There once was a priest, a rabbi, and a black guy, and they all walk into this bar. No, no, no: is that right? A priest. A rabbi. A black guy. Sure. So they walk into a bar, and the priest — he turns to the rabbi, and he says, “Reb, have you ever had pork?” And the faithful rabbi looks both ways… and he says, “Yes, in my youth, I tasted the flesh of swine!” And then the rabbi says to the priest, “And you, father? Have you ever had relations with a woman?” The priest turns red with a wild grin. “I was known to taste the flesh of a woman before I entered the priesthood,” the father says under his breath. And the priest and the rabbi laugh the whole time and carry on, drinking their beer and wine that was on the house from the regular bartender.
The black guy sits alone on the other end of the counter, forgotten.
At the end of several years, he noticed there was nowhere to go but up since this was the farthest down he had traveled, so he took his world and turned it upside down, shaking it up a bit, watching the snowy white bits of plastic and glitter fall gently on a lawn made in China.
He waited for a long time for something to happen, and legend tells us he is still there today.
At the other end of hello, the boy finally meets the girl, and they fall in love for a while until they decide they are too old to understand each other anymore, so they both travel opposite directions out of the forest with only tears and bread crumbs trailing behind them.
She lays in bed, naked and remembering. After a few moments, she brushes the sunlight from her cheeks and the years of embarrassment off of her hips so that she may properly face her cat, Chester, a mischievous little rag doll that, up until now, had not yet grown horns.
They stare at each other for hours, and eventually they both turn to stone, but only one of them will live on as a statue in a museum for souls. The other will be a trinket for grandma’s china closet, but you guess which one is which.
This is not yet the end, I’m afraid, but we’ll all know it when we see it.
At the end of seven years, the boy finally meets the girl again in a matter of pure coincidence, but they struggle to recognize each other because the boy is now a man and the girl is a woman, and they have both emerged from the chrysalis different from what they once were though it is arguable for better or for worse.
The man-boy runs out of bread crumbs, so he sits on a rock and begins to wonder if he made the whole thing up. Soon, the sky will weep white plastic snow, but he will not notice.
The girl-woman watches the man-boy sit on his rock at the edge of the forest from the window in a bar several hundred yards away. She does not use binoculars. A priest and a rabbi carry on, drinking their beer and wine that was on the house from the regular bartender. Another man smiles at her from the other end of the bar. She smiles back.
They are wearing the same shoes.
- I promise you’re gonna laugh this time.
- Please. No more.
- A rabbi, a priest, and —
- Just hear me out!
- A rabbi, a priest, and an Indian walk into a bar —
- Like? An Indian?
- You know.
- Native American?
- No. From India.
- Dots, not feathers.
(They stare into each other’s eyes. Who will dare to breathe first?)
Lo más triste del mundo es no entenderse.
Our hero finds himself staring at the one thing he thought would change him. And this is the most tragic part of the whole dumb tale, which is far more tall than true: he finds himself staring, so he stands motionless — with only his future before him and what he chooses to remember behind — and he stands for a very, very long time, waiting for something to happen.
This is the end. Nothing has happened, yet everything has changed.
Copyright © 2017 John Grimmett. All rights reserved.
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