by Jerry Vilhotti

Tommy Tom Tom began speaking to his headlights that were showing him the way. He sang a few lines from a Hank Williams' song about seeing the light and then began to talk to the outer darkness: "Listen Jude baby, you turn me in. You give me the kiss and I'll transcend death! If I can do that then we've conquered the fear of dying! See? See?"

A headlight responded: "How the hell you going to do that? All we want to do is reform the shit going on like using our fucking synagogue for a bank and duping the suckers into paying their way into heaven! Before you know it the money-whore banks will be charging people just to enter their fucking houses on top of all the other charges the jerks don't see! And wait and see before long libraries will be privatized too!"

Tom wanted Christ to slap the zealot up and down the side of his head but all the gentle man said was: "Sure. Sure." Tom had Christ talking like John Garfield - the at first whining loser bad guy who often became the good guy at the end of the movie - after sucking pity dry.

"Why hadn't he gone for compassion the mother of love? Did that too go up like the price for bitter broccoli rape? Garfield said. He had gone to Tom's grammar school and the only pupil Miss Wolf, the eighth grade teacher, wouldn't hit - afraid the tough Jewish kid would whack her back! He had been sent up to the East Bronx by his loved ones to get him away from his tough neighborhood that to many seemed like a one way street leading to the electric chair. A chair that was supposed to be a Robespiere's guillotine for terrorizing killers into stopping killing who were taught to kill by the haters who had treated them like animals when growing up into a world of indifference and greed.

"Everybody dies. Everybody dies," he said as the song "Body and Soul" played softly in the background coming from somewhere under the dashboard.

Tom allowed Christ to gain his composure: "Listen creep, we'll talk in parables since the good folks who fear fear itself are always worried about big changes like universal health care believing that when they buy one they will get ten free puppet leaders to look out for them but little do they know those who shell out the big bucks get more bang for their dollar. So we have to take it real slow. And those so called leaders will do worse to others than they did to Japanese-Americans not to mention American-Japanese. When stress comes to shove all protections are thrown out the door! Nations must begin to act like human beings - protecting everyone not just their own self-interests. What you reap is what you eventually sow! Hate only begets hate and maybe I failed a little in trying to teach how to love oneself so you got to throw out the window that crap about loving your neighbor like you do yourself. Hey, but I did love the poor and the downtrodden and God damn it I didn't mean to make little children suffer! OK? OK? Get my drift?"

Judas nodded. Tom continued south toward Northshredder New York convinced that was where he would find Christ, all his disciples and even maybe Tom. It sure was getting complicated to find one's way around, Tom thought as he gripped the steering wheel even tighter not realizing he would end up in Middletown, New York on top of Northshredder that stood by the once beautiful Hudson River renamed Endrun in honor of Barnum's seeing suckers born every minute or so.

Tom was taken in for his first confinement in a place for stressed out people.
END 9-4-09

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