Sunday, December 6, 2015

297. Love and Grace

Oh my, y’all, C.W. has a new shape, and it may be the strangest one yet. He calls it simply “The Galilean.”

Yes. That Galilean —white robes, sandals and all.

It’s not just one shape. It’s two: the Galilean and a pal. (He can do that if he wants). Anyway, they’ve been going everywhere together, the one in his robe and the other in a three-piece suit with vest and tie-pin. They’ve already been thrown out of a Chick-fil-a and menaced at Hobby Lobby.

Did I mention that they don’t bother bathing all that often?

Of course the one wants me to interview the other and pay close attention to his testimony, that is to say that Three-Piece wants me to be pals with the Galilean. Actually, I haven’t minded so far, since he always brings a bottle of “Four Roses Single Barrel” to make the conversation flow more easily. Three Piece keeps the glasses full while the Galilean pontificates.

Yesterday he was grumbling.

“You won’t believe, Big Dope …”

“Wait,” I said, pointing to Three Piece. “Did he tell you to call me that?”

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock,” he said. “Does it matter by which name I call you out?”

Three Piece giggled. “Go on,” I said.

“I get a bum rap,” he said. “Some of your species make up and blame me for all kinds of cr…”

“Careful,” I said. “Remember that the sun rises on the evil and on the good.”

“I am the way,” he said. “Let not your heart be troubled.”

I directed us back to the point of the conversation. “So just how have you been maligned?”

“Haven’t you ever heard of a character named Franklin Graham?”

“Uh, yes.”

“Joel Osteen?”

“Oh, boy.”

“John Hagee? The guys and I call him Piggy.”

“He’s a work of art all right.”

He had a sad, far-away look in his eyes. “Well, how would you like to have them invoke your name?”

“Not really,” I said.

“The worst though,” he said, after taking a sip of his Four Roses and Three Cubes,  “was that son of a …”

“Careful,” I said. “My wife is in the next room.”

“That jerk,” he said, “Algernon Charles Swinburne.”

“Swineburne dissed you?”

“If it were not so, would I have told you?” He drained his glass and handed it to Three Piece with a flip that indicated a refill.”

“What did Swinburne do, exactly?” We waited for Three Piece.

“Ah,” he said, taking his drink in hand. “It’s nice to have a dear companion. Ask and it shall be given.” He winked at Three Piece. “I used to hang out with The Apostle,” he said, “but he wouldn’t get off this ‘thorn in my side’ kick and it got to where I wouldn’t go into a public restroom with him.”

“About Swinburne,” I said.

“He wrote this afwful poem,” he said, “in which he judged others. You know I don’t like that …”


“Well, me,” he said. “Claimed the old gods were bright, colorful, and full of life.”

“And you?”

He gazed off into space and thought, so he would get the passage correct. “Me? Try this on for size, ‘Thou hast conquered, O pale Galilean; the world has grown grey from thy breath.’ I complained to him about it once.”

Swinburne can just kiss my grits. - The Galilean
“And what did he say?”

“'Everyone who humbles himself will be exalted.’ I sort of like that quote. I’ve used it myself.” He drained his glass. “But I never though anyone would use it on me.”

I contemplated this for a moment, while Three Piece scurried about. “So you think the line is unfair?”

“Thanks,” he said to Three Piece. Then he turned to me. “Don’t you ever read the scriptures?”

I fought the urge to borrow the famous line from General George S. Patton. Instead, I said, “Well yeah.”

“One of the few who do,” he said. “Anyway, then you know we were a bunch of wild and crazy guys, back in the day.”

“Oh really?”

“Hell yes,” he said. “Me and my bros just wandered about not bothering a soul, sipping wine, breaking bread, …” he giggled, “sometimes wind as well, and telling people to love one another as we loved them.” His eyes took on that far-away look again. He sipped. “I don’t really recommend that you do that, though.”
“And why not?’

“You see where it got us, don’t you?”

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