I was usually attentive, well mostly, though, in my opinion,
that last lecture on the Mount ran a little long. No doubt
about it, he was good, so very good. You couldn’t help but
love him. And it was all very impressive at first: walking on
water; water into wine; all-you-can-eat loaves and fishes;
lame and lepers skipping and moisturizing again. Deus meus.
I was the perfect disciple when all was just-fine-and-dandy
in the desert, before Jerusalem, before he lost his temper,
raised hell in the temple. I simply tried to get along with
everyone. Be nice. Stay out of the way. (Let’s not confuse
nice with love. Right?) However, overall, I’d say I was
a rather lax apostle.
All of us were at the last supper, and we all ate too much.
I wondered who picked up the tab. Matthew always seemed
to have taxes. Iscariot, the slimy, sanctimonious degenerate,
was suddenly flush with cash. After baklava, we lumbered
into the garden, laughed at “Bartholomew the Belcher,” and
prayed some more. So much praying. But when the soldiers
and Pharisees showed up, I was outta there, right behind
Tom and Phil. And who came to Golgotha? All three Marys
of course, Magdalene always hanging around. Maybe John.
John, John, John. After his denial that night, not Peter.
Slicing off the ear of that poor boy, what was that about,
that big frickin’ knife? Usually so damn idealistic, he took
it all far too seriously.
Not me. Like the other guys, I skipped town, the crucifixion.
Come on. I wasn’t about to piss off Pilate or any other crazy,
Roman bastard. I suppose I should have sent regrets, offered
a lame-ass “sorry-about-that,” but when push-comes-to-shove,
like most of humanity, I’m a fair-weather-friend. And still
you built a church for me, dubbed me a saint, simply because
my martyrdom was especially gruesome. Well fine, I suppose.
Jeez, had I known I’d be flayed, boiled, beheaded, stoned or
hanged, I would’ve chosen my friends more prudently. I might
have lived a quiet life, remained a simple fisherman. Instead,
I learned how to love.