Monday, December 17, 2007

Jesus of Malibu

Saw Jesus heading east on Nebraska Ave. in West L.A. today. He was driving an early model dark sedan--maybe it was a sports car. I'm usually better at recognizing car makes/models--even memorizing license plates. Just a little game I play in case the driver is later accused of committing a crime and I have to give a detailed description to the police ("He was driving a late model SUV--silver-colored with California plates starting with 5WQ..."). OK--so the long-haired dude with the beard and mustache driving towards Century City probably WASN'T Jesus--but it sure looked like him...


Moonlight ripples over the ocean's surface. Two surfers, JAY and CHRIS, early 20s, languidly paddle out. Each nimbly mounts their board and waits for the wave to bring them back to shore.

They cruise the wave. Jay glances over his shoulder at Chris. Chris loses his balance. He falls off his board. Jay laughs.

The board pops up and smacks Chris in the head on its way down. Bubbles and blue-blackness as he descends below the surface.

Jay hops down from his board and paddles back to where Chris wiped out. His board bobs on the ocean's surface--but no sign of Chris anywhere.

Hey man. Cut it out. It's not funny.


Jay jumps off his board and dives into the ocean.

The two vacant boards bob aimlessly for what seems an eternity.

Jay emerges to the surface, gasping for breath. He tows a limp, lifeless Chris as he furiously swims towards shore.


Teresa, early 20s, sits hugging herself again the chill night air. She scans the shoreline--spots Jay and Chris. She rises to her feet as the two men emerge from the ocean. She runs towards Jay who still drags the unconscious Chris.

Oh my God! What...? I told you! I told you it wasn't safe to surf at night!

Jay lays Chris on the ground. He drops to his knees and begins giving Chris mouth-to-mouth.

He's not...Fuck! I can't believe this--You never listen to me! Why--

Jay takes a break to rage at Teresa.

Shut up! Shut the fuck up! You're not helping!

He resumes the mouth-to-mouth frantically. Teresa watches with growing horror. She looks around the beach.

It's deserted.

HELP!!! HELP!!! Somebody--anybody--please help us! Oh, shit...

She drops to her knees next to Jay and Chris and softly cries.

He's turning blue. Oh, God--

A pair of gnarled feet in worn-out flip flops appears next to the trio. Teresa smells him before she sees him. She looks up. The sight is more frightening than the cyanotic Chris laying lifeless on the sand.

The long matted brown hair, the scruffy beard, the piercing black eyes. Torn flannel shirt over stained t-shirt and patched shorts. The homeless man stares as Jay continues to try to revive his friend.

Silently the homeless man kneels next to Jay, who stops to catch his breath. Jay begins to cry.

C'mon, man. Don't do this to me!

Jay moves back in to continue the mouth-to-mouth. The homeless man gently holds him back. He places his leathery hands with their ragged dirty nails on Chris' chest. He stares up at the moon.

Jay and Teresa watch him--holding their breath.

He raises a fist to the sky and brings it down on Chris' chest. Chris' body lurches as if jolted with electricity. He coughs, chokes, spits out water and coughs some more.

Chris opens his eyes and sees the face of the homeless man, a hazy blur illuminated by moonlight.

Jay and Teresa look at Chris, stunned. The homeless man rises.

Jay grabs Chris' face in his hands.

You alright?

Chris nods and coughs some more. Teresa cries and laughs at the same time.

Goddamn it, Chris--you scared the shit out of us. If it hadn't been for--

He looks up at where the homeless man was standing.

No-one is there.

Teresa, Chris and Jay look around them--the man has vanished.

1 comment:

  1. ...and in what may amount to a bizarre case of synchronicity, Jesus of Malibu strikes back in a style equal parts Craig Baldwin and L.A.: