Jesus

November 8, 2015

It had been an unusually bitter argument.

 

I don’t remember the topic, it was so long ago. We had been drifting apart for years, and we were almost to the end of that process.

 

We were polar opposites, and not in the way that made us more interesting to one another. I was a blue-collar hippy, she was a military officer’s kid. I took any kind of job I could get, she always managed to avoid working anywhere. She had become deeply religious suspiciously quickly after we got together, I wavered between the occult, agnosticism, and downright atheism. She wanted kids. I did not.

 

Post argument, I was lying on my belly on the brass double bed, fuming and staring at the chipped plaster wall.

 

She sat upright, pillows piled behind her, reading her Bible.

 

As I lay there mired in that acidic anger, she suddenly gasped out loud.

 

I switched immediately to protective mode. It just works that way.

 

“What is it, what’s wrong?” I asked.

 

It’s him, she said.

 

“Him who?” I asked, honestly puzzled.

 

“Jesus,” she said, in an ecstatic voice.

 

I lay silent for a while. Then:

 

“Where?”

 

He is standing at the foot of the bed, she explained.

 

By now, I am studying the pale blue walls with great attention. As I saw it, there were only two possible options.

 

One: There was nothing at the foot of the bed but air, and my significant other was nuts.

 

Two: Jesus was standing at the foot of my brass bed and I was in deep doo-doo.

 

It was quite the quandary.

 

I didn’t want to know the answer, to be honest.

 

Understand, that when I am nervous I have a tendency to say the first wisecrack that comes to mind. My knee-jerk reaction is to defuse the situation and get everybody to relax.

 

It really never works, but I do it anyway.

 

Being an atheist who has just been told that the Son of God is standing at the foot of the bed is probably the very definition of a nervous situation.

 

So, I said what could have been the worst possible thing ever.

 

DO YOU TWO WANT TO BE ALONE?

 

I have to remark that her command of the saltier parts of the English vocabulary was stellar for a churchy girl.

 

She excoriated me with little grace but a whole lot of enthusiasm. I mean back seven generations and all the way out to my 3rd cousins, whoever they are.

 

And, for the record, Jesus was not standing at the foot of the bed. But I slept on the couch that night anyway.

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2 Responses to “Jesus”

  1. JoAnn Bartlett said

    Terry – you always knock one out of the park! You are fantastic!

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