Tuesdays with Jesus
The text message from my grandfather instructed me to come to room 412 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Silver Spring at 6am, which didn’t make much sense as he was supposed to be in Parkersburg, West Virginia. Though, it being election day, having him out of West Virginia might be a good thing as I didn’t trust his voting habits.
It continues to be a source of bitterness that West Virginia – whose hallowed hills have been home to my family since the mule died on the way to the 1849 Gold Rush – goes Republican.
Dutiful grandson that I am, I hit the Crowne Plaza at six on the dot and headed up to 412. Needless to say, I was shocked when Texas Billionaire Oscar bin Laden answered the door.
I hadn’t seen or heard from Oscar for nearly two years. There were always rumors of mad excesses from mutual acquaintances, the occasional article in the Bethesda Gazette (which always had a queer fixation with Oscar), and the odd comment in the various blogs I followed. But even those sources were in the dark as to Oscar’s whereabouts. It was clear that he’d been flying far below the radar for some time.
He was alone in the room. Grimly grey, the Crowne Plaza’s tiny rooms were a sad throwback to what Silver Spring used to be – a labyrinthine warehouse district abandoned by civilization when the trains dried up. From desk to chairs to beds, the room was an exercise in discomfort. Beyond the heavy, dusty drapes, Georgia Avenue howled in congested rush hour.
Oscar asked me to sit down and he put a glass of wine on the table in front of me. He’d clearly been awake all night, and was deep into the bottle. While I adjusted to the shock, I sat silently watching him watch me, then I found my wits and cleared my throat.
Oscar held up an antique cell phone.
Oscar nodded, “Stole the phone the last time he came to visit you.”
“You’ve been watching me?”
Oscar threw the phone over his shoulder and it bounced onto one of the hard beds. “Remember that time you told me you’d be there for me if anything ever went really wrong and if I had no one else to turn to?”
“It may not have been you. But, still, the promise holds.”
“I don’t – “
“I need your help.”
“Maybe if – “
“I’m going to kill the President.”
I had no hesitation. “Oh. Well, sure, I’ll help you kill Bush.”
Oscar stood up and loomed over me, “No, no! Whoever is elected today! I’m going to kill whoever is elected today.”
“Oh, well, they won’t be President till January.”
“I know that! It’s about planning. We start today and kill them on Inauguration Day. Preferably with an explosive collar,” he looked over beside the bed, where a large suitcase appeared to have vomited blueprints and notebooks across the floor, “I’m still working on the how, but I’m quite partial to explosive collars.”
“I don’t know about killing the new guy, Oscar…”
“What? You’re on board to kill Bush but not the new guy?”
I shrugged, “I don’t think anyone would really care if we killed Bush. They tend to be sensitive about the new guys, though.”
“Alternatively, we can kill everyone who lives in a Red State.” Oscar tapped his nose.
“That’s a very noble idea, but I think it would be labor intensive…”
Oscar sat back down and rested his chin on his hands, staring into middle space for several long moments before whispering, “No, no. It’s been a plan I’ve had for years. It wouldn’t be labor intensive at all…it would just require a little sacrifice.”
“Sacrifice is labor intensive, Oscar.”
“Not the right kind of sacrifice.”
“You mean like sharing? Love? That kind of sacrifice?”
His eyes refocused on me, “Oh, no. Not that kind.”
“Why kill the new President anyway?”
Oscar poured himself a glass of wine with a shaky hand. I hadn’t touched my glass.
“I mean,” I continued, in the face of his silence, “is it a statement or something?”
“Then why bother? How about we just kill Bush and call it a day. It’ll be fun. It probably won’t even make the front page if we do it right now.”
“McCain is the enemy of Humanity. Obama is a dark messiah.” He polished off the wine and let the glass drop to the thin carpet, where the stem cracked. “They’re both going to bring us all down, one way or another. It’s my duty as a patriot to destroy them.”
“Are you a Cynthia McKinney man? Because you sound like her.”
“Maybe I am. Maybe Cindy is the answer! And this will pave the way for her!”
“Actually, you’ll have to kill Biden and Palin, too. Otherwise they’ll get it.”
“I kind of like Joe Biden,” Oscar stared at the bottle of wine sitting on the nightstand, “at least we know where he’s coming from.”
“Yeah – a drunken child molester from an inconsequential state.”
“From Delaware? Yes.”
“No, I mean – “
“Palin…she scares me. But I would love to grudge fuck her ass.”
“Well, wouldn’t we all? Though I’m a Willow Palin man. She’s, what, 13 now? Which is almost ready for baby making in that family!”
Oscar was shaking his head “She’d have a high bride price, I think.”
“That’s so Islamic, Oscar. Christianity has dowries.”
“They’re both Babylonian ideas, actually.”
“No…I don’t think so. I think the one that is stupid and doesn’t make sense is Islamic and the smart one where the bitch pays is thanks to Jesus. The bitch always pays, right? That’s why hookers were hanging out with him and he never seemed to pay them. That’s awesome. Mohammed never hung out with hookers. But he still hung out with a bunch of guys. Now that’s fucking queer. You can only hang out in caves with a bunch of guys if they all have female followers.”
“Okay, Nacho, whatever.”
“Jesus is awesome.”
“I wish I was Jesus so I could fuck hookers for free and drink wine all the fucking time.”
“I want to fuck free hookers while drinking wine! Every day! I want to do that while preaching! Do this – thrust – in memory of – thrust – MEEEEE!!!”
Oscar stared at me, then shook his head. “So, about our Black Jesus problem…? Back on topic.”
“Obama? Is he the black Jesus? He’s more a mulatto Jesus, I think. Or, perhaps, the Babylonian king will win?”
“McCain will be easy to kill,” Oscar said, “All we have to do is scare him. Short out his ticker.” He tapped his chest.
“One of us scares McCain to death while the other one grudge fucks her in the ass.”
Something about this was making sense. I drank the wine in one gulp, “I volunteer for the grudge fuck duty!”
“No, no. This is my plan.”
“I’m the Christian! I’m anointed by Jesus. That gives me grudge fucking rights. Behold! The Lion of Judah!”
Oscar leaned back on the bed. “Doesn’t matter anyway. It’ll be the black Jesus who wins today.”
“Whatever! What’s it matter?”
“’Call a spade a spade’.”
“I’m glad I called you, Nacho.”
“Need a ride to the polls?”
“No! I’m glad I called you because you put things into focus for me.”
“Oh, yes. In fact, I think you’ve talked me out of killing. Just listening to you makes me think how I’m not as horrible as I think and, in fact, you’re a dangerous monster.”
“I’m not a monster.”
Oscar sighed. “What would Jesus do, right?”
“Get drunk and fuck hookers, mainly.”
“No time for killing, right?”
“Nope.” I said cheerfully. “Walking through the desert with a bunch of guys, none of them wearing underwear, multiplying cheap fish, having the occasional psychotic episode… Busy life, really.”
“Jesus wouldn’t kill Obama or McCain, would he?”
“Well… I try not to speak for people, you know?”
“Could you go out and get some more wine?”
“That I can do, yes.”
We sat for some time. Oscar now fully reclined on the bed, studying the ceiling. I drummed my fingers on the table and thought about the conversation, and about weaving my way through traffic back up to my polling place at Jackson Road Elementary.
“So,” I asked, “explosive collars?”
“What are some of your preliminary ideas for getting them to wear those?”
Oscar sat up, the drunken light gone from his eyes, “I was thinking we could pose as tailors.”
“And…what? Excuse me sir while I fit you with this explosive collar?”
“We’d say it’s all the rage in Europe.”
“Could we put one on Palin and make it so that her head blows off right when I climax during the grudge fuck? Because I really am on board if that’s possible.”
Oscar shuddered. “Is that what Jesus would do?”
“Yes. Oh, yes.”