Thursday, September 09, 2004


While Jesus Slept, He Dreamed...

The milk had put him to sleep. And in his deep sleep, Jesus dreamed on. He was back in the third grade…

The classroom was very quiet. Their pet hamster had died over the weekend, and the kid in charge of feeding it, a kind of geeky little Falun Gong kid named Quangxi, had just discovered the body.

“It’s dead,” he said.

The teacher, Mr. Prometheus, came over. All of the other kids had gathered around by now, and were giving their opinions and suggestions.

“It’s okay,” Mohammed said. “He’s gone to hamster heaven, where there are seventy hamster virgins serving him grapes and hashish.”

“That’s stupid,” Joey Apollo said. “We’re already in heaven.”

“It’s a different heaven,” Mohammed said. “Not like this one. It’s a higher one.”

“Mr. Prometheus, I thought things weren’t supposed to die again in heaven. I thought that’s what it said in our history book last week,” Tommy Krishna asked.

“It’s different with hamsters, stupid. They’re not people,” little Jesus Yahweh said. “Only people die and go to heaven.”

“Oh, you’re so smart, why don’t you just resurrect him, Jesus?” Quangxi taunted.

“’Cause I haven’t been born yet, you, you… heathen,” Jesus shot back.

“Children! Children! Enough,” Mr. Prometheus shouted. “We come to school to learn, not to fight. And I think we can all learn something from this little rodent’s death.”

“What, Mr. Prometheus?” the children all chimed.

“Not to take things for granted. Not to think that we’ll always have this place we call heaven. Not to think that this heaven is the only or the best heaven.”

And then there was a sick, sweet smell, as wetness blanketed Jesus' face while he slept, and the dreams changed. He felt himself being lifted, carried, perhaps in a sack of some sort...

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