It’s a beautiful December evening. The sun is doing its usual slow motion decent into the icy waters of the Pacific as people stroll through the park. Dog walkers, lovers, and seniors alike are all enjoying an amazing sunset.
Two men sit on a bench not far from where the roses bloom at Las Brisas.
“Ah, just another day in paradise.”
“Yep, livin’ the dream.”
“Hey, you hungry?”
“Yeah, I’m starvin’.”
“Let’s go get something. C’mon I know a good place.”
The men walk down the path toward Las Brisas. As they pass by the restaurant they both see themselves in the reflection of glass and quickly look away.
“Hey Bones, where we headed?”
“Just down past the whale tail.”
They walk around to the back of a building where there are no lights on and no one seems to be around.
“Just as I figured,” said Bones as he jumps over the fence. “C’mon Tank, I’ll help you over.”
Once over the fence both men start toward the trashcans sitting by the door. As Tank starts rummaging through one of the cans, Bones decides to check the rear door and to his surprise it’s unlocked.
“Hey Tank, somebody forgot to lock up. C’mon let’s go in.”
It’s dark inside but the moon’s glow provides enough light for them to see. Tank spots the fridge and heads straight for it.
“Bones, we’ve hit the jackpot. This thing’s full of food and beer.”
Tank starts hauling out plates of turkey, ham and pasta. He grabs a couple cold ones as they ready for the feast.
Just then a door at the end of the room opens. The light is blindingly bright as a man appears. The light surrounds him and shimmers off his pure white clothing.
“Oh my god,” says Tank.
“Holy Jesus,” says Bones.
The man moves across the room with such peaceful grace he looks like he’s floating. Then he stops, the light goes off and the toilet ends its flush.
“You’re both right,” he says.
“What do you mean?” says Bones.
“You can call me God or Jesus, whatever you want. I’m good with it.”
Bones and Tank sit there dumbfounded not knowing what to say.
“Mind if I join you?”
“Well no, sure, I mean yeah OK, have a seat,” says Tank.
“Thanks, guess there’s no need for introductions since you know who I am, and obviously I know who you are.”
“What do you mean,” says Bones.
“Well, you go by Bones and he goes by Tank, but your real names are Michael David and Robert Wallace.”
“How’d you know that? You one of those Vegas mind readers?” asks Tank.
“No, Tank, I’m omniscient.”
“What the hell does that mean, Bones?”
“It means he knows everything, kinda like your ex-wife.”
“You gonna turn us in, Jesus?”
“Why? The door was unlocked, you haven’t done anything, and now you’re the guests of the Laguna Beach Lawn Bowling Club. Eat up.”
The two men feast on the sumptuous leftovers till they can eat no more. Tank gets up and goes to the fridge for another beer.
“Can I get you a beer, Jesus?”
“No, thanks, I’m good.”
Then Bones looks at Jesus and says, “You know I don’t believe in you.”
“Yeah, I know. If I were you, I wouldn’t believe in me either. I know how you prayed, Bones first for your wife and then for your son. I could tell you there are reasons for everything but that would just make you angrier. If I tried to explain you wouldn’t understand.”
“You live in a linear world and that’s how you think. But in reality, the universe is quantum.”
“What the hell is he talking about, Bones?”
“That means he can be everywhere at once, even the past and the future.”
“What? That’s not possible. I don’t get it. And why do you allow all the wars, killing, and disease?”
“I get that question all the time, Tank. We gave man free will. It was debated a lot and I’m still not sure it was the right thing to do but that’s the way it is.”
“This is too much for me. I gotta go pee.”
As Tank walks away Jesus turns to Bones. “Look, Bones, do you mind if I call you Michael or would you prefer Dr. Michael David?”
“Michael, unlike most of your acquaintances you chose to be homeless. You gave away everything you owned, quit your practice and just disappeared. I know the pain you’ve endured but I want to ask you for a favor.”
“Are you kidding me? You’re asking me for a favor?”
“Yes, I want you to open a free clinic for the homeless. They need it, you need it.”
“And just how am I supposed to do that? Or have you forgotten that I’m homeless and broke.”
“Here take this.”
“What’s this? It’s just numbers.”
“Those are the winning numbers for Powerball this Friday. I don’t carry any money but there’s a few dollars in the fridge from beer sales. Borrow it and someday when you join this club you can pay it back.”
“So what’s to keep me from taking all the money and just moving to some island?”
“Nothing. Like I said, you have free will but I know what’s in your heart.”
Tank walks back into the room and sits down. “So Jesus, why did you come here and how long you in town for?”
“Well, I love lawn bowling so I come here every year for the U.S. Open and then stay until my birthday.”
“Oh, now I understand. That explains why you’re wearin’ whites.”
Dennis Lockwood is a musician and writer. He lives with his wife, Pat, in Laguna Beach.
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