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John came to him in the nighttime hours. They lay together, without a word. He was a man of eloquent silences, this man who would come to be known as Jesus. He was a man who John the Beloved was named for; predestinator, passionate profit, this man who was his friend—sharp and firebrand, running the money lenders out of the temple, lashing the thieves and their dens in their hatred of him and the guilt of gold in their gilded eyes. There was a rich world outside Palestine. There were teams that would carry them. Magnificent steeds that would take them far away from the morrow.
But though John tried to convince this man who was also his lover, Jesus who would come to be named so many things, not all of them kindly, only shook his head no, twice. And the sounds of the night were the bleats of the herds of sheep and cattle. And the sounds of the night were heat come forecasting, heat come to lay them in sweaty embrace on John’s pallet. He could not bear to see his friend go, for what would John do without him? There was only a hole of emptiness in his heart now and he touched his love on the chest and on the tips, fingertips that the Master kissed one at a time.
Jesus seemed weak now. His voice was slight and rasping when before it had been full and deeply bodied. He seemed even to shrink physically. As though he were un-aging. As though he was turning from age 33 backwards to boyhood and the days and the nights where he was lost to the lands of his secrets where he would tell no one of the adventures there. John touched Jesus’ penis and found it flaccid. He touched the hood at the tip. Jesus pushed his hand away—gently.
“I can’t stand to see you go through with it, my Lord,” John said, not daring to look at the face with the fine black beard and the obsidian eyes and the dark skin that looked like the color of sable in the harsh punishing light of this land. “Not this way. Not to go through it at all. Please, there is more than time enough to leave.”
“You mean to run away…” Jesus’ voice should have been accusatory, but it was just far away and hollow instead. Oh Jesus, John thought, do something, hit me, scream at me, do something to hurt me so I will not pine away with your going. How can I stand to see you up there and broken boned and servile and a common thief thus displayed—
Jesus Şişli Escort said, “Bring me some wine.”
John heaved himself up wearily and brought his love wine.
Jesus drank of it deeply and in two gulps was finished with the cup, which he handed back to John. John took it and held it dearly for his beloved had touched it.
Jesus remained sitting now and he looked at the night, the final one he would see here. And John believed the final one he would see anywhere. For John had come to the conclusion his friend was quite mad. This world was too venal for a God of love. A God of vengeance, yes, a God of wrath and hell fire, yes…and though Jesus talked much of hell, he also talked of doing good for your neighbor, and of being kind, and of giving what you have to the poor and needy. But, John knew, Jesus was deluded, but still lovely.
A body that was, or had been, now it seemed wasting away, corded with muscles and big bronze hands and strong titan legs, and arms that freely engulfed everyone, man, woman, child, animals Jesus loved as well. When Jesus was around, there were his friends, there were his sycophants, the ones who loved to drop his name, the ones who loved to be seen with him, but no disciples here tonight, no memories but the Last Supper, which had been like a death knell.
“They don’t care about you, my Lord; else why would there not be your servants here to carry you to safety? They only wanted things of you. They wanted to see you do your magic. To hear your words. To be around you. Now, they say, I have heard them, that your life is worthless and they have used you up and there is no more need…”
Jesus laughed, hollowly, like a teenage boy, who is quite frightened, but still willing to go through the fear for the order of a greater truth to come.
“Judas values me—values at least my death—“
John laid his head in Jesus’ lap and touched him and tried to interest his friend, but it was not possible for either of them.
Jesus stroked John the Beloved’s head, held John’s thick hair in his fingers, shushed through the hair, and said, “Well, he values my death…or someone does…20 pieces of silver—I am worth something at long last in currency. 20 pieces of silver.”
John placed Jesus’ hand on his lips and kissed them, and tasted Şişli Escort Bayan endless night of never forgetting, of remembering over and over, of reliving it like having a painful sore that you try getting over by imagining it never existed, or trying to go back before it happened and make it never happen again.
“Judas is my love,” Jesus said, faintly, but with some of his old force in it.
The lay of the land was hilly and grassy and the moon was full. The sounds of animals lowing in the background, over some distance, desultory word fragments and blossoms of sheep tenders having trouble falling asleep that night.
“What?” John asked in stunned surprise.
Jesus nodded, once. “Yes, it is he I am doing this for.”
John pulled away and the two naked men sat and looked at each other.
“I can’t believe—”John started…his eyes wet with tears.
“It’s always been for Judas,” Jesus said, his shoulders dipping and his lungs taking in big breaths for the time he would not be allowed to take more breaths ever. “Even before Judas, it was for him. It was for—an—image of him—before I met him—and then when I did—it was everything—we slept together, we had love together, we did things I had no idea man could do with man….”
John suddenly furious, jumped to his feet and shouted out, “And me? What of me?”
Jesus then did something in the moonlight and starlight burning bright in this wilderness, he smiled cruelly. John froze and then turned his back on him.
“He is going to have you crucified tomorrow, Jesus. He hates you.”
“I know,” Jesus said, “that is the whole point.”
There was silence. The night was exhaustively hot. There were suddenly no sounds. John turned round and put on his robe. Before it was on all the way, he asked Jesus, “did this mean nothing?” Jesus shook his head, “No, it’s Judas I loved. That’s the secret, you see, John” and some of the old forcefulness was returned. “I never cared for man as Man. I never wanted to do anything but be liked and popular and to be loved and to be admired. I came to it naturally. And then, Judas, and he was the only man for me, ever.
“You, John, were kind of a—” Jesus fumbled with his hands, looking for the word, “a disguise. To keep Judas safe.”
“Safe?” John was rushing to Escort Şişli the naked Jesus at this point and wanting to hit him but instead crushed him in a massive embrace.
“Because he was paid to kill me. That meant it would work. That meant my mission will be fulfilled.”
“And what of your damned true love after you die?”
Jesus smiled and pulled away from John, and pulled on his own robe, sliding over his genitals at the last chance, slowly, so it could pain John even more, the absence forever.
“He, Judas, will be crucified upside down. He will have his blood let as though he were a stuck pig.” And here Jesus laughed. He roared with laughter. It was the old full bodied laughter he had when he picked up a child in his corded but so very gentle loving arms and made that child feel he was the most special being in the world when Jesus was holding him.
But it was—a gimmick? A forgery of life? Jesus imagined Judas slaughtered, and all of us believing in Jesus as the son of the Most High—and John was suddenly struck by the odd fact that because of all of this revelation or in spite of it, he believed it too, exactly now that Jesus said it was a lie. And John knew he would never know.
He had one last question to ask his love who had used him as a lie, a puppet—
“Jesus, did you make a mockery of everyone and everything? Was it all a lie and were you laughing at all of us when we were not looking?”
There was a hint of vague light in the sky, beginning shadow purple traces of upcoming sunlight on this the day Jesus would be turned in and crucified. All politics and no one wishing to take the blame—just in case.
Jesus, fully dressed, went to John and put a hand to his shoulder.
“You figure it out,” Jesus whispered, that same kind of whisper that he made when they were at the apex of making love. A sound John cherished now no longer. There was no place to hide now. Jesus had taken care of that. You have stolen my soul, Jesus, he thought. Then, or has there ever been a soul to steal?
John pushed Jesus’ small withered now hand away, Jesus’ body trying to escape the morrow as much as it could. And John walked angrily away. Jesus saying to him, “Can you be at the festivities tomorrow? Everyone’s coming.”
John did not turn around. He spat as he kept walking.
Jesus watched him go. There were tears beaded in Jesus’ eyes.
And the whisper on his lips was the sound of the loneliest wind ever created as Jesus said, “Goodbye John the Beloved, my true friend. I hope you will hurt less now. I deeply hope so.”
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