Notes from a Budding Jesus Christ
I have told people close to me that I think I’m Jesus Christ. I believe I know things the rest of the world does not know, and I believe I have a mystical sensibility about the universe in general. I have long brown hair and a luxurious brown beard, I’m an excellent listener, and it’s not difficult for me to imagine myself nailed to a cross.
“Everyone should be allowed to run their fingers through my hair.” I have said these words to people I know well. After I make this pronouncement I always add that I don’t believe my hair is more beautiful than anyone else’s hair. I think Jesus would have said the same thing.
Sometimes I feel like Harrison Ford in the Fugitive, during the opening scene at the black tie event. I glide around the room stroking my unstoppable Jesus beard and I watch my beautiful wife draw the attention of other men. I smile at her when she looks across the room at me. Her look says that she will always be with me. This is a look I’ve never seen in real life.
I enjoy trailing my fingertips across my chest. Sometimes I do this at work, which is dangerous. When I trail my fingertips across my chest I tend to fall into a trance. This becomes a problem when someone visits the break room outside my office. More than once, through the glass partition separating my office from the break room, I have met the confused stare of a young research assistant getting coffee.
Several years ago while commuting home on my bike I broke my collarbone when a kid on a tricycle suddenly appeared on the path around a blind turn. I hit the brakes and smashed into the tricycle’s rear wheel. When I got up off the pavement and tried to lift my bag, my left arm sank unusually low, as if connected by a bungee cord. In the emergency room they gave me a sling and some painkillers and told me no surgery would be required. I went to an orthopedist several times after the accident. He was an older man with a folksy demeanor and he seemed to enjoy telling me: “You’re on your way.” I didn’t want to be on my way. I was enjoying the downtime, doing a lot of eating and reading. I was just starting to think I might be Jesus Christ.
Two months after the bike accident I dropped a forty pound dumbbell on my right foot. It crushed two of my toes. Today I walk with a cane that resembles the one you see Jesus carrying in various paintings. When I walk I have to put pressure on my big toe because the crushed toes are on the outside and they don’t work.
Last year I fell in love with a girl at work who laughed at my injury stories. I’ve had very few girlfriends in my life and I don’t pretend to know anything about love. The first time I met this girl we were at a company holiday party bowling together. She thought it was funny that I crushed two toes with a dumbbell and she wanted to touch the notch on my collarbone. I watched her walk back and forth to the bar several times and realized she was gliding, not walking. That was it. It took me several weeks to ask her out, but once I did, things seemed to go quite well. Unfortunately, over time I realized she was fond of lying. I won’t bother to tell you the things she lied about. You can probably figure that out pretty easily.
Sometimes I wish I could tell someone about this girl and what she did to me. The challenge is that you have to be good at describing stuff if you want people to understand what it’s like to have your heart broken. You can’t point to your heart like it’s a collarbone and say “See, that’s where she broke it.” Instead you have to make them believe. A guy who thinks he’s Jesus Christ should have no trouble with this. He should be able to stand before a crowd of people, lift his arms in Jesus-like fashion, and proclaim his heartbreak to the world. The problem I’m having is that when I think about this girl and how she made me feel, I just cry. Apparently Jesus cried a few times as well. For some reason, this information doesn’t make me feel any better. Jesus was supposed to be all-powerful. He cried, then he got on with it. No matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to get on with it.
John Meyers lives and writes in Maryland. His work has appeared most recently in SmokeLong Quarterly, Threadcount Magazine, Lunch Ticket and The Louisville Review. John was a 2018 Best Small Fictions nominee and is online @hammeredinmetal