dark corner at the back, but I could see the comic clearly, standing on a small stage in the front of the room. He was an old black man, wearing dark glasses and holding a cane. Was he blind?

The crowd was laughing, apparently loving him. He was talking about his daughter, the angel, and his other kids, big disappointments. Made me feel right at home. I didn’t need this.

I tried to get up, but Lucy pulled me back down. “There’s Larry,” she whispered, and pointed to a table near the front. He was sitting by himself, laughing along with the rest. I could see part of his face, but I was pretty sure he hadn’t seen us, because he seemed engrossed in the man on the stage.

“Red wine,” Lucy told the waiter, holding up two fingers. Out in the fresh air, my headache had receded, so I sat back. What the hell? I would have one drink.

The old man was railing at the audience now. He seemed to be saying that all of us big disappointments were in it together. We all sucked, and God was going to get us all.

”Let me OUT!” Mary screamed.

“Quiet in there,” I said. “I’m beginning to like this.”


“It’s all gonna burn,” the comic said, but he was resigned to that because he was old and had lots of marshmallows. “I’ll see you all in hell,” he said. The crowd cheered wildly, as if they looked forward to that. Maybe it was the marshmallows. I felt like cheering too. The wine must be getting to me. Mary had given up, for a blessed moment.

“God bless you all!” the comic wound up. And then, to offset the sap, “You still suck.”

“Isaiah Zay-Zay Taylor, everyone!” the announcer shouted. Everyone stood up, stomping and cheering, as he left the stage. Lucy gripped my arm and hissed, “Don’t look! She’ll see you!”

I looked, but Roberta couldn’t have seen me. She only had eyes for Larry as she made her way toward him, smiling wide. I saw him see her and stumble on his chair. And then I saw the gates of heaven open in his eyes.

Lucy saw it too, and the gates of hell opened in hers.
4/23/2018, 2:39 pm Link to this post PM Bellelettres
 
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Re: Messiah Remix


I had done my duty to the reunion committee and helped with the cleanup. It went surprisingly quickly and when we were done I realized I could probably get to Cackle in time to catch Zay Zay's act and, of course, catch up with Larry.

When I arrived, the doorman refused to seat me. "It's like arriving late to a Broadway play," he said, puffing up his chest. "Latecomers don't get seated once things have started. They have to wait until there's a natural break, like the end of an act."

Comparing Cackle to the Richard Rogers Theater, at which "Hamilton" was playing, was a bit of a stretch, but I nodded to show I understood.

"You're welcome to stand here at the back, if you want. You can join your friend when Zay Zay is done."

I nodded again.

"There's still a two-drink minimum," he said. "You can pay that now."

I listened to Zay Zay's rant. People were laughing with delight. I didn't quite get it. Everybody and everything sucks? Really? And that's hilarious? Maybe I missed something from the beginning that made this all too funny for words. Perhaps it would be better when I got into the first of my two drinks.

Zay Zay had left the stage and music was being piped over the speakers. It was the Chainsmokers/Coldplay song, which suddenly seemed perfect.

I've been reading books of old
The legends and the myths
Achilles and his gold
Hercules and his gifts
Spiderman's control
And Batman with his fists
And clearly I don't see myself upon that list


I smiled as I worked my way forward to Larry's table.

But she said, "Where d'you wanna go?
How much you wanna risk?
I'm not looking for somebody
With some superhuman gifts.
Some superhero,
Some fairytale bliss.
Just something I can turn to.
Somebody I can kiss.
I want something just like this."


People were getting up and leaving. I felt like a fish trying to swim upstream to spawn.

Oh, I want something just like this
I want something just like this


Finally I reached Larry's table and was greeted first with a surprised look, then a big grin. "You did make it," he said in enthusiastic tones. "I really figured you were just blowing me off."

Oh, I want something just like this
I want something just like this


"I'm sorry you thought that. I'm pretty straightforward. I wanted to see you."

A waiter appeared and I ordered a pinot noir. "What act is next?" I asked Larry.

"I have no idea," he admitted. "I just came to see Zay Zay. I hadn't planned to stay until you arrived. Now I'll stay as long as I can." He flashed that smile again.

We sat, sipping our wines and smiling at each other as the song ended.

Oh, I want something just like this
Oh, I want something just like this
Oh, I want something just like this


---
Robbie
4/23/2018, 4:18 pm Link to this post PM Miz Robbie
 
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Re: Messiah Remix


We chatted for a while. She was wonderful, charming, funny and smart. I felt comfortable talking to her now. When did that happen? Just a few years ago I would have sputtered and stuttered and probably thrown up.

“So, did you catch my friend Zay Zay’s act?” I asked.

“I did. Most of it, anyway. He’s one of those angry comics?”

“He’s an acquired taste,” I said. “Not everyone gets him. Doesn’t bother him, though. He just says whats on his mind mostly.”

Robbie looked across the table at me, smiling a smile that I remember from high school. Mostly I remember it was not aimed in my direction. “But you get him? You like him?”

“I love him,” I said. “But I’m easy, I like most everybody.”

“Hmm. Does that include me?” Robbie asked playfully.

I wasn’t sure where this was headed, because I haven’t been that direction in a long time. But I was pretty sure I did not want to make this journey too soon. I mean, what would Jesus do, right? Sometimes I hated being the second coming. But, I chose to cool her jets.

“Well, you are part of everybody, so sure.” I hated myself for saying it, and I could not look at her for a second. Pretty sure I could feel her eyes cutting holes in me, and her interest running for the exits even as she sat quietly at my table.

She put her hand on mine. I was surprised and turned quickly to find she had moved in much closer. “Still think I am like everybody?”

Damn. Sometimes girls like the guy that is hard to get. I blushed. I could tell. I felt blood rushing to my face, and frankly to other anatomical destinations.

“Uhm. No, Robbie. Not at all.” Man, it was suddenly warm in here. “You were right about being straightforward.” It was then that I noticed that I had hardly touched my wine, but both of her glasses were empty.

She leaned in a little closer, tilted her head slightly, and closed her eyes. My mind raced. I could see the text in the Even Newer Testament: “Then Jesus didst get laid by a high school flame after a comedy show and a reunion party.”

Then again, why shouldn’t the Messiah get lucky this time? God knows I got screwed over the first time around. Maybe this was my Father’s plan. Maybe it was his plan the first time around, too. I mean, you can never tell with Him.

I had worked through my reluctance, resolved that a little kiss would not hurt anyone. Her eyes were still closed, so I adjusted my approach angle to be sure I was on target. And made my move.

Unfortunately, something in the world objected. Call it a sign, I guess. And the kiss never happened.


Last edited by bigbarry2u, 4/24/2018, 10:42 pm


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I thought growing old would take longer.
4/24/2018, 10:16 pm Link to this post PM bigbarry2u
 
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Re: Messiah Remix


A loud screech filled the room. My eyes snapped open in time to see that Larry's face had been nowhere near mine, and I straightened up my head.

"Jesus!" I exclaimed.

"Huh?" responded Larry.

"What was that?"

"I don't know. I don't see anything unusual." He stopped looking around and turned back to me.

"Well, as I said, I'm pretty straightforward. Evidently I had one or two glasses of wine more than I should have, and managed to embarrass myself as a result." I stood. "Thanks for a fun conversation." I turned and headed out. This time the sound system was treating us to Taylor Swift.

I stay out too late, got nothin' in my brain
That's what people say, mmm hmm, that's what people say, mmm hmm
I go on too many dates, but I can't make 'em stay
At least that's what people say mmm mmm, that's what people say mmm mmm


People were coming in, evidently for a later show. I wondered if Zay Zay was doing another set, or if somebody different was next. I didn't care enough to stick around and find out, however.


'Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate
Baby, I'm just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off
Heartbreakers gonna break, break, break, break, break
And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake
Baby, I'm just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off


Good plan, Taylor. I think I should adopt it. "Shake, shake, shake," I said to myself.

My ex-man brought his new girlfriend
She's like "oh my God", but I'm just gonna shake it
And to the fella over there with the hella good hair
Won't you come on over, baby, we can shake, shake, shake, yeah oh


Or maybe not quite yet.

I hit the sidewalk, wondering where the bus stopped in this neighborhood. I pulled out my phone and dialed up the MTA map. Red, green, and blue spaghetti greeted me on the screen, but finally I found it. One should be along within the next ten minutes.



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Robbie
4/24/2018, 11:06 pm Link to this post PM Miz Robbie
 
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Re: Messiah Remix


“Look at her fluttering her eyelashes at him,” Lucy said, her voice dripping with scorn. “It’s disgusting.”

Lucy couldn’t possibly see what Robbie’s eyelashes were doing from this far back, in the dim light; but this was not the time to point that out. She was watching the man who dumped her, laughing with a woman who would not have been caught dead with him when Lucy was dating him.

“She’s throwing herself at him,” I said. “How uncool for her to follow him here. You could tell when she came in that she didn’t just happen to see him here. She was looking for him.”

“He told her he was coming here, just before he left,” Lucy said. “He asked her to come with him, and she said she couldn’t.”

“How can you possibly know that?” I said.

“I told you: bat ears. Look at the way he’s looking at her!”

“He’s not looking at her THAT way,” I said. “He’s a mild and shy, friendly guy. Those muscles haven’t done a thing for his personality.” Those muscles! Why was I trying to comfort this !@#$? It was her fault that I had trashed my own chances with him. That kiss. I tried not to remember that kiss. And then I wanted to. His skin. His breath. Up close, he was so…

“Now he’s drawing away from her!” Lucy gripped my arm. “Damn! She put her hand on his. He’s looking up at her like a lamb eager for the slaughter.”

“I don’t think slaughter is what Roberta has in mind,” I said, and Lucy’s nails, digging into my arm, told me this was not the best time for that joke.

Robbie was lifting her face to Larry. I couldn’t look. I couldn’t stop looking. Would he…?

A terrible screech cut across the room, shattering the moment, along with all the nerves in the room. Except for maybe Lucy’s. Lucy had a smirk on her face, and her nails had receded from my flesh.

“How did you do that?” I said, flabbergasted. “That shriek didn’t come from here. I still have a working eardrum.”

“Ventriloquism,” she said smugly. “I think it worked.” She pointed at the lovers’ table.

Robbie was standing up and saying something to Larry. Then, without giving him a chance to answer, she turned and strode toward the door. Her face was flushed, and not only with wine; but she had her head up and strode with grace, looking straight ahead. Remembering my own slutty retreat from Larry earlier in the evening, I hated her. I was sure she didn’t see us as she went by.

Lucy gabbed my arm again. “Follow her!” she said. “See what she does. I’ll call you later.”

“What are you going to do?”

She smiled, and for the second time that night, I thought of Dracula.

In a silky voice she said, “I’m going to go over and console Larry.”
4/25/2018, 1:04 pm Link to this post PM Bellelettres
 


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