Israel Stories

Monday, March 06, 2006

The King

“Confront all your demons, expel them from your presence, never let them back.” All I asked was ‘which is the quickest way to Agrippas Street’. Still its an original answer though the directions were a little cryptic. “Beware for today is the day of the coming of our lord, he continued”. “So is that left at the lights or right?” I had the feeling that my time would have been better spent asking someone else. But this guy was kind of interesting. Still I have wasted too much time in my life and I wasn’t about to waste another three hours of life chatting to Nathan of Gaza or whoever this guy was.

As I turned to go he shouted, “The day of the lord is nigh, loosen your belt, unbutton your shirt, lay bare your head and prostrate yourself so he may walk upon your back.” Tempted as I was to say its sounds like a Thai massage, logic clicked in, and rather than incur the wrath of this prophet and get my head kicked in I remained silent as I walked away.

I’d almost forgotten about this man (in Israel with all the ‘colorful characters its quite easy) then last week as I was walking in the Old City and there he was, but instead of rags he was wearing a white toga and strumming a small harp. “King David is here, so fear not, for I shalt fight thy battles with the spirit of the lord and my army of seraphim and cherabim.”

Now I know all about the Jerusalem Syndrome, this overwhelming need for sane and insane alike to become biblical characters. Go to the Old City on any given day and you will be confronted with a least two Messiahs (one of them must be wrong), a King David and a Jeremiah.

“Minister, minister, care for your children, order them not into damnation so they may eliminate those who may trespass against you”. An American tourist standing next to me said “that kid sure knows his bible.” “Actually,” I said in a pompous sort of way, “Its Marillion!” “Is that an Old or New Testament book?” “Erm, try 80’s rock band who sold out to commercialism after there lead singer, Fish, left.” He just stared at me. Look, I thought, he’s the nutter not me.

“Do you realize, tell me do you realize, this world is totally….” “Fugazi”, I shouted. King David looked at me. It was a very despondent; you’ve taken everything away from me, look. “You like Marillion to?” “I’m sorry, but if you want to get your message across, try your own words, not some Scottish poet called Fish.”

“Of course youre right, but the words are so powerful and instill this feeling of dread and awe I me.” “So when you hear Marillion singing ‘Lavender blue dilly dilly lavender green’ you feel the yolk of the kingdom of heaven?” He looked at me. Maybe I pushed him too far, maybe I was a bit out of order, maybe my tolerance levels just gave in, but the look he gave me was as black as a swarm of locusts. As I waited for the hail, frogs and ground to open he said, “You know the redemption is coming”, and wondered off singing Kayleigh.


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