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I'm Not Stupid: A man describes a scene in the courtyard, the night of Jesus' trial
Posted by Douglas, Mar 24, 2008. 2186 views. ID = 909

I'm Not Stupid

Posted by Douglas, Mar 24, 2008. 2186 views. ID = 909
This post was written in 29 minutes.
This post has been awarded 36 stars by 9 readers.
This post is Part 3 of a writing series titled Perspectives.

I may not be well educated, I may not have the answers to all of life's mysteries, but I'm not stupid.

I was standing last Friday night in the courtyard when a big burly fellow - one of those brutes that makes you wish you had a dagger in your cloak - walked in. The wild-eyed look of him made me glad I was in a crowd when I saw him, instead of in a deserted alley.

As I took a second look at him, however, I realized that in spite of his brutish appearance, his wild-eyed expression was probably due to nervousness - perhaps even fear. His glances were furtive, as though he expected to be arrested and put on trial himself. He was shivering, but my gut told me it was only in part due to the cold.


When he saw the fire blazing in the middle of the courtyard he made his way toward it with an edgewise step, as though he was really on his way to somewhere else, as though he knew he didn't belong here, and was just waiting for someone to stop him and tell him to go away.

As no one spoke to him, no one told him to get lost, he elbowed his way through the group of soldiers and servants clustered around the crackling flames. He put his hands out close to the flames, then rubbed them together, warming them.

But his eyes never stopped darting around the circle nervously. And he didn't stop shivering.

One of the servant girls - my niece, actually - was on the other side of the fire, but she noticed him, and gave him a quizzical stare. Over the course of the next few minutes I watched as she continued glancing at him, as though she ought to know him. Finally she pushed her way around the circle until she was standing next to him, and she said, "You're with him, aren't you? You're one of his followers?"

The man scowled, lowered his head and hunched his shoulders - not as a shrug, but as a way of hiding his face. "I don't know what you're talking about," he muttered.

"You know, the Galilean - the one that's on trial."


"Never met the man," he replied, then moved away from the circle of warmth.

I chuckled to myself, because...well, because I'm not stupid. I know a lie when I see one, and now I understood why this man was acting so furtively. If he was a follower of the Galilean rebel, his life might be in danger too.

I followed to see where he would go and what he would do. As he passed through the gateway he was accosted again, and a second time the man muttered a denial of his connection with the religious zealot who was on trial.

Now, normally I'm not a sadistic man, but something in me just couldn't leave this situation alone without adding my own two cents to the man's torment, so I approached him at last and said, "You know, as you were sitting by the fire, I couldn't help but thinking, your accent is definitely the accent of a Galilean! Surely you must be a follower of that Galilean troublemaker?"

At that the man exploded, and from his mouth came the foulest and most profane obscenities I've ever had the misfortune to hear - even the Roman soldiers would have been impressed with his vile epithets. Then, when he had exhausted his supply of obscene vocabulary, he insisted at the top of his lungs, "I do not know that man!"

Then he walked away, weeping.

Such cowardice!

I may not be well educated, I may not have the answers to all of life's mysteries, but I'm not stupid. People ask me why I, a Jewish man, follow the ways of the Roman gods. Some think it is because I have spent so much time in the palace of the Romans that I have forgotten my Hebrew heritage.

Not so. I remember perfectly the heritage I once followed. But I also remember this: in all the legends of the Roman gods, there is never once a story of a big brutish hero like Hercules running in fear from a little servant girl. And as long as the Hebrew god can't find himself a better brand of hero, I don't see much reason to give him my allegiance.

I'm not stupid, after all.

Copyright 2008 Douglas. All rights reserved. FifteenMinutesOfFiction.com has been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work. For permission to reprint this item, please contact the author.
 


   
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This post has been awarded 36 stars by 9 readers.
This post is Part 3 of a writing series titled Perspectives. The next part of this series can be found here: Impossible.
This is a revised version of a post. Click here to view the original version




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