1 1. We had nothing to do in Bethelehem. Jesus, whose real name, by the way, is Ashrah, but it doesn’t matter that much, was a somewhat strong and handsome guy with long curls and a beard, from a formerly prosperous but now somewhat impoverished family. 2. He had his pride, you could tell and he was a cool fellow in a way. Cared more about making some sense of why people can’t just be happy and see good stuff in simple things and not only search for some kind of hard solutions in their vague dreams, you know.
2 1. We met by a lake, I saw him together with John, that’s a real name as far as I know. 2. John had this perk of getting men laid by showing them some tricks with the play of fire in the darkness, long talks and his favorite one – the ritual of washing off all the sorrow in a skinny dip. You probably don’t need the following details (like simple petting and giving each other a relief). 3. Some went farther, some didn’t. Most people wouldn’t mind an extra moment of delight in the daily routine and life’s strife. 4. I mean, most of the people around there couldn’t even read, that be more precise 99.9%.
3 1. My name is Shtuba and I have long had desire for strong, muscular, sweaty and proud men with their mystical sault beards and eyes rather than soft and gentle women. 2. That is just the way it is and I try not to think so much about why it is like this. I just accept it as a fact. Not that it has given me more meaning of happiness in life, but some joy and fullfilment, for sure.
4 1. So I see these two by the lake, sitting nearly naked on a wood and talking in the sunset. Birds and insects are continuing their summer serenades and the guys’ knees and shoulders gently touch, the stare somewhere afar and share their moonshine. 2. It seem like harmony and excitement all over. 3. I go over to them, introduce myself. I can see that both appreciate my looks, I know many do, both men and women. 4. But what I really long for are friends, with who I can just be myself and talk about anything I want. 5. With whom there is no danger to make a mistake or fool yourself out.
5 1. They offer me a place by the fire, leaning back in a chilled manner. 2. I feel relaxed, although still a bit nervous and shy. The reason is that I have already heard rumors about their group. 3. It was sort of a gang of street actors who went from town to town, village to village and were calling themselves messengers of god himself and teaching people a better sense in life. It all seemed awfully interesting. 4. Especially because the things they were saying really made sense. 5. Like sharing your stuff and having a lump of bread feeding, well may be not to 2000 or 5000 people as some lunatics who couldn’t even count, exaggerrated, but 20-23 vagabonds or poor farmers for sure. Nice meal in the middle of a break. Makes sense. 6. Especially if you’re low on cash.
6 1. Some of us slept with men, some with women, some with each other and some with everyone we came across. Not a big deal. 2. That’s the way it really was, if the truth is to be spoken. 3. Sometimes it is the only way to get someone to talk or listen to you. So I never understood why the fanatics made all that big fuss about sex. 4. In my opinion, it’s usually those who have problems getting laid because of their own evil doings and creepy attitude who are trying to stop also others from enjoyinh it and then just come up with calling it a sin. 5. Seriously!
7 1. Anyways, a good old prayer is always a powerful thing. 2. And it makes things with you when someone really takes his time and prays for you. 3. Something very intimate appears and gives you trust in humanity. 4. Especally, when you almost loose all hope in it.
8 1. So broke folks from all around started appreciating these odd priests or artists, whatever, you’d like to call them. 2. And most people are really neither poor nor rich. 3. They are just tired of their daily work that seems just meaningless after a while. 4. And the spiritual and creative poverty are the ones that really make people blind for all the riches and goods that they already have both around and inside of them.
9 1. So a reputation of healers and helpers spread around them, old Matthew, Peter and other both fake or real personalities. 2. Some did similar stuff simultaneously, I’m telling you. 3. I have met about sixteen or seventeen other guys who would also call themselves Jesus different places and did this type fellowship, baptizing, and masturbation, if you may.
10 1. Ashra and John grew more sort of a couple. 2. They both could also enjoy a bae once in a while but most of the time they were just busy with themselves and creating art and talking wisdoms to others, trying to put some better sense in their confused heads. 3. I don’t really know why people are afraid to admit their real bisexual nature. 4. Personally, a perfect family to me would seem more like two girls and two guys making children, growing stuff, sharing a home and a life, for not to speak about all the creativeness and excitement of journeys. The world is amazing. 5. To others, it may be different, I can respect that.
11 1. And that’s when the old and established church that got its steady hand over the taxes, land and gold got worries in some towns. 2. Of some reason, random people were trusting more to Jesus and Co who could better relate to their problems and paid attention to their daily life rather than to the official priests. 3. Little did it help that it was in the times when Herod ruled. The man had just no sense of measure in his rage and so evil all around the place where it hadn’t even set a foot of it. 4. A scared woman, a scared child – all could seem evil and suspicious in his wife. A paranoia and a meaninglessness in the abundance is what I would call it. 5. So many a place an innocent bloke or two got executed. People were scared. And the trust in the king was lower than ever and the fear around great and profound. 6. A bad harvest could put the last nail into the coffin and make some loose all faith in humanity. 7. So it wasn’t the easiest times when they started their mission either, one can say.
12 1. When the things started growing out of proportions and Herod got the news of the couple and all of their ‘apostles’ and followers, he simply ordered John, the Baptist One, who was introducing people to the so called holy spirit, beheaded. 2. As good as they could hide, the gang could do nothing. 3. John was decapitated and it basically killed all life in Jesus. Was a disaster to see. 4. The man broke down and had nightmares for several months in a row. None of us could do anything. 5. Besides, he got a warning from a state official that he’d follow suit if he went on. 6. So his disappearing from the preaching scene for a while has made stuff clear out and quite up. But only for a bit.
13 1. Upon the return from his self-imposed hermitage, we could all see both a death and a determination in him – uh-oh, – no, this man was not kidding and wasn’t going to give up. 2. He was set at carrying everything they did with a double force. 3. No other meaning that that had he after the murder of John, his most loved one. 4. Nothing else would make sense. 5. It was a fight for freedom, for respect, for love of the near, for meaning, for righteousness and justice, for all they had believed in.
14 1. Poor Judas hasn’t done really much though. The man got threatened and stuff. 2. And, anyway, sooner or later, the authorities would have gotten hold of someone of us. 3. Everybody knew Jesus would fight to the end, anyways. 4. So eventually, Herod killed him. We all saw it. we could do nothing. An unarmed man, who hadn’t killed anyone himself and denied to do so, was murdered by the relentless state. Hanging there alone on the cross, he was bigger himself than all those riches and crowns that had ordered the execution. 5. That’s why we don’t forget it. Praised be our God!
Island of Petrograd, 2017
Em Am ©