window of an abandoned house, a curtain blew outside as ifnto wave goodbye.nMonica’s church decided to put on a play, to benperformed the week before Easter. At supper onenevening she shyly asked him if he would be in it. Since therenwould be so many male parts, to start with 12 disciples plusnJesus, they were running short of grown men in their 20’snand 30’s. Hawkins was momentarily stopped, but after anminute he began to think what a funny idea that was, himnplaying one of the disciples.nThe next evening the two of them went to the big roomnin the “education” center near the main church building,nwhere there were many small classrooms and one centralnhall with a raised platform. When necessary, this could benturned into a makeshift stage, but the actual performancenwould be in the church auditorium.nAfter a little milling around, the youth director, a bald yetnyoungish-looking man, called out in a prissy way for them tongather round. “A good group, a good group. We’re going tonhave lots of fun and we’re going to put on a really goodnshow.” He swelled with self-importance. One might haventhought he was directing a Hollywood cast of thousandsnrather than the few who would carry out the intimate dramanof the last night before the Crucifixion.nAll but Hawkins were known to the director, although henhad seen him once on an earlier Sunday when he had comenwith Monica. The roles of ten disciples were promptlynhanded out to the men best known to the director, and fornthe first time Hawkins learned that there were two Simons,nSimon Peter and Simon the Zealot. Most of the others hadnnot known it either. Hawkins discovered that there had beenntwo Judases, too! And Judas, the son of James, was given tonthe other remaining actor.n”Oh, dear, I do hope you won’t mind playing JudasnIscariot,” fluttered the director, looking at Hawkins.nMonica laughed, uneasily. “I didn’t prepare him fornsomething like this.”n”It’s OK, it’s OK. It’s only a play,” Hawkins said.n”Well, I guess that leaves me to play Jesus,” the directornsaid, resigned. “So. A word about costumes. We won’t wearnour modern clothes, but since we don’t have wigs available,nwe’ll just have to do without. Anyone wanting to grow anbeard, or borrow one, that’s fine.” He handed out the typednscripts. “Let’s just run through it once tonight so you’llnknow what to expect. You can learn your lines at home.”nHawkins followed the plot with great interest. He knewngenerally how things went, but none of the specifics. Likenthe two Simons and the two Judases. The cast practicednbreaking invisible bread and drinking invisible wine from ancommon cup. Hawkins thought he might have the best part.nSimon Peter was a pretty good one, too.nJudas could have come straight out of a Chicago Mafianmovie, Hawkins thought. He goes over to another family,nthe chief priests and scribes, and cuts a deal to set up his ownngodfather. They tell him when they want it: not on a holidayn(bad press). Judas goes back to his own family and as hendrinks wine with his godfather, the godfather looks him rightnin the eye and hints that he knows something is going down.nOne of the troubles Hawkins had staying in character wasnthis prissy, balding Jesus.n26/CHRONICLESnnnStill, Hawkins was interested in his part. It always seemednlike bad guys in the movies — in life for that matter—nseemed to be more interesting. Like bad women. Hard tonexplain.nFor the next week he thought a lot about Judas. Evennthough the little play had the same plot year after year withnno revisions, he figured it was a good idea to read up on it.nOne of the confusing aspects of the story, and of the partsnplayed by Judas and Peter, was Jesus telling them what theynwere going to do before they did it, kind of giving away thenend. But then everybody knew the end of the play anyway.nAt first his notion was that knowing the end made itnunrealistic. But as he pondered over this and Judas’ betrayal,nit came to him that the plot of everybody’s life was rathernsimilar if you took the high points: birth, growth, and death.nEveryone knew the ending, just like Jesus’. It was just notnknowing the timing. About all one could do was considernthe style that would be his own. Judas no doubt considerednhimself a flexible kind of guy, one who could changengrounds pretty quick, looking out for the main chance. Itnwasn’t like the town hadn’t thought he was doing a usefulnthing. He was going to get himself a little piece of land withnthe money, sort of God’s little acre, Hawkins laughed.nStarting over.nSlowly Hawkins thought he was getting into Judas’ head.nIt took a lot of individuality to do what Judas did. Like somensort of Cold War spy who had to operate mostly alone, benhis own man.nAll went smoothly until the youth director ended up innthe hospital. It was discovered he had a hole in his heart andnwould have to have an operation. Hawkins got this newsnfrom Monica one evening and she seemed much flusterednabout what would happen to the play. She talked to thenminister and he said perhaps he could fill in with thendirecting chores, but that he didn’t feel he ought to benplaying Jesus. It ought to be someone from the congregation.nWhen Monica approached a fellow from the YoungnAdult Sunday School class, he said he didn’t want to playnJesus either, but he would play one of the disciples if theynwere hard pressed. Hawkins saw it coming, like a slow curvenheaded into the stands, then turning straight for home platenwhere he stood.n”Who? Me?”n”We’re really in a jam and I don’t know who else can savenus.” Monica’s big brown Texas eyes pleaded with him.nWhen his friend Barolo dropped by again, he howled.n”I warned you about going native, didn’t I? I have tonadmit even I didn’t think you would go this far. This clapnmust have gone to your head.”n”I knew you’d take it well,” Hawkins grinned.n”I thought this was just a way to stay around your newnchick, but I think you’re caught. Just think of all that goodnscientific education going down the tubes.”n”I’m just helping these people out. Maybe they recognizengood acting talent.”n”Hollywood couldn’t get big name actors to play thatnspectacle about Jesus several years ago. Had to get annunknown. There’s a danger in starting at the top. Kind ofnhard for people to take an actor seriously playing one of thenThree Stooges once they’ve seen him play God.”n”Only half God.”n