JJC: A fiction
Jo’e: Jesus Christ.
Registration Officer: What?
Registration Officer: Yes…?
Reg. Officer: I thought your name’s Joseph.
Jo’e: It is, Ma’am.
Reg. Off.: And…
Jo’e: [shrugs] And that’s it.
Reg. Off.: Okay…but…
Jo’e: But… he can’t be Jesus Joseph.
Reg. Off.: And why not?
Reg. Off.: Isn’t the child yours—
Jo’e: —He sure is—
Reg. Off.: —and you, the father?
Jo’e: Sure. Er, in the flesh.
Reg. Off.: Of course, funny man. Like spirits give birth, eh?
Jo’e: Ah, can’t be certain these days.
Ma’y: [whispers] C’mon, Joe.
Reg. Off.: Look. I love to banter and all, but the queue, as you can well see, ‘s longer than the Mediterranean.
Jo’e: See…thing is, Ma’am…I’m [leaning closer over the counter and saying in a low tone] under direct divine orders to register him as such.
Reg. Off.: Well, I’m sorry, I’m under direct legal orders to not register any newborn in any other name than his biological parents’. That’s the standing rule for this census.
Jo’e: I understand; I totally do—
Reg. Off.: Unless you’re not the true, biological parents.
Jo’e : She—
Reg. Off.: [sighs] You guys mind tellin’ me in plain English the heck’s goin’ on here?
Reg. Off.: The child, he yours or ain’t?
J’oe: Well, it’s not that simple.
Reg. Off.: Well, could you, like, help me simplify it in the fewest words possible?
Jo’e: That child belongs—
Reg. Off.: And by ‘fewest words possible’ I mean a straight Yes or No.
Jo’e: And if only you’d spare a few seconds to—
Reg. Off.: That I very much doubt, Mister. I’d rather I saved time by helping you un-complicate it: You are either the father or not. But, well, [tossing her a head-to-toe side-glance] with some ladies, it’s okay to not be sure.
Ma’y: Excuse me?
Jo’e: I’m far from unsure.
Reg. Off.: Oh, well…
Ma’y: Your point exactly, Ma’am?
Reg. Off.: The point’s made itself, Ma’am.
Ma’y: FYI, I have known no man since I met my husband—
Reg. Off.: Apparently. But before?
Jo’e: Let it go.
Ma’y: And I say that with every sense of confidence and humility.
Reg. Off.: Good for you.
Jo’e: Could you let it go?
Ma’y: And it may interest you to know I’ve always kept myself—
Reg. Off.: Oh, humor me already.
Jo’e: Can we not do this here?
Ma’y:…every day of my life…
Reg. Off.: Oh, most certainly. And look where that got ya.
Ma’y: I’ve been a virgin.
Reg. Off.: Hehehe.
Ma’y: Always have, and still am.
Reg. Off.: My grandma is a virgin. Always have, and still am. Heavens, you got jokes, babe!
Ma’y: And if you’re so keen on knowing—
Jo’e: This ain’t necessary, Honey—
Ma’y: here’s the gist: My child is conceived of the Holy Spirit.
Reg. Off.: Bwahahahaha.
Ma’y: Born of God Himself.
Reg. Off.: Ain’t nobody wanna take in for Satan. Hahaha.
Jo’e: Cut it out, you two!
Ma’y: He is the Father of our child!
Reg. Off.: Uh-uh. Will have to stop you right there, Ma’am. Seriously, the Holy Spirit don’t impregnate nobody. I’m all for jokes, but I don’t dig blasphemy. Y’all can get out of my face right now.
Ma’y: [misty-eyed] Jo’e, you gon’ stand there and watch her insult me? Insult us? Jo’e. Jo’e?
Back to present
Ma’y: Jo’e! Honey. [Tapping him on the shoulder]
Jo’e: Yea, Sweetie?
Ma’y: Somfin wrong?
J’oe: Certainly not. I’m good.
Ma’y: But she talking to you [pointing at the officer using her eyes only]
Reg. Off.: Asked for your baby’s name and you went silent. You okay, Sir?
Jo’e: I’m sorry. I’m fine, thanks.
Reg. Off.: Okay…
Jo’e: Joseph Jesus Christ.
Reg. Off.: Aww. Such cool initials.
Jo’e: I know right.
Reg. Off.: Welcome to the world, JJC.
Ma’y: Hehe. Thanks, Ma’am.
Reg. Off.: May God’s blessings be upon him.
Ma’y & Jo’e: Amen!
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