I knew it wasn't going to be an ordinary day. I walked into the carpentry shop and there was Goldstein, tapping his fingers against the sundial and muttering about how he'd never commission me to carve him another coin changer again. "It's Saturday," I stammered, but he didn't
seem to get the point. Or I didn't seem to get the point. "Right there in the temple?" Well, the times must be passing me by.
[quoteright]In a little while, Silver from the fishery came in to see if I had a fishing license. "Me fish?"
"Get off it. I saw you down at the wharf with a pole and a basket full of loaves of bread. Bait, I guess."
Just then I remembered the old shoe I had to retrieve with a fish hook after I inadvertently fell into the water. Somehow, after I explained that situation, Silver got the impression that I was now fishing for...men. You got it. You wouldn't believe the rumors that started going around after that one. "The same to you, buddy!"
Next off, some prostitute staggered in the door with a bucket of water and commenced to slop the stuff all over my feet. "Not clean enough for you, lady?" Two or three people started giving us funny looks and asking if my mother knew what I was up to. "No, but Dad sure does." That was over their heads, too. I don't know where they dredge up these masses from.
To make my point clearer, let me describe one of them. This one's a kid, no more than ten. Spent the whole day groveling in the mud. "You'll inherit it," I futilely yelled. Disgusting.
At six, Ma came in and asked what I wanted for supper. "Anything but fish," I replied. I knew if I had fish, it would be my last supper. She made fish.
"I knew if I had fish, it would be my last supper."
I can hear a bunch of scribes out scribbling away now. Every once in a while someone will mutter; "He said the meek would inherit the earth...A fisher of men ...Do unto others before, not as you would have them..."
Like I said, the day didn't start off too well, and I don't think it's going to end up any better. Some jerks are out back hammering two pieces of wood together. I should be on that job! We really need a union. Some days, you know.
Susan Packie teaches anthropology at Malcolm-King College, which is located in America's premier anthroplogical site, New York City. She has had her work published in more than 80 magazines.
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