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Life Arts

Jesus, the Joker, and Dead Guy Ashtray

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"Thanks." I took the token. A couple weeks back, I remembered cops chasing some car into the river. They found the guy floating a few days later. Thanks to Rob, I now had Dead Guy's ashtray as a souvenir.

"I'll put it with the other stuff." I looked at the marine compass, brass fittings, patron photos, and clustered memorabilia.

"Maybe sell Jesus on EBay," he said,

"Sacrilegious seaweed." I rotated the pocketed Messiah.

Rob shrugged. Pretty soon, I knew, he would finish his coffee, drive to the bridge, and hang with Starz's dog for the night.

Whether Jesus' likeness was a miracle, or portal to the apocalypse, I do not know. Maybe "Sweet Jesus" was Dead Guy's last words as he slipped into the turgid drink. Maybe that is enough to save your soul. But somehow, I doubt it. Inflection probably plays a part. One thing I do know, if the cops are on your tail, and you are flying over a guardrail, it does not matter if you are Starz's Joker or Rob's Dead Guy; no one escapes judgment. Some are cursed on the silver screen; some end up with an ashtray for a shrine.
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A few days later, Rob brought me Dead Guy's lug wrench. Then his cigarette lighter. He said someone left a pile of flowers under the bridge.


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Conceived on west coast,born on east coast,returned to northwest spawning grounds. Never far from water. Degree in biology, minor: socio/psychology. Nature-oriented. Building trades,marine carpentry, Army Veteran, ex-social worker, ex-tavern (more...)

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