Tuesday, August 02, 2005
The Everyday Messiah
Artwork by Rae Ann. Story based on an idea she came up with.
Dan stared at the picture. "I don't get it," he said.
The photo girl looked confused, and a little nervous. She looked as though she was going to start freaking out any minute. "I'm--I'm sorry, sir. I--" she looked at him, finally giving up all pretense of trying to act professional. "I have no idea what the hell that is."
He knew what it was. He could see what it was. What he couldn't see was why it was. Why, instead of the dumbass glamour photo of him in a tux that he was about to be charged an arm and a leg for, was he holding a picture of himself as Jesus?
"Umm, okay." He stared at the picture some more, then up at her. She was gazing as though hypnotized at the radiant halo around his Jesus head. He looked back at the photo, and the weirdest thought crossed his mind. It occurred to Dan that he looked pretty good with long hair. He'd always wondered if he would. He took a bit of solace in the mundane thought, and latched onto another. Ownership.
"Can I keep it?" he asked, with a tone that suggested he was going to anyway.
The photo girl took a step back. "I sure as hell don't want it. Take it."
He took the photo and walked through the mall in a daze, reaching his car and driving it home on instinct. He set the photo down on his kitchen table and stared at it.
"What. The. F-" The door opened. His roommate walked in, exchanged a few pleasantries, glanced at the picture and walked into his room.
A few seconds later he walked back out and picked up the picture. He studied it for a minute.
He looked up at Dan. "You look good with long hair," he said casually.
"Thanks. Yeah, I thought so too."
The roommate studied the picture a bit longer.
"Why the hell are you dressed as Jesu--"
"I don't know!"
The roommate quickly handed the picture back to Dan. "Uhhh... okay, dude."
Dan held up his hands. "Sorry. Sorry. It's just that, I wasn't dressed like Jesus for the picture. I was in one of those glamour picture shops in the mall--"
"Dude," scorn dripped from his roommate's voice. "You went in there? Why?"
"The hot chick out front pimping the place."
"Right. Carry on."
"Yeah, so, I was wearing a tux or some crap, trying to chat this girl up, feeling like a dork and getting my picture taken, but when the picture comes out..." he threw the picture at his roommate.
Dan gestured affirmatively at him. "Exactly. How the hell did that happen? Some dude in back playing with Photoshop? I dunno..."
The roommate shook his head. "No, dude. I mean you're Jesus. You're the second coming, dude!" He brandished the photo. "It's the only plausible explanation!"
Dan snatched the photo back and chased his roommate out of the kitchen. He went to his room and tossed it onto his nightstand. He stared at the photo some more until falling asleep.
That night he dreamed of enlightenment, and when he woke, a long-dormant part of his brain woke with him. He knew things; things about the world, people, the universe... himself. He shook his head. He didn't want to know these things. Now that it was happening, he realized he didn't really want his brain waking up after all. He tried to will it back to sleep. He didn't want this. He was... he looked up at the clock.
He was late for work.
to be continued...