I saw Jesus on the train the other night at 125th street.
He parted the closing doors, crossed the gap and sat down next to me. He looked tired.
We were in a communal 6 pack seat, three facing three, and Jesus quickly put his sandals up onto the empty seat across from him. They were the feet of a man who worked hard for a living, who wasn't afraid of getting a little dirty, but maybe was afraid of a regular shower. I didn't begrudge him this. Who am I to judge the king of kings. He threw his dusty hemp satchel on the seat between us, produced a cold 40 oz. and took a long deliberate pull from the bottle.
Long day Jesus? I asked.
With a glance my way his eyes said yes.
What's on your mind saviour?
The grind, I guess, he said. Every day, in and out of the city, preaching to the sinners, offering salvation, then back on the 5:25 to Chappaqua, up the next morning to do it all again. Somedays I don't know why I do it. Don't know if I made a single bit of difference in the world. Plus I have ideas. Big ideas. And nobody listens, you know?
Chappaqua? I asked
Seriously? Cuz you don't strike me as...
Another look from the son of god, this time different. Annoyed.
Another long hard pull on the suds.
Listen Jesus, I said. Your preaching to the choir. Somedays are just hard, you know. Somedays this train is just a dead end ride. You pull into the Grand Central and you don't even know how you got there. You haul your bag to your desk, you drag through meetings and emails, and you wind up back on this train thinking, what the hell did I even do today? Did I make a profit? A quota? A difference? Water flowing under ground man.
Thats it! said Jesus, obviously appreciating the Talking Heads reference.
Thats it exactly. I ride this train every day just to do right, man, to do the lords work. I strap on my sandwich board (how did i miss that in the overhead rack?), I stand at 44th and Broadway and I shout for anyone who will listen that the day is coming. The day when all of us will have to account for our actions and be judged. The end is near brother, and no matter how loudly I preach the truth outside of the Viacom building or the M&M store or the Lion King or that place that sells sketchy cameras and computers, nobody listens. Nobody understands. Nobody BELIEVES.
I understood.. Nobody likes to be ignored or marginalized, to feel insignificant or unheard, and as much as I sympathized with his situation, I quickly realized that this man wasn't Jesus. Just a dude with dirty dreadlocks and a slightly odd take on life. Maybe I wanted him to be Jesus, because honestly how cool would that be to ride the 5:25 with Jesus. Or maybe he liked being Jesus and we were each feeding off of each others needs at this particular time in this particular place. Either way, I knew it had to end. My stop was coming up and I felt the need to right the world and put it back on its normal axis.
Listen young man, if you want people to take you seriously in life, you should cut your hair, stop drinking in public and take your feet off the goddamn seat.
He took a last long pull on the bottle.
Fuck you, fake Jesus said