As you can tell, I’m taking further advantage of my flu-ridden existence. When my friend Jaakko Stenros submitted the opening sentence I used for this one, “Oscar found Jesus at gay hot nude yoga,” I knew I would just have to do something with it, but it wasn’t at all clear what that should be. It took me some thinking.
There was that whole “oh-but-he’s-a-Hispanic-guy” thing, which was perhaps the most obvious choice, and there was that whole “the actual Jesus Christ is just hanging out there as one of the guys” approach, which might’ve been a little more fruitful — tee hee — but I didn’t know where to go with that beyond the initial setup.
So, eventually, I took the Hungarian approach.
Oscar found Jesus at gay hot nude yoga.
He didn’t plan on it. Oscar had never been on what you might call a spiritual quest. He was a lapsed Catholic; he wasn’t exactly comfortable with the church, given his particular bent, and the church’s bent for telling him he’d go to hell. Not a lot of common ground there. Oscar liked his dudes and the church wasn’t cool with that, so Oscar had made his call years ago. And even if the church had been more welcoming, it wasn’t like he’d have been comfortable as one of the flock anyway, what with all the priests who were into little boys and all that. He didn’t want anything to do with any of that sick stuff, and he had a feeling most of his fellow parishioners would just round it up to “faggot” anyway.
And in any case, there was the biggest dealbreaker: Oscar was pretty much an atheist anyway. Maybe there was something out there, maybe there wasn’t, but it didn’t seem likely that the entire human race came from two people who ate an apple in a garden six thousand years ago, and if that was bullshit, the rest of it kind of fell apart. You couldn’t cherry-pick your way through something like that.
So no, Oscar just wasn’t a believer. He didn’t even go in for the hippy-dippy quasi-mystical feel-good karma crap some of his friends were into. He liked his life neat and rational, layered with a reasonable degree of skepticism. Which was one reason he did the gay hot nude yoga, apart from the obvious; nobody was yammering about tranquility or balance, it was just hot dudes staying in shape and stretching, with the occasional stray boner and some fun in the showers. Which suited Oscar just fine.
But just the same, there he was, trying for the crow pose and finally getting it right after two months of work. He was settling into it and getting comfortable, feeling like he’d accomplished something today, staring at the bare ass cheeks of the Hungarian guy in front of him, and all of a sudden the warm afternoon sun came out, shadows shifted, and he saw the face of Jesus. The light streamed in through the huge studio windows, and the shadows fell across the Hungarian’s hairy backside just right, and there He was: Jesus, clear as day.
Oscar blinked twice and cocked his head slightly, wobbled, and almost lost his balance.
“No way,” he whispered.
But He was there. The luxurious hair, shaped by a complex combination of the shadow cast by the window lattice and the Hungarian’s dark body hair, the gentle smile formed by the curve of the right ass cheek, and the beard… well, all right; the beard was a little more pointed and… lumpier than what he was used to seeing in pictures of Jesus, since the Hungarian was letting it all hang all out.
But it was Jesus. Who else could it be?
There was even a cute little mole that allowed Him to lay his gentle and wise gaze on Oscar.
Oscar had heard about images of Jesus appearing on toast, or in the stains left on walls by rusty water under bridges, or some sad bullshit like that. He’d never taken that seriously. They were easy to fake, or people saw what they wanted to see. But there was an obvious image of Jesus right here, and nobody could fake this. The Hungarian had no idea he had the Redeemer on his ass, staring at Oscar. Nobody could position themselves like this on purpose.
Either it was a freak occurrence, or it wasn’t. Oscar’s mouth was dry.
Clouds rolled in. The sunlight faded. Jesus seemed mournful as He slipped from view.
Then it was just a hairy Hungarian ass. When the sun came back a few minutes later, both it and the Hungarian had shifted position, and the Son of God was gone, never to return again.
Later, Oscar got dressed in silence. He was used to joking around in the locker room, hanging out with the guys, but now he was subdued, lost in thought. He kept glancing over at the Hungarian, who was patting himself down with an exceptionally fluffy towel. That hairy ass with the mole was just a hairy ass with a mole.
The Hungarian noticed his stare, and covered himself with the towel. He smiled at Oscar, a little shyly. He had a strong jaw and nice teeth. They’d talked once before, a couple of weeks ago.
“Hello,” the Hungarian said.
Oscar nodded at him.
“Hey, do you want to go get coffee?” the Hungarian asked. “Good place nearby, I’ll take you, yeah?”
The man let the fluffy towel slip, bent down for his boxer shorts. The mole winked at Oscar before it slipped from view.
He was cute, Oscar decided. That was a really cute mole. He felt a profound sense of loss that he suspected would take a long time to process.
Oscar stood up, put on his jacket. He wasn’t a timid man, but now he hesitated. “Hey, back in there… I mean, do you think you could maybe…”
The Hungarian looked at him expectantly, but Oscar didn’t know how to finish the sentence. The Hungarian frowned in confusion, spread his hands.
Oscar couldn’t think of a single thing to say. He shook his head sadly, and walked away.
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