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"The Coming of the Christ," short story excerpt

Tuesday 9/14/21

Ted hated to do it but he put on his shower sandals from the gym, the Jesus wig he owned from an old “scary monk” Halloween costume, stepped into his bathrobe, swallowed a pill for his erectile dysfunction as he thought, “time to go, big boy,” and proceeded forth from his bathroom.

She’d stripped off her clothes in the meanwhile. Took the initiative and settled in on the bed. He noted the landing strip and said, “nice,” which didn’t sound as Biblical as it perhaps should have, and as they generally preferred.

“As it should be,” he added, trying to point with his eyes, while sweeping his hand across the front of his body, like he was holding a staff. He’d have to get one of those, he figured, or perhaps use a broom from the garage.

“Christ has come to me,” the woman said, her voice registering lower than it otherwise might have, on account of her position on her back, supported by her elbows, chin tweaked forwards, and also the breathy attempt at some bastardized version of piety.

“Sure, whatever,” Ted thought.

He felt the front of his robe. He was ready. Sometimes it took a bit, waiting for the rising, and he’d have to talk. There was a psalm he memorized. Once there had been two women, and he designed a scenario. He’d be the Christ, of course, and one of the women would be temptation of the flesh, the other would be temptation of the mind. “Love wrestles with itself,” he intoned. But then the woman with larger breasts asked the difference. He hadn’t expected that.

“Well, temptation of the flesh is when you want to, let’s say, fuck your neighbor’s wife. Because you watch her putting out the wash on a clothesline in her backyard. And she should have more clothes on than she does while she’s doing it.”

The well-endowed woman asked, “Because she’s hung too many of her own clothes up on on the line?”

Ted thought for a second, unsure if she was trying to do one of those double meaning things. “Yeah, I guess so. That makes sense.”

“Doesn’t she have a dryer?” the other woman ventured.

“She’s old school,” Ted said. “She believes in fresh air. Plenty for her and her kids. Maybe less so for her husband. He works too much. That’s one of the problems of the marriage. That’s why she’s horny all the time. And the neighbor knows it.”

God it was tiring sometimes.

“What about the temptations of the mind?” came the next query. He couldn’t even remember from whom when he thought back on it.

“Well, that’s when you see the neighbor’s wife, and you know there could be something between you on a deeper level. A real connection. Maybe you had a chance with her earlier, before there were any attachments, and you didn’t say anything. You were with someone else who wasn’t good for you, which you knew, but you couldn’t bring yourself to formally break up. You know how it is.”

The naked women had nodded in regretted congruity. It was a sad moment. When something that was surely going to happen might not end up happening at all.

“But she’s married now,” Ted continued. “You have to respect that. You’re tempted. But you have to hope it works out the best way it can for her. You try to be a friend, but you let her dictate how that will go. You respond to her needs. If she needs to talk, you talk, but that’s mostly listening. Without an objective. But you also never know. I had a buddy once, and he was at this wedding, and he turned to his friend—because he must have seen and felt something no one else would have—and he said, ‘I’m going to marry that woman one day,’ by which he meant the bride. And his friend said, 'Have another drink, drunkee,’ because, after all, there she was getting married. But she had one of those, what do you call them, short term marriages. It just didn’t work. She became friends with my friend. That’s the thing. They were just really great friends for like a year. He went from knowing something really fast, to taking something…I don’t want to say really slow, but taking something…right. But look who I’m talking to. Followers of the Lord.”

Finally, the woman with the much smaller breasts spoke up. “So which one am I?”

Ted wanted to give her points for bravery, and keeping the thing going.

“You are the temptation of the mind,” he said.

Then they had the threesome and went to a casino.


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