Easter, Palestine, Anno 33
Take two lengths of wood
Three big strong nails
A hole in the ground
A garrison of rowdy soldiers
A victim in a crown of thorns
A spear and a sponge dipped in vinegar
An indifferent audience
3 pm Good Friday
Nail the victim to the cross
Thunder and Lightning
Stroll down the hill for a caffe Latte
Easter, Moresford, Anno 2020
A Passion Play
From miles around, this Easter in our empty town we dream of the Easters past when many foreigners would arrive to take over the entire town. They came from close and afar to gaze upon the phenomenon of a town rising ever higher out of the forest on the back of the floating tourist dollar. The dollar of carelessness. This Dollar-Land where nothing is stable. This Dollar-Land which rises and falls, rises and falls. This dollar-land which finally got tripped up by a mysterious and invisible virus.
Once arrived, the fat pursed foreign folk used to emerge from their air-conditioned machinery. They emerged accompanied by their nervous city energy, their need for haste, their need to get things done in a hurry. But first have a cuppochino, cuppashina, cupofchina, anyway something brown, fashionable and frothy.
Now hyped up, confused with relaxation massages, doped on herbal remedies, but still filled with mortgage anxiety, road rage and a general feeling of city anger, the invaders look for a likely victim to vent some spleen. Any spleen.
What about the annoying kids in the back seat? What about the guy who just grabbed that parking spot? What about the waiter? Yes, the waiter.
Choir: “Let’s get the waiter. Let’s get the waiter”
Take one waiter.
An Easter victim.
Plenty to choose from.
One with long hair.
Dressed in white.
Peaceful and inoffensive.
Stash him in the car with the two lengths of wood plus some nails.
If you want to travel along with this story it would be good if we could meet well before 3pm at the P.O. just down from that road littered with churches.
Now it is time for that promised 4WD rush of adrenalin by finally having the opportunity of driving that beast of a car into the forest looking for a hill.
Fat wheels slurp and suck mud, fat wheels stir and rouse quiet forest dust. It’s good, its strong and its peaceful in the soundproof cabin. A sense of country, a sense of well being.
While here in the main street it’s cold, it’s unprotected, there is no shelter, but there is music. Plenty of music. The music of unending lines of cars looking for a park. The music of an endless line of coins jumping into registers singing happy tunes of cash, symphonies of bank cards, concertos of coins and beautifully performed chamber music of folding and unfolding paper money.
Yet, with all the music it’s still cold and miserable,
especially for the ordinary mums and dads from the city, out for the day to the promise of Moresford. (They obviously forgot to read the fine print: Bring heaps of warm clothing and stacks of cash.) Mums and Dads with families, those in small cars on average incomes, those who can’t afford the designer meals.
(Miniscule, artistically arranged, amounts of food on building block size plates with real estate prices).
There used to be many of those people. Where do they sit, where do they hide from that ice cold Easter wind whipping them along. In this forest town’s mainstreet where there isn’t a tree in sight. In a town famed for its water, where there isn’t a free drink of water available.
In this atmosphere the sugarmarket seemed a likely option. Warm, out of the wind and only moderately expensive and boring. But no seats, no coffee, no loo.
The few street seats available are occupied. A family of four sits huddled around an open paper parcel of steaming fish and chips. Another family group just down the road perch on another such convenient and wind blow seating arrangement nibbling cold hot cross buns. The cold wind howls. Where do we go now?
Pssst. Hey you. If you are lucky and in time, you will be able to watch the invaders nail another long haired hippy to a cross. It will happen at precisely three p.m. Good Friday. Did you forget? As a reminder, the event used to be accompanied by thunder and lighting and the continued hiss of coffee machines.