OVERHEARD by Amlan Chakraborty

As I cast my mind back to April 1, AD 33, the details are naturally hazy.

Ghost Presenter

All I remember is that I had walked myself ragged roaming the Old City of Jerusalem and entered this place on Mount Zion hoping for some nourishment.

A kind guy got me a table, on which he unloaded a stack of toast, and a mug of coffee strong enough to wake up the dead.

Huddled around the adjacent table was a group of 13, including a solitary woman sitting next to the alpha male whom they called J.

Excerpts of their discussion:
J: Party’s on me, but don’t over-imbibe guys.
Guy 2: (sotto voce) What a miser! What would you like Ms Magdalen?
Ms Magdalen: Virgin Mary (giggles)
J: Bad joke.
MM: Don’t be so touchy, J.
J: Waiter, water for everyone. And mineral water, please. I can’t turn regular water into wine, it must be the arsenic. Guys, I got a feeling that something ominous is going to happen to me.
Guy 4: Bad form J. Aren’t you supposed to know everything the future contains?
J: And one of you guys will betray me.
Guy 5: Why are you guys staring at me? For Chrissake!
J: Calm down Judas. One of you would even deny knowing me.
Guy 6: Not me, unless you do something really silly and I’m too ashamed to admit I hung around with you.
J (breaks bread and offers): This is my body which is given to you…
Guy 11: I know picking up the tab is troubling you but must you ruin our appetite?
J (offers wine): This is my blood…
Guy 10: Guys, let’s go Dutch or he won’t let us enjoy our meal. Judas, you clumsy imbecile, you just knocked over the salt cellar…

I don’t remember when I dozed off, a meal often does this to me, and when I woke up, the gang had disappeared. I paid my bill (included no GST) and stepped out.


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