play-THE HOLY HOOKER by Robert Patrick

ROBERT PATRICK READS this on YouTube HERE.

THE HOLY HOOKER

by Mary Magdalene

as told to Robert Patrick

c1976
Robert Patrick
1837 N. Alexandria Ave.
#211
L.A. CA 90027
(323) 360-1469
e-mail: rbrtptrck@aol.com
IM: rbrtptrck

Okay. All right. I wanna talk about it. I was Christ’s girl. He was my fella. Well, who wasn’t? I worked the Fertile Crescent in between the Testaments. I knew potentates and prophets, centurions and saints, Pharisees and Sadducees, and I wanna tell you, Old Capital-”H”-He was as sweet a kid as ever kept a girl up all night talkin’. Him talkin’, not me. I ain’t talked ’til now.

I was a cute kid from Gehenna. Mom and Dad were nothin’ to write home about. I wasn’t in His league in that department, but then I didn’t have His press-agents. And I’m alive today, so what does that tell you about this game? I learned the facts of life in the streets, and they were no surprise. I’d figured as much. The old man didn’t cotton to my acquaintances among the Arab caravanners or the Roman Legionnaires, so I skedaddled to Joppa as soon as I filled out. Wended my way with a Circassian slave dealer, a smoky blonde with porcelain skin. A blow to him when we got to Joppa and he found out that beautiful blonde Circassians went on the slave-block automatically. Don’t we all? On my own at eleven, made my only mistake in a lifetime fraught with chances: I listened to a Phoenician cooch-choreographer on one night of free-flowing grape juice, and agreed to meet him in Jerusalem for a fling at the movies. Got there. Found out the movies hadn’t been invented yet. Irked my ass. But I learned.

So I was in Jerusalem, workin’ both sides of The Street Called Straight. I was makin’ notches through the Sanhedrin, also spreadin’ good will among tourists, and sendin’ lots of Roman soldiers off to conquest happy, too. I reserve the right to render service to anyone, regardless. Things weren’t as segregated as they look in the history books. When your era goes between hard covers, they’ll classify you-all by religion, too. I mean, Nixon was not quintessentially Quaker, get my meanin’? The boys in Jerusalem were like boys all over, except for that world-famed cosmetic surgery you-know-where. It don’t affect performance, even if it does make ‘em feel like they gotta overcompensate, but then country boys always do. Like I used to say to Veronica, “They’re all alike, only some of ‘em are more alike than others.” Veronica thought I was a brain. That’s what makes you one. I used to invest some of her gelt for her. She’s retired now, owns groves. Owes me everything. Who doesn’t? Which brings us to John the Baptist. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

J. the B. was kinky for a kid, but cute. Where do they get the self-flayin’ and bug-eatin’? It pops up in those tall, knotty, hot-eyed types. Somethin’ they read? I backed a couple of his first gigs and took back nothin’ but my principle and ten-per. Could have copped expenses and tech-adviser fees, too, but Mary the Mag plays straight. John drew like Lions and Christians put together. Kind of like your Gary Cooper in a couple of my old fox muffs. He used to dress up like that when he’d visit my tent, and I talked him into tryin’ it in public. The in-crowd giggled, but the rubes, Zowie! He’d stand where the North light hit him, work up tears, and give ‘em saliva and salvation with those weird glowin’ eyes. I think his pancreas was fucked. Locust-eater, you know. Luke the Physician agreed with me. On everything. John the B. was his own worst friend. Had a complex inferiority. We spent some spare time together, horizontally, and the faster he’d go, the louder he’d yell, “I am unworthy, you deserve better, I’m dirt!” Sometimes I’d soften and give ‘ im a flash o’ the lash and a gouge with the stiletto heels and he’d feel better about things. He was a set up for Old Capital “H’s” press-corps. They knew they had a class act in Jesu and they wanted to get him introduced to the crowd by someone with garbo (Spanish for “style”), and here was John, packin’ in the populace and moanin’ how he wasn’t worthy…! I didn’t see it comin’, to tell you the truth (And that’s what I’m here for.).

J.C. started hauntin’ John’s crowd. It was like James Dean studyin’ Brando, dig? Or Donovan suckin’ up to Dylan. I don’t say they had anything actual goin’, J.C. and John, but performers are mostly twin-gaited and John had this aura of bondage-and-discipline. He saw this saintly kid in blue-white (Hell to keep clean in Palestine) and he took Him in. Or Jesus took him in, have it your way. I don’t think J.C. was consciously hustlin’ John. He was just an ambitious kid with a top dodge, achin’ to get out of Galilee, and the top attraction on the salvation circuit was woo-woo over Him. I’d have taken advantage myself. It was those disciples made it all shmarmy. Imagine twelve Harvey Levins. John would be standing up on an evocative outcropping of primeval sandstone in the last roseate rays of a Mediterranean sunset (like I taught him to), wailin’ sweet and wild how there was One to come after him (The Messiah bit was his big wind-up), and this whole apostle lot were circulatin’ amongst the suckers sayin’ as how the One was Jesus, Jesus was the Man, Number Two with a Bullet, sure to cop all Best New-comer Awards. Quel racket it is, really, huh? I would have retired Old John with a solid annuity and waited ’til the right time to issue his Golden Hits, if that Goddamned Salome hadn’t happened along.

I hate two things in this world: sheriffs who don’t stay bought, and rich amateurs. Salome came home from school in Rome, my dear, overdoin’ the “I must elevate my people” shtick. She had everything: money, position, looks (expensive groomin’, actually), palanquins, a hymen, and a fashion sense that denuded every ostrich for a decade. Effective, I grant you, but on that budget, I could have brought back the Matriarchy. And Princess S. Never had to go on her back to get anyone on her side. (Stuff it, Mary Magdalene; on with the story, M.M.) She came palanquinnin’ by one of John’s matinees and caught him killin’ the tribes. I guess she was bored by her initial hit. Your hometown’s a come-down after you’ve seen the Coliseum. And she was limited. Her Mom and Step-Dad must have drawn some sharp lines for her about mingling blood-lines with the Roman Devils (All Herod and Herodias had to offer was racial purity), so Sal had faced the fact that in Judea she could look forward to nothin’ much more than a State Marriage with some climber from the Sanhedrin. I feel for her (Under the stove with a broom I feel for her; stop that, Mary!). So here she tumbles onto some local circumcised talent with Class-A vibrations. Her platinum-mesh veils blew back (I think she controlled ‘em on strings), and John caught just one fast shot of rubies and boobies. I was at the show that day, countin’ the take and judgin’ the laughs in some new material, and for the first time I heard John-Boy lose his place. Oh, he was prime pro, he got ‘em back with some Elijah-and-Apocalypse, but I saw where he was starin’, and so did twelve little men. John was fit to be tied. And whipped. And stuck with pins through his nipples. But nothin’ I did helped. When he started cancellin’ late shows on full-moon nights, I knew where to look for him; in a certain Palace parvis. The apostles were hot. They’d tried for an intro for their Boy to Sal, but nada doin’. They caught John off-guard enough to get him to pull a big Baptism Special with Jesus, featurin’ special dialogue by that shit-eatin’ Simon-Called-Peter (Never trust a boy that changes the family name). Then the rest of ‘em, dotted in the mob, cried out how they saw the Holy Spirit descend, and how J.C. was the Entertainment Event they’d waited for, and as it eventuated the papers that day were lookin’ for filler material, and . . . J.C. started goin’ on for the shows John blew. Well-managed, I admit it. Well, I saw the writin’ on the wall (That’s where I learned to read) and was gonna talk retirement to my client, but I hadn’t reckoned on true love. You can understand why.

I don’t know what upper-class chicks mix in their lip-rouge, but it hit J. the B. like DMT in the eyeball. Whatever twaddle she was givin’ John (and that’s all she was givin’ I’ll lay ya 1-to-1) he took mainline to the heart. She said nobody understood her (with that finishin’ school lisp, I’m not surprised) and her home was stiflin’ and Step-Daddy looked at her, and next thing we knew, Step-Dad was bein’ laid to filth by J., who was bein’ no court-poet to Little Missy’s Mammy, too. You can’t mix showbiz and politics; they’re too much alike. I tried to talk tour, get him on the road. He’d blown it in the Big Pomegranate, but the sticks were clawin’ for him. Oh, our crowds were still record, but the take grew daily less. Half was comps, now, spies and columnists, as John waxed wrother about Uncleanliness in the Palace. Herod was already unpopular, as only the last in a long line of ass-kissin’ genocidal sell-outs can be; Herodias had nothin’ but her fictional dignity; bein’ called Satanist adulterers didn’t help their image. Sal just saw her name in the papers and so what? Rich kids think Daddy can buy off anything. The upshot was Herod invited John and Sal to do an act at the Palace (She danced, it says here). I tried to talk to the turkey, but come twilight he followed the mimosa-fumes to the Big House. Last I saw him. Broke my heart. He left the till behind. I put it in a strongbox in Caesarea in his name, minus my movin’ expenses, and found an excuse to remove me to the seashore.

The papers in Caesarea had banner headlines, how Herod bumped off John, and Salome (quote) killed herself in love’s despite (end quote). Havin’ a special device that reads between lines, I cooled it in Caesarea with some sympathetic sandalwood factors and wound up at a bash of Pontius Pilate’s. His wife was with him, but there are glances that make heliography look slow, so I got it all together next day just in time to accept an impromptu invite that arrived on a silver salver, weighted down by several star sapphires and King Herod’s favorite opal. (Ever since then, I think of Caesarea as the “Big Opal.”) Well, 0l′ P. Pilate and I whiled away some memorable temps perdu while Mrs. P. busied herself writing dream-books. I’m not one to kiss and tell, so I won’t tell you about the kissin’.

Pontius had already had six years in the Holy Land and was ready to give it back to Baal when I came along and re-kindled his interest in my hot-blooded, paradoxical, ever-restless people. The whole Herod-Salome-John brouhaha had reached Rome and brought down on Pontius the one thing he dreaded most – paperwork – so he’d sternly warned Herod to cool everything. Therefore, things were calm in Palestine outside of a certain seaside villa, and I greatly fear I got a little bit out of touch. Like I often say, it’s just as easy to fall for the well-set-up agent of a world power through whose hands half the world’s taxes trickle, as it is to bob for dropped olives in a cow-pasture. I don’t really say it all that often. If you’re listenin’ with anything between your ears, once is enough.

About a year-and-a-laugh later, Tiberius (Whom I never really met), ordered Pilate and retinue to La Jeru to handle the Passover crowds. I needed some new undies, anyway. Somebody was always swipin’ ‘em and hangin’ ‘em on Caesar’s bust at the Embassy (He was like a little boy), so I trundled up to the Focus of All Faiths a respectful league behind my Procurator. I can be kittenish when I know all the bills are paid, so P.P. and I kept billets-doux scootin’ to-and-fro on the wings of trained doves. His replies were a little slow because the dear little dappled darlin’s had to drag beck strings of pearls and dishes of cut diamonds (a new item at the time). I leased a comparative hovel just a secret tunnel away from the Official Residence and made a distinct contribution to welfare by hirin’ about five hundred hunky Hebrews to redecorate it. I’m tryin’ to say I was busy. No time to read the papers. When everything and everybody was bronzed and burnished, I held a press conference just so I could tell the scribes I didn’t want any publicity (They’re your best friends). They loved their party-favors (none of whom was underage), and when they’d finished lovin’ ‘em, I joined the party. I was still baskin’ in the applause for my entrance (the elephant, of course, was rented) when one of the press-corps held up this five-star headline with a three-word phrase about me and asked me how did I like them opals?

Well, at first I didn’t understand exactly what it was I was bein’ called; I’ve never been near Babylon and that other word is one whose meaning I do not know. Then my eyes uncrossed (never lose your cool in front of scribes; they’d sell your giblets), and I saw Who was supposed to have said it about me. Well, I gagged, I really did. I gave Him His first chance – or He foxed it from me, it amounts to the same thing – and here He was makin’ pronouncements about Scarlet Women, and me a dyed-in-the-damask conservative. I said somethin’ about Pontius and me bein’ just good friends, accidentally pulled a lever which dropped the entire press-corps into a pool full of kosher gin, and went off to my bed-wing to peruse the late editions. Was I aced! Apparently the Kid had not only got to be hot news, but was in fact the very disturbance P.P. had been sent in to settle. I only skimmed the reviews of His number – positive thinkin’, guaranteed eternal wages, kingdom at hand, all Golden Oldies – but this cat had set Himself up as King of the Jerews. and – get this for unsub-divided gall – Heir Apparent and Incontestable for the Throne of Heaven Itself. Okay, blasphemy and treason are matters of individual taste, I grant you, but on top of that, He had libeled me as eight kinds of offal, none of ‘em nice. I turned to my trusty eunuchs (yeah, as far as I can throw ‘em) and said, and I quote, “Get out the gold lame number I was savin’for Saturnalia, Big Ass. Mama has got to go fight for her reputation in the streets.” Where I got it in the first place.

You won’t find it in the Scriptures (unless some big-mouth Dead Sea Gnostic came un-bribed), but there has not since Moses met Monotheism been an encounter like the day I went lookin’ for Emmanuel (never trust a boy that changes his name). I did everything to attract attention but set off Roman candles – this bein’ a local dispute. They say His entrance into Jerusalem was a fair-sized show? Well I had laborers layin’ pavement before me, trumpeters dressed as satyrs and centaurs, two hundred girls from an establishment where I’m on the Board of Directors bangin’ sistrums and timbrels, plus the Livin’ Waters, balloons for the kids, smoke curtains, trick-flyin’ flamingoes, and, just for the hell of it, formation-marchin’ giraffes. I myself was on a mastodon’s back (you could still get a mastodon in those days if you didn’t ask any questions), in a gilded cage, flingin’ baksheesh like birdseed to the holiday hordes! Cost a mint. Wrote it off as p.r. I just wanted to show capital-h-Him that “I” starts with a capital letter too! I circled around the byways for hours, and fun’s fun, but I was gettin’ raw on the roost from my platinum perch and wonderin’ if I hadn’t scared a certain slanderer into the Mountains of Moab (I’ll pit a showman against a shaman anytime), when suddenly, right in the Street Called Straight (I’m just reportin’) the whole parade jerks to a halt, and everybody, giraffes included, kneels – and there ahead of me is a Certain Notable Historical Personage and His Tabernacle Ten Plus Two. The whole megillah parts, no less, so He can make His way to Me on my swingin’ seat, and I saw I was up against Somethin’ Special.

Cool I don’t lose for long. He was wearin’ lifts, and his flunkies were grovelin’ low, so I looked from His little men to Him and said; “Well, who have we here, Snow White?” He gave them a glare and growled, “Get lost.” All the extras split. Giraffes, tourists, the lot. A couple of disciples tried to stick, but He withered a fig tree, meanin’ business, and there was some fast and fancy skulkin’. I just perched, freshenin’ my make-up, and let Him take a long, slow look, He was good, I don’t deny. Ankled around my mastodon, checked my rig, nodded slowly whilst calculatin’ my clout, and then said, real limpid-like, “Woman, come down.’ I want to talk to you,” Grantin’ Him nothin’, I said, “You want to talk to me? What do you think I am, Saint Francis of Assisi?” He burned a bit and said, “This is your idea of sneakin’ into town?” “Who does your hair?” I countered. “Look,” he said, “This is doin’ neither of us any good. Why not climb down from that beast and we’ll have us a claque over a cooling drink?” “Don’t mind if I do,” says I, real nancy-like, and gave Him some legshow and je ne sais qua as I slithered down the dumb animal. He gave a girl not one bit of help down the steps, keen and cool, He. Taverns in Judea had no doors, thank God, ’cause we would have stood there ’til the Second Comin’ if I’d waited for Him to open it for me. The host pulled out a chair for me, we sat ourselves down, told the lackey to leave the bottle and go kiss his mezuzah, and got down to business.

“Girl,” said God’s plenipotentiary over a soothin’ liqueur , “I do not want by any means to queer your pitch, but as you have glimmed, I am a public figure and therefore besieged for statements on all affairs of note. You rank. As it happens, one of my stable issued a statement on yourself without my initials. However, in the interests of corporate solidarity, I have got to stand by said release. I hope you see my side.” “Fella,” I ripostes, “I have never fouled a fellow artiste, havin’ been, you may recall, no small bananas in John’s boost up the ladder. I mean, hits are good for everyone. But I am now a private person with a small neighborhood business, in no mood for a scarlet limelight.” “What are bananas?” He asked. I could see He was still a basically small-town kid with a large talent, bein’ manipulated by a crass commercial combine. “Little yellow fruits from Asia,” I elucidated, “Ain’t you traveled, Honey?” “Mine has been a strange life,” He began. Well, I am now and I have always been a woman, and if they were namin’ a holiday for me, they’d have to call it Pushover. That kid’s story squeezed the Drambuie out of my heart. Illegitimate, always an outcast, no peer-group ’cause all the others His age had got it In the Slaughter of the Innocents – wretched, y’know? Talented as all get-out, just findin’ Himself, then this syndicate moves in, gets Him to sign a lot of stuff He don’t understand, He still thinks they’re His friends. I sneaked a look at Him through the bottom of a snifter. Looks, charm, star-quality, He had it. Kind of Monty Clift but taller. In the right hands, could be a classic; the right release dates, steer clear of politics, and sixty years later He could still be wheeled out for specials: “Spend Passover with a Palestinian Tradition,” that sort of thing. But the way these Apostle-types were shufflin’ and dealin’ Him, it was strictly a couple of seasons for a couple of shekels, a tragic end, and then out of the bins to make way for the next novelty. I arranged a little meeting that night with Him and Company. I’d been hors de la Biz for too long, and I ached for a project. Plus,- I ain’t denyin’ it, He had somethin’. Call it – me.

A note from P.P. at the villa: “Councils all day; councils all night. Clairvoya getting suspicious. Lots of fright-wig ambassadors tomorrow. Forgive me, my peahen. Here’s a nest-egg.” Sent the nest-egg to a numbered nest in Nunnaya-business, and started huntin’ for a little somethin’ to slip into for the confab. While I was bendin’ over, I happened to see my horoscope on the floor, so I expected the dirk that came whizzin’ through the window, passed over me, and buried itself in a slave I was wary of anyway, and the note on it that said, “Here’s what we do to talent-rustlers in the Big Time,” and the twelve sets of prints my Chum of Police dusted off the dagger.

I sprayed my wardrobe trunk as a precaution, shook some dead asps out of my go-for-the-throat lame, and got into my warpaint. And my after-the-fall wedgies.

I got there early so’s I could check out each apostle as he slithered in. Peter was a dud, shrewd on a con but otherwise sludge. When Jesus would say, “My Kingdom is coming,” Peter would duck. John-the-Beloved was their liaison with the gay press. Did J’s outfits, and not bad, but out of his depth in management. Andrew was the real brains, or the nearest thing to it. He’d been on my staff when I handled John the B., and his whole style was just a pale copy of mine. He blushed when he saw me, and I should think so. He must have been a double agent all along. He sneered around a cigar okay, but he was all ivy and no wall when it came to legal-trainin’. When I saw what they’d made my Baby sign, I retched. Wouldn’t have stood up in any court in what is now Christendom. Judas was sicko-psycho, coilin’ in corners, playin’ mind-games with fellas who had no pieces to play with. Kind of a paranoid you can always tell what they’re up to, ’cause they accuse everybody else of it. I felt reins in my hands. I had picked up contract law with my first case of clap, so me and Andrew got down to the needy-greedy right off. Poor J.C. – who could sway multitudes with the right script – was a lamb before the law. He just sat there lookin’ baffled while I re-wove clauses and codicils. I had worked out a deferred-salary deal for Him that would keep Him from flingin’ it to charity fast as He got it, and still leave plenty for the vipers to cut each other’s throats for. I was writin’ myself in as Artist-and-Repertory Manager when J.C. starts gaggin’ behind me and I turn in time to catch that flitty John hidin’ a little packet of white powder in his cleavage. J.C.’s cup was runnethin’ over and His eyes were rollin’ like dice. “Whee, Wheeeee, wheeeeeeeeeee,” He shrieked. “I’m the Son of God and guess who’s forgiven and who’s not!” The owner of the place turned alabaster, dropped a bowl of bitter herbs, and ran out crying, “Druggies! Sickies! Police!” John tried to tiptoe into the Garden, but I grabbed him by the hem and wrestled the little glassine packette from him. One sniff and I was livid – and small wonder. “So this is how you coerced Him into that joke you call a contract,” I screamed. Andrew swallowed his mouth. I’d stumbled on the truth. J.C. was dancin’ on the table, flingin’ matzoh shrapnel at us. Judas ran out, cawin’ “Betrayal, betrayal, you’re gonna turn me in to the police!” We weighted J.C. down with some cold compresses and I sent Matthew down to Luke the Physician for some niacinamide. But then twenty guys in uniform ran in whom I knew very well out of uniform. The landlord and Judas were with ‘em, pointin’ at shadows and chandeliers and yellin’ “That’s the one! Arrest him.” The Chief saw me and said, “Mary, haul ass out of here; this is a bust!” There was J.C. with a menorah on His head, John in a corner with his mascara running, Andrew shredding papers, and the others pelting each other with pillows. Outside I could hear shields rattlin’. Well, you fiddle with fate, dear, I got a tin ear. J.C. was beyond help, anyway, crawlin’ down the table mutterin’ “Zap! You’re a loaf. Zap! You’re a fishes!” I gathered up my gold lame and got.

Well, the rest you know, at least in that hyped-up version those four clabbermouths put out (Turned out they had a solid deal on book rights). Worms that they were, when their Meal-Ticket got punched on a molehill-in-the-desert called Golgotha, they turned saintly and set up a lot of competitive cults as Gurus, Perfect Teachers, and whatnots. Then they all got aced by a piece of strictly talk-show talent named Saul, or Paul (I told you about boys that change their name?)

I had all I could do to pour oil on P. P.’s troubled waters. My initials were cleared, of course, when it came out that those dreadful accusations had come from a gay dope ring. P.P. and I stuck it out in Palestine for a few more years, and then headed back to Rome, under Caligula, no less. I could tell a few stories about Her that would curl your hair! By the by, honey, who does? You could take them to court!

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

 

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3 Responses to “play-THE HOLY HOOKER by Robert Patrick”

  1. ROBERT PATRICK BIO by Wendell Stone « Quit Says:

    [...] [...]

  2. RESUME/Links to Online Works « Robert Patrick's Personal Blog Says:

    [...] THE HOLY HOOKER (Comic Monologue for Mary Magdalene)http://robertpatrickpersonal.wordpress.com/2009/09/24/play-theholy-hooker-by-robert-patrick/> [...]

  3. ONLINE VIDEOS, SCRIPTS, SCREENPLAYS, AND SLIDEHOWAS « Quit Says:

    [...] THE HOLY HOOKER (Comic Monologue for Mary Magdalene)http://robertpatrickpersonal.wordpress.com/2009/09/24/play-theholy-hooker-by-robert-patrick/> [...]

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