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The Unity
(© Bryan Way)

Page 1

Sometimes I have to wonder where my friends get their sick sense of humor. Most of the time, all I have to do is look in the mirror. It never really occurred to me that jokes about Jesus just arenít that funny to most people. Maybe itís just because I think Jesus is a funny word. Considering the nature of the holiday (i.e. its real meaning), I got one of the most appropriate gifts Iíve ever gotten.

EDGAR: (Walks in bedroom, hands JEFF three thick masonry nails, mallet) So Jeffy, what do you do with these?

JEFF: Nail Jesus to the cross?

EDGAR: (Hands JEFF a copy of The Passion on DVD) And hereís an instructional video.

JEFF:† (Laughter) I was going to buy this eventuallyÖ but I was too embarrassed.

EDGAR: Here, take the whole box. (Hands JEFF box of masonry nails) I donít need them.

Itís funny to me. Iíve tried showing it to all my friends, no one laughed quite as hard as I did, though those who know Edgar had to give him full marks for creativity. I guess you could say my last chance to give it the appropriate presentation was to my girlfriend, Alice, who lives about an hour north of me. I live in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania. She lives in Allentown. We met at college. This winter break has been the first time weíve spent apart since the beginning of the year, when we first met. Iíve been able to spend a lot of time with my friends who I rarely get to see, so itís been surprisingly easy for me to get on.

For her, itís been less than easy. This year brought about the revelation that she has very few close friends, in fact, all her male friends in the past were simply trying to get in her pants. Her relationships with any of them never lasted longer than two months, so sheís not used to the emotional stability that Iíve provided her, and time apart is not exactly nurturing that stability.

Donít get me wrong; we arenít falling apart, certainly not. Itís simply the fact that I frequently have something to do when Iím not with her and she does not, which makes her lonely and paranoid. Iím sure thatís something a lot of young men laugh at, but I take it completely seriously. If I get the inkling that sheís unhappy Iím at her house in less than a few hours. I couldnít bear the thought of her suffering, and I canít simply change the channel in my brain. The balance is nearly perfect: I care about her, so I go up; I care about my own mental well being, so I go up.

Itís strange though, this time I feel oddlyÖ well, odd, for lack of a better term. I feel compelled to dress warmly, mainly because my mother always says I should have warm clothes incase I break down. Iíve never taken that seriously until now, for some reason. I prepare myself a CD of songs to listen to, most of them instrumentals from my favorite game series, Silent Hill. After that, I pack a change of clothes incase the weather forces me to stay the night up there.

Itís 8:00 pm, an hour after I wanted to start up there. After putting up an away message, (Gone to see Alice. May not return tonight. Call cell if urgent.) I take my box of DVDs that I take everywhere and head downstairs. Itís my collection of films by my favorite directors: Cronenberg, Hitchcock, Lynch, and Romero. I always leave a vacant spot for current favorite; The Passion currently occupies that spot for transportation purposes only.

I hug my mom and tell her Iíll be careful, then make my way outside and put the box in the back seat of the running car, where my mallet and box of nails are waiting. I must give Edgar credit; all components of the gift are of high quality, especially the nails. If I were going to spike Jesus with any kind of nails, it would be these. Theyíre jet black and they start out thick and come to a nice point, not only that, but theyíre designed to nail wood into concrete.

I laugh at myself as I get in the car, Iím almost totally ignoring the fact that itís starting to snow a little bit in favor of obsessing over the minute details of the gift Edgarís given me. Itís so characteristic of myself. I slip the CD in the stereo and back myself out of the driveway. For a moment I consider listening to the radio to see if there are any delays or road closings or anything like that, but not only can I not stand commercials and popular music, I also wouldnít know any alternate routes to take and wouldnít know where to get on or off.

Finally, things are mentally coming into focus, the grainy black road in front of me, the rows of ill lit suburban houses receding into the darkness, looming enormous and blocking out the sky seemingly with purpose, and finally the thin white specks drifting into the windshield and dusting the ground. Itís that peaceful kind of snow that doesnít stick and looks presentable. I click the wipers of my 2000 Toyota Solara on so I can keep my eyes out for any stupid pedestrians.

[ Continue to page 2 ]

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Genre:Living Dead
Type:Medium length story
Rating:6.67 / 10
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