“Why do you refuse to let me talk
to you about our Savior, Jesus Christ?
I called you yesterday—you couldn’t talk.
I dropped by Saturday, and there was talk
about your calling the police! Relent.
We need to have a tête-à-tête, to talk
about the Nazarene. Yes, really talk!
Salvation may be hanging in the balance,
yours and mine—in fact the balance
of humanity’s. We gotta talk.
Hello? You listening? Hello? Hello!
Pick up! I know you’re there. Hello! Hello!?!”
“(Oh, Jesus Christ, it’s him again) Hello.
Hey! Jim! You know how much I love to talk
to you about my soul, but, um, …He-llo—oh!,
It’s 3 a.m.! Yeah! So, how about: ‘Hello,
Police? Some freakin’ Anorak for Christ
is stalking me. He wears a goddam Hello
Kitty sweatshirt.’ Ya like that Jim? Hello-o!
You listening? It’s you who must relent,
my friend. Repent! But most of all,… relent.
You’re making life a living Hell. Oh,
that’s OK, right? Mr. Perfect Balance
of the mind and soul? I like what you call balance!”
“It’s apropos that you should mention balance,
Geoffrey. Good and bad. Goodbye, hello—
well, doesn’t daily life suggest a balance
we maintain on earth? We balance
time and money. And we like to talk
about the time and money that we balance
in the act of giving. It’s the balance
that we owe our dear lord Jesus Christ
that matters, Geoffrey. For we know that Christ
performed a high wire act on earth. His balance
bar ensured he’d neither falter nor relent.
That polished rod of aspen, Geoffrey, lent
him ballast and a righteous staff. Relent
and pray with me. O, everything is balance.”
“But Jimmy, I gave balance up for Lent.
That’s right! I find it quite irrelevant.
Come back next Saturday and say hello.
I’ll gladly show you how I do ‘relent.’
And ‘balance’ too!” “I’ve lent an ear. Re-lent
it. But I haven’t had a chance to talk.
I’ve suffered all of your abusive talk
and prayed in silence that you might relent
and let me get a word in edgewise: Christ!
The Word. The light! Our savior Jesus Christ.”
“You really want to lecture me on Christ?
OK. I’m wide awake. And I relent.
Your dime. You called me at the crack of Christ
to tell me something I don’t know, so: Christ.
I hope this doesn’t throw you too off balance,
pal, but I’m all ears. Well… gimme Christ
the way I never had him. Show me Christ
with bells and whistles. Talk to me. Hello?
Hey Jim! It’s Christ-O-Rama time. Hello?
Ya with me Jim? Good morning! (…Jesus Christ)
I thought that balance crap was crazy talk.
I hear you breathing, motherfucker. Talk!”
“Perhaps it’s better, Geoffrey, if you talk
to the police. And tell them that I said ‘Hello,’ ”
“What is that supposed to mean?” “Find balance,
Geoffrey. Somewhere in this virulent
exchange let Judas put the screws to Christ.”