And Jesus went into the field where the rye was growing, and Dennis did follow Jesus, and though Dennis had to tarry to keep apace, Jesus said it was still too close, and said, Dennis, why are you always with me like a shadow when even my own brother is not with me like this? and said, I go to you Dennis as a man goes to a 7-Eleven instead of to the village market, not because the 7-Eleven is better or less loathsome to him, but because the 7-Eleven is closer and always open, and the meaning of the parable was plain even to Dennis.

- - -

And Dennis came to Jesus in his room, and his room was in Galilee, above the garage, of the sort Fonzie, or the one called Fonzie in the show about good times that do not end, and thus are numbered not in minutes nor in hours but in days, and Jesus was sunk in gloom and said, I am sad Dennis, leave me. And Dennis would not leave and instead sat and looked into this and that, until Jesus said, What do you want, Dennis? And Dennis said, Only to know what makes you suffer. And Jesus said, It’s only that I am bored, now pray, leave me Dennis, for if you stay, I will die of this boredom. And Dennis said, We all are bored, and we all die. And Jesus said, Yes, Dennis, but we do not die like this. And Dennis was perplexed and said, Woe, for this is nothing like the room of Fonzie.

- - -

And they came to the city on the last day, and it was fine, and the sun beat down and the sea receded, and the fish were beached on the shore, and Dennis said, Behold, Jesus, for the fish are dying, and Jesus said, Please Dennis, stop talking about the fish, for though you write of it in your book only once, you speak of it all day. And they walked quietly, Dennis downcast at what truly was his constant talk of the fish, but then he was not downcast, but happy and said, Tell me Jesus, what do you feel like doing? and Jesus said, See you not, Dennis, that I am doing what I feel like doing? And Dennis knew Jesus had grown tired of Dennis, but Dennis forgot what he knew.

- - -

And Jesus called Dennis to his side, and Dennis was exceedingly pleased, for usually it was Dennis who called Jesus, or went to his house, but now you see it was Jesus who called Dennis. And Dennis stood with Jesus, and Jesus said he was sad, though, in truth, he did not seem sad but exultant, though Dennis did not see this, be it plain. And Dennis asked Jesus, What pains you Lord? And Jesus said, Only this, that I will never see you again, Dennis.

And Dennis wept and said, Why Jesus?

And Jesus said, Because it’s time for me to move on, Dennis.

And Dennis wept still more and said, Oh, Lord, why hath Thou forsaken me?

And Jesus said, It is not your fault, for the fault lies with me, now stop your tears, Dennis.

And Dennis said, Oh Lord, but how could you do this to me?

And Jesus said, Because Dennis, I must die. And then said, For I will be tried and executed in another town, though you never hear nor read of it, it has happened.

And Dennis wept but now he smiled in his tears, and said, So it is not me Lord, nor something I have done, but it is only that you must die?

Yes, Dennis, it is only that I must die.

And as Jesus said this, He thought, You see, here, as in a nutshell, is everything that is wrong with Dennis.

And Dennis said, Maybe you will come back. Maybe after a week, or half a week, or even less, and I will see you, and we can do something.

And Jesus said, No, Dennis. I will not come back, and we will not do anything.

And when those who knew Dennis asked, Where is your friend Jesus? Dennis said, My friend Jesus went to another town and died. And the people laughed and said, Dennis, you are a fool, for my cousin lives in that town, which is called Schechem, and he sees Jesus there often. And Dennis said, No, this is vileness, Jesus would never do that. And the people of the town laughed only more.