Loaves and Fish

by J. Ryan

I stood ankle-deep in slurry, rifling through the back alley dumpster at the Sushi Shack, when I stripped an unending wad of bread and yellowtail from a black plastic bag and it hit me that I was Jesus Fucking Christ.

Not in some sacrilegious way, like thinking I was as good or perfect as Jesus, but a simple awakening of eyes to my true identity, an understanding of why I never made it as a carpenter, and why I’d always been so comfortable around prostitutes who were getting stoned.

Scales literally fell from my eyes. In fact, they burned like lakes of fire, calling to mind the many times I’d been pepper-sprayed. But thankfully, I’d just figured out I was the Son of God. So I spit in the dirt, rubbed the mud on my eyes and cleared that right up.

Next step: rustle up some disciples like the good old days. Every Messiah needs an entourage. So I stood on a fire hydrant and tried to dust off the old “Consider the lilies” sermon, but what came out instead was mostly gibberish. An inconvenient time to speak in tongues, I admit, but I was rusty. A few heads turned. Nobody bit. Things have changed in the last two thousand years, and I suppose people have grown weary of long haired, bearded strangers approaching them on the street, begging to be followed.

Before I did anything else I decided to turn some water into wine for Chester, the guy I let watch my stuff. I said a few words over an oily puddle under the overpass and we both drank of the blood. He told me it didn’t taste very boozy. I reminded him I was still getting my stroke back. But we both felt pretty dizzy by the time the puddle was out.

I felt good about myself right then, for the first time in so long, and I was practically walking on water when I made it to the 7-Eleven. Maybe I was too aggressive with the clerk when I told her to wash my feet with her hair. Maybe splitting open a bottle of canola oil to anoint her wasn’t such a good idea. But she didn’t have to call the cops.

When it comes to arrests, I got off light, really. Released without a single puncture wound, Chester was snoring me to sleep before I knew it.

Of course I got to thinking on that 7-Eleven clerk, how she’d denied me three times. But it’s fine, really. I forgive her. After all, I’m Jesus Fucking Christ.

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J. Ryan thinks it’d be nice if the wages of sin would include a cost of living increase every once in awhile. His moral compass is on the fritz.
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