The last supper

by Lorin Michel Thursday, June 30, 2016 10:31 PM

The joke goes something like this: “Do you know why Jesus and all of the apostles are on one side of the table?” Silence. “So they could all be in the picture.” Ba dum bum. I have always chuckled at this joke, mostly because I’m a lapsed catholic and because it’s very sacrilegious. It’s one of those sarcastic jokes that’s not necessarily laugh-out-loud funny. More like smile-broadly-with-teeth funny. 

I bring this up because the last supper has gone from being a popular bible story to an exquisite painting by Leonardo Da Vinci to meals for the condemned. I suppose in some ways the bible story is also a meal for the condemned even though Jesus didn’t know he’d been betrayed or was about to be, and hadn’t yet been sentenced. I don’t really remember. The Leonardo Da Vinci connection is more about the renaissance painters and the bible than the bible. It was a very religious time in Rome. Witness the Sistine Chapel. 

The condemned man (or woman) in prison is allowed a last meal of their choice. It seems odd to me that you’re going to give someone a really great dinner and then put poison into their system. I don’t know if it’s the state’s way of seeming to be humane but it’s just another barbarism if you ask me. Which I realize you didn’t. 

The thing is, I’m writing about the last supper today because Justin leaves tomorrow. At approximately 7:45 am, his United flight lifts off from Tucson International Airport for a short trip to San Francisco in order to catch an All Nippon Airlines jumbo jet for Narita, Japan. He’ll be there for about three months, starting off in Sendai, spending time there, in Tokyo and other places in the country. 

When he’s done there, he goes to various places in Europe. The tour, Disney’s Frozen on Ice, which he’s been with for about a year and a half, is taking their act overseas until April. After Europe, they go to Australia/New Zealand. It’s the experience of a lifetime, and though he’ll be working, he’ll get to see the world without having to pay for it. Truly amazing.

He’s been home for six weeks. A long time. In some ways, it seems like forever; in others like he just got here. It happens every time, and we never really get used to it. I know he’s ready to get back to work and to being with his girlfriend, and his friends. I also know he loves being home. He genuinely likes us. Go figure. He also likes home cooking and good wine. 

I asked him what he wanted for his last meal, his “last supper.” He grinned at me. As if I actually needed to ask. 

Ribs. Ugly steaks. Twice baked potatoes. A cherry tomato salad with a balsamic glaze. Wine. 

I've been busy preparing and cooking while he’s packing. Tomorrow morning we’ll get up to see him off, and rubbing our eyes and clutching our robes, we’ll wave goodbye. We’ll cry and then we’ll go back into our quiet house. It will be light, the day will just be starting. Riley will need to be walked. Our day will start like usual. And he will be gone. 

But tonight we dine on his favorite foods. We’ll laugh and talk and eat and drink. We’ll have our last supper together for a while, and even though we won’t all be on the same side of the table, maybe we’ll all be in the picture anyway.

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