Friday night I threw a party for my rocket scientist friend, Chelsey, because Pluto.
TANGENT! This party was conceived many years ago, on the back patio of Conor’s, as Chelsey was telling a group of us how her grad student group built the Student Dust Collector instrument aboard New Horizons, the satellite that just reached Pluto.
“It arrives in 2016,” she said.
Allison looked at her watch. “That’s in 40 minutes! Let’s get more drinks!”
“Not 8:16 in military time. The year 2016.”
“Oh, right,” said Allison. “Uh, let’s get more drinks!”
SECOND TANGENT! I recommend a penis cake pan for anyone interested in making rocket ship cakes, lighthouse cakes, or first birthday cakes.
Anyhoo, to make a long story endless, Saturday morning while I was cleaning, I discovered a present in the living room. Inside the blue gift bag was a painting of an extremely hot bearded man, his lips slightly parted in a smile, his tanned brow unfettered by stress and framed with short bangs, his sharp, straight features playing against tousled, sun-kissed surfer hair, his brown eyes staring out at me with a “come hither” look. There was no card to identify the gift-giver.
I hung it in the bathroom, next to another recent art acquisition: a nekkid bearded man, sitting in a large barrel taking a bath, smoking a cigar and reaching for a bottle of whiskey. (Yes, I do have a keen eye.)
I posted the picture on Facebook thanking the mystery gift-giver and refusing to return it, had it been left behind accidentally. This set off a tsunami of replies, many insisting the picture was of Jesus.
“Jesus was an Arab,” I argued. “He was from the Middle East. Our man here is a whitey, and looks like he hails from an underpass in Southern California.”
Actual Jesus would look more like Trey on “The Californians” than Doctor Greg. “I’m going to call him Stewart and ask him for directions to the 405 everyday,” I said.
Kris didn’t care; she was going to call him Malibu Jesus.
I went into the bathroom and studied the picture again. No thorns, no cross, no halo. And while there was a whisper of white, rumpled cloth around the neck, it looked more like a battered O.P. sweatshirt, than the robes of our dear Lord and savior.
The Facebook replies continued to roll in, and the fight over his identity raged on. Was he Bodhi from “Point Break?” Andre Agassi? Brody Jenner? Could this be a police sketch of an errant Frisbee-golfer, or the Trivago dude earning extra cash as a model for community college arts programs?
And then I discovered the truth. Malibu Jesus had been snuck in as a prank, as he’d been for years, shifting from one household to another during the melee of parties, left behind for the person cleaning the next day.
He’s a sexy beacon of hope and art criticism in the midst of discarded beer bottles and rocket ship cake crumbs, and I love him.