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Fiction #99
(published September 12, 2002)
Jeremy And The Lord
by Robert Y. Rabiee

Too many women in the world.

Lost. City of Women. Fill in the blanks.

Jeremy Spendertill realized one gloomy January afternoon that he was, indeed, awash in a sea of women with whom he would never, ever copulate.


No. He was lost, in aporia, amongst beautiful poetesses, meek social workers, gorgeous actresses, and mildly attractive heiresses... in a word, lost. Where? In a City. Of what? Why, women, of course.

Was it really that he wanted all of them? No, of course not. Was it really that his ever-lasting lust would never be quenched? A lie. It was sheer volume, all those breasts and lips, that baffled him. That so many beautiful women could be ever-present, and that he would have none. It was a simple matter of the material dialectic... hadn't woman been the product of Adam's rib? And how could this hoary system so alienate him from that which his primary ancestor had produced? It was a travesty to any real Socialist, and, in his opinion, anyone worth a damn. He wanted to fly red banners over the Kremlin, proudly declaring that man was no longer separated from the means of production, and then immediately retire to Chairman Mao's concubine chamber, wherein rested a huge red bed and any number of willing Comintern cuties with baggy brown pants and anxious eyes.

At this point, he would've screwed Cilla Black, if only for the way she said "mucky."

All of these thoughts shot through Jeremy Spendertill's head as the blonde approached him, and yet they all seemed vaguely shallow. His former discontents... which he most always wore on his sleeve like a fine pair of monogrammed cufflinks... suddenly slid away, and he was warmed to the very core of his bitter little heart. She walked with a certain sly grace, a nonchalance that begged the attention of every man in every coffee shop in all of God's Manhattans. Surely men in other worlds would simultaneously snap their heads around, staring with huge alien eyes as she approached, jaws agape and silver tongues on their gaseous planet's surface. The great poets could toil over their verse for months, never finding an exact match for the particular blue of her sparkling eyes. Maybe a songwriter or five could approximate those blonde locks, but a poet would be left mute, his whole lexicon of useless phrases rendered to naught.

"Hey. Gotta light?"

Jeremy blinked twice, then once again. She smiled sweetly, picking up his matches and igniting the now-flaming suicide stick.

"Thank you."

Little sharp laugh. Jeremy laughed like a very insecure weasel with a B.A. from SUNY-Binghamton.

"No... no problem. What's your name?"

"Gloria," she said, motioning towards a chair across from him. Jeremy nodded and graciously allowed the succubus... eh, angel... to join him.


"Me? Spendertill. Jeremy."

"Sounds to me like you're in the goddamned military."

Women have an interesting sense of humor, Jeremy thought to himself as she guffawed at her own dishwater joke.

"So whatcha do, Jeremy?"

Jeremy smiled, lighting a cigarette and ashing into her coffee by accident. She just smiled and scooped the soot out with a spoon. He blushed like a five-year-old watching USA Up All Night circa 1992.

"Sorry. And... and I'm a student."

Well that sealed the deal. She stood up, sighing and cracking her neck. At that particular moment, Jeremy wished she'd done it to him.

"Jesus Christ. Fucking students. Girl can't make a decent penny off a goddamned student."

And she walked on by.

He'd just bought a porkpie hat, because it complimented his nice blue p-coat. It always made him vaguely warm on the insides when a hat matched his jackets, for poor little Jeremy was largely concerned with petty, immaterial things. He tiltled the porkpie hat to the side.

Delancey Street is a sort of Hell. There's a bridge at the end of it, right near the F, and it looks like the exit to Purgatory. Maybe it's the orange safety cones, or maybe it's the flaming sword that magically appears there every forty years. Except without the flames. Or the sword. And it's actually just a bridge to fucking Brooklyn. And so there is no redemption on Delancey Street, except maybe that the Delancey Boys haven't prowled it in about eighty years. Jeremy was secure in the fact that his new hat and shiny dimes wouldn't be taken by Irish thugs, and this little bit of security made him feel complete for approximately 3.1415926545 seconds.

Jeremy spotted her crossing the bridge, and from that moment it was love. She was a tattered gypsy girl in vibrantly dull patchwork clothing, gliding across the concrete on rollerskates. He couldn't take his eyes off of her form as it moved like a living S through the world, snaking here and there with its wild intonations of hissed endings and sudden curves. 1968 was a good year for gypsies, free love, psychedelics, extravagant orchestral arrangements, Burt Bacharach, and a bad year for wine.

She had a copy of Catcher In The Rye in one of her pockets. And Jesus wept as she slammed right into the awkward Columbia undergrad.

"Oh, man... like, sorry and shit. It's like, it's fucking rough, man. I like, totally just... oh, I'm so sorry."

"Not a problem," said Jeremy meekly.

She grinned and kissed him on the cheek, mildly offering him a flower. He nodded, sticking it in his pocket and hiking his pants up a little.

"You... you look like goddamned Steve McQueen!"

"No I don't. I look like Dustin Hoffman."

"Right on, right on."

She suddenly grabbed his hand, and they slowly walked down the street. He imagined in his stupid little head that Strawberry Alarm Clock's "Sit With The Guru" set the scene. What a rare joy, to be taken down Delancey by a beautiful little gypsy girl, name of Matilda Starshine, child of the Earth and Martha Goldfarb!

It was great, it was magical. Until she rolled him for his expensive leather wallet, screaming something about her favorite horse. Jeremy lay bleeding on the ground for a moment, his porkpie hat crushed beneath him. He sighed and through leaking eyes watched her.

And she skated on down Delancey.

If God had a home, it would be Gramercy Park. The trees are nice enough, but the shrubbery is divine. Jeremy's parents owned an apartment in the neighborhood, and allowed him to stroll through the pleasure garden. Kubla Kahn often sat outside the gate, drunk on mare's milk and crying, yearning to build a Geodesic dome on the grounds. It was there that Jeremy would see the gorgeous redhead with the upturned nose and matching trust fund, which (honestly) looked very good on her.

She stood far away from him... well, as far away as you can be in Gramercy Park... strolling through the daisies and reading Yeats to herself. Jeremy's heart was filled with unspeakable joy. If the joy could speak, it would most likely wheeze, cough, and light another Lucky Strike. The miserable little boy was drawn to the redhead... he began to slowly walk towards her. But suddenly there was the roar of an engine... Jeremy turned around in horror, his brown eyes widening. An audaciously yellow cab slammed through the ornate fencing, stopping short of the little bastard fuck's weak shins. Jeremy jumped back, panting. The faint sound of "Magic Carpet Ride" emanated from within; the whole inside of the cab was filled with fog, but Jeremy could make out the shady outline of an ethereal cabbie. The door opened with a burst of trumpets. The little son of a bitch clapped his hands to his ears, falling to his knees as if by divine providence.

And rightly so... for who should emerge from that death-cab than the Lord Jesus Christ himself, dressed all in white. Jeremy shed a single tear, which fell to the ground and spawned a flower. Gramercy is a magical, magical place.

"Jeremy! Jeremy Spendertill! Do you know who I am?"

Jeremy looked up, his lips quivering.

"Frank Sinatra?"

"Nay!" screamed Jesus, a flash of lightning burning off Jeremy's left eyebrow, "I am Jesus Christ!"

Jesus sat down next to Jeremy, dropping an arm around him.

"And we need to talk."

Jeremy sighed, looking over at Jesus.


"Yes, my son?"

"W-why... why can't I find the perfect woman?"

Jesus laughed, shaking his head and kissing Jeremy on the cheek.

"You're a dumb little fuck, do you know that?"

"I don't think I'm that dumb."

"Trust me, man. I'm the fucking Lord. I know these things, man."

Jeremy sighed, dropping his head in shame like a flower caught in the men's room at Penn Station with both a daisy and a rhododendron. Jesus laughed, picking him up and leading him towards the car. Jeremy suddenly stopped, cocking his head to the side.

"Umm... Jesus?"

"What, my son?"

"Is that... are you listening to—umm—is that fucking Steppenwolf?"

"Aye, 'tis, my son," Jesus replied in a very, very godly way, as he is wont to do from time to time.

"Why're you saying 'aye'?"

"Because I'm fucking Jesus Christ is fucking why. And you know I hate fucking questions! Now do you want to get into the car or not?"

Jesus laughed like a buffalo with his Masters in aerodynamics and air-conditioner repair.

Jeremy got into the cab on that sunny, sunny day and rode on home with The Lord.

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