"Getting Drunk at the Last Supper" - Elsa Russo

"Getting Drunk at the Last Supper"-  Elsa Russo

Imagine, we are time travelers
Sent to the upper room where the last supper is held
Invisible to everyone but the son of God
But he’s not really paying attention to us
Because he’s holding Judas’s hand tightly under the table
Trying to reassure him of what he will have to do

“I’m gonna buy you fuckers one last round
And then shit’s going to get real around here” he says

Of course they didn’t get it
He gave thanks
And passed out the wine and bread
Muttering some shit about
My body… my blood…

So does this make us all vampires?
We laugh
He doesn’t
We get drunk
He doesn’t

Like a general about to head alone into one last charge
He doesn’t want them to know where he’s headed
And they don’t want to know either
He tells them anyway
And they still don’t believe him

Judas leaves
We head out into the garden for some fresh air
Everyone falls asleep
And I wander forward in my drunken stupor
As the hands of those from every time
Try to stop me from saying something stupid

Too late

“Tell me one thing Rabbi,” I say
Surprised that I’m able to speak in full sentences at this moment
“You knew that this was it, that this was the end
You knew that everything from this moment forward was going to be hell
But you didn’t let them know
You didn’t make it clear
You let them drink, you let them eat
You said what would happen
But none of them believed you
And you knew it too
So, why did you let them all get drunk?”

“I couldn’t deny them a last hurrah,” he said.
“I couldn’t let them walk into this
Without one last moment
One last inch of happiness to hang onto
So I got them drunk
And I told them what would happen
But they’re too happy to believe it right now
It’s for the best.”

“Don’t you think you’re cheating them
They don’t know what’s to come.”
He looks at me with the eyes
That drove the money changers out of the temple with a bull whip
It’s at that moment that I remember
When saying, what would Jesus do?
Always remember that flipping tables and losing your shit
Is a viable option

“Tell me about the last time you were with those friends you drank with
The ones who made you into the adult that you are now
Remember how you didn’t tell them why you were leaving?
And tell me you don’t think of that night when you feel the worst
Then tell me I’m cheating them
By letting them have one last night
When I know that this will keep them warm on cold nights
That this night will live on in their minds if nothing else will
It’s a life line
A moment in time to hold onto
Even for him.”

He nods over my shoulder
I don’t have to look to know that Judas is standing there

I walk past him onto wood boards
Towards a copper bar
I take a drink from my favorite bartender
The one with the red hair and devastating blue eyes
“Last call for sin and debauchery,” he says
“Last call before all the world falls down around us
“Last call for your lost twenties.
“Last call, for alcohol, so what you need?”

“Just this,” I reply, turning back to face the room
And I raise my glass to them
To the soldiers grinning through blood and grime
To the intellectuals and their late night debates
To the in betweens, never to be defined
To the women with the keys to the store houses
To the bad ass bitches that brought men to their knees
To the children we were
To the men and women we are
I salute them all as they raise their glasses, tap the bar, and take the drink down
This night has to last me
I walk to the door, trading hugs and kisses
Tug the beard on a laughing warrior
Kiss the breath out of a goddess
And kneel at the feet of the old saints
This is my last call

One last time
Drink your drink
Sing your song
Hold this night close to your heart
For times it gets cold and dark
Even the apostles got a last call
And this one was mine

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