He was a great teacher, everyone agreed,
but somehow when she went to his talks,
she didn’t hear his words. She was too busy watching him.
Watching the play of muscles under his white shirt,
his olive-gold hands…
Perhaps her fascination with his body
explained her inability to understand the purpose behind his
One evening as he sat near her at dinner (thighs barely touching)
expounding on some obscure point,
she decided she had had enough.
She was hardly a lovestruck child to be tongue-tied,
and had had her share of men in the past.
Enough of trying to hide her love, simply because it made him
because it didn’t fit in with his plans.
So, just as he opened his mouth yet again to pontificate,
she leaned forward and kissed him.
He pulled back momentarily, then, with a tiny sigh,
as one who has resisted his desires for far too long,
he gave in to the kiss.
One thing led to another, and well…you know the rest.
But nothing changed.
She had caught him, yet he wasn’t truly hers.
He kept on with his lecturing,
and now that they shared a bed,
She also witnessed his troubled sleep,
and tortured dreams.
He’d toss and turn in the sweat-soaked sheets;
an occasional word might escape
beloved brown lips…
“Why…no…release me…must I…”
She would gather him in close,
fearing she would lose him to that place
she could not reach; to that one
inspiring visions behind his eyes.
He would wake, terror in those eyes,
her name on his lips, “Oh, Mary….”
And she would beg him to come away, someplace far,
and he would refuse, night after weary night.
Pleading the importance of his teaching
and the power of the dreams.
As the nights went on, his terror mounted
and hers in tandem, until she resolved upon a desperate course.
She let herself become pregnant,
opening herself up to the risk of rejection.
He married her, of course.
and to protect the child from their troubled country, they fled to
as his parents had once before, following in the tradition.
They settled down, and lived happily ever after,
and he was no longer troubled by the dreams.
So he missed his meeting with his students in a Garden,
and the authorities lost track of him that night…
Judas went on to become a great political leader,
and Peter a disillusioned drunkard.
And so the world changed.
February 12, 1992