Timothy Gager

What is an atheist doing behind the Wheel?

I killed Christ. I had a vision so I stomped down hard on the accelerator and ran him down. No longer Him, I see the child thrown from his skateboard, broken on the blacktop, hands spread and nailed at the crosswalk. Perhaps it was the Klonopin, the alcohol, or the New Year. Perhaps it was the dissident voices that came out of my cell phone. They mocked me, laughed when the handcuffs clicked.

I waited in jail—and they took my phone and removed my belt. They offered no sheets, nothing to hang myself with because certainly I would, until my attorney arrived. That would be a different hanging. His nostrils flared with each breath, which caused the top of his papers to ruffle. As he did, I analyzed him. If he could be somewhere else away from me he might be the type to defend good folks like OJ or Lindsay Lohan. He could make more money in the real world but instead he defended me. I smiled, I love Lindsay Lohan. “What have you got for me?” he asked. It takes me awhile to answer as I search for all the possibilities of infinity. “I’d like some closure. Do you have a bible? ” My brain was medicated flat out on a foam bed. He just looked at me. “Could you send me to de-tox?”

“We’re pleading guilty,” he announced through a glum smile, clicked his briefcase shut and walked out with what appeared to be a tiny little skip.

Later, the judge said it in my make believe trial, slapped the back of his chair (with no smile) and said, “Supper is waiting for you and you gotta go to it.” The family of Christ cried out in a wail that lasts the next fifteen years. I thought it was grand that God was about forgiveness as the bailiff wrapped his arms around the father, whose legs churned in place as he was held back.


Timothy Gager is the author of seven books of fiction and poetry. He’s been nominated for many awards including five Pushcart Prizes and has won nothing. He lives on www.timothygager.com.