47.2 - Spring 2018

Page 82

“I had a little trouble finding the place,” He says by way of excuse. “What can I do for you?” the baker asks. He’s young(ish) with a carefully curated, nineteenth-century moustache. “I have no money,” says Jesus, “and I’m hungry. Can you spare some bread?” The baker, who is sensitive to need, who has been groomed in empathy thanks to his Psychology degree (with a minor in Art History), who impregnated his girlfriend early but never regretted it, climbed Machu Picchu and napped in the sun below St. Francis’ crypt, who happily wept at the opening bars of Debussey’s “la Fille Aux Cheveux de Lin,” who cut the cord on his cable and never looked back, looked into Jesus’ great big sad yellow eyes and said, “Of course, man!” He reaches into a pile of country sours and pulls out a plump, warm loaf. His daughter, fourteen years old and an avid tree climber, a real rooster, already better at saving money than her parents, and skeptical, emerges from behind an “Employees Only” door with a scowl on her face. “Dad,” she says, “you’re not seriously going to give away your bread for free? That’s not a good business model.” The baker laughs nervously, shrugs at Jesus like, Hey, what can I say? She’s a spitfire.

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PHOEBE


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