The crack baby Jesus was born in the projects on Chicago’s south side. His Momma Maria was a crack whore but a good woman nonetheless. She helped at the church tidying up the vestibule and seeing that the robes were ironed and hung with care. She rarely bothered the poor box but some days were borne of desperation and Brother Jones demanded all of her attention.
Jesus was nearly born in the piss riddled stairwell between the third and fourth floor of the housing project when she was returning home after a booty call on a cold winter’s night. Jophus, the super, heard her moaning and managed to get Maria to her room. There he called 911 and reported the impending birth. It took two hours for the paramedics to reach the project. By that time Jesus was warm in his mother’s arms. This was not the first crack baby Jophus had brought in to the world. It was the first crack baby Jesus.
The medics wanted to take Maria to the hospital to undergo detox. She refused their help and cursed them from the room. Then she celebrated the birth by boofing a 20 rock.
Jophus shared a couple pipes and returned to his little room in the basement, all the way thinking, “That baby could be mine.” Maria was often late with the rent and Jophus would let it slide for favors. Jophus liked Maria, he had never met a whore who spent so much time in church.
Maria rested for a couple of days before returning to the streets. Her boofer friends stopped by with product and they sanctified the birth by passing the hot little pipe around the manger.
On her way to her corner Maria stopped at the church and told Father Manny about the birth. Father Manny was from the same barrio in Mexico City as Maria. They both felt comfortable in the big city of Chicago, it was much nicer than the tin shack slum where they grew up. Father Manny told her to bring the baby to the church very soon as it was important that he be baptized because crack babies often died young.
When Maria went back to the streets she left crack baby Jesus with her neighbor Maggie Lynne, the retarded white girl, who lived two doors down with her mother. Maggie Lynne loved Jesus very much. Maggie’s mother got a government check every month for the girl’s disability but still made her work the Church’s Chicken parking lot every day. The young bucks on the block called her ‘the chicken ‘ho’. Sometimes on a slow day she would do you for a two piece with biscuit.
Crack baby Jesus had the conniptions and would twitch, shiver and cry for no apparent reason. The only way to calm him Maggie learned was to blow the smoke from the little pipe into his nostrils. Then Jesus was a very good boy, so calm and quiet with a knowing dreamy smile. Sometimes Jophus would come up at night with a bucket of chicken and they would play with the baby and have delicious finger licking sex while eating the ‘dirty bird’.
Jophus was a good man with many bad habits. Deep down he knew this situation with the baby was no good. He would go downstairs to his little room and pray to the father for a hint of what to do.
The day of crack baby Jesus’ baptism the church was filled with boofers, dealers, pimps and whores. Father Manny felt glad to have so many poor sinners within the sanctuary. He did not condemn them or order them to confess, all he said was, “accept”. When he poured the holy waters over the baby it was Father Manny who felt blessed. “This is a very special baby.” He thought. Father Manny returned to his little room in the rectory and prayed, “Please God show me what to do with your child”.
Maggie Lynne loved the baby but sometimes would get distracted by the T.V. and forget all about the needs of the child. Maria when she was at home was either sleeping or high. Her rowdy friends took to throwing crack baby Jesus around the room. He thought it great fun to be flying, so full of the smoke; a little angel in his element. Everyone loved the crack baby Jesus, he was a very special child.
One day Father Manny saw Jophus at the barber shop, he knew he was the super at Maria’s building. “Jophus”, he said. “What’s happening in your building? Is Maria’s baby safe and well?” “I worry about the child,” answered Jophus. “I am a weak and sinful man but I see great good in this boy.”
Father Manny thought, “The first Jesus saved us all. Now it is time to return the favor.”
“Jophus, for the love of God, I need your help.” Implored the brown skinned priest.
“I will,” answered the black man, “bring the baby to you.”
Jophus first thought he would use his pass key to enter the apartment in the morning when Maria was asleep and take the baby away and hope she would not awake. Then he thought of visiting Maggie Lynne at night and cutting her throat to make it look like a criminal abduction. Then he had the brilliant idea of bringing Maggie Lynne, the notorious ‘chicken whore’ a box of drumsticks and thighs with extra pickled jalapeno peppers and when she was distracted with her meal he would quickly secret Jesus from the room. Chances were that the simple girl would not remember anything but the succulent taste of fried chicken and the fiery burn of the peppers.
He entered the apartment with his box of chicken only to find Maria and Maggie Lynne entwined on the floor, covered in chicken fat and rub loving as only women can do. “This’, he hollered, “will never do. This is my child and I claim him. Do not protest or I will cut you both.”
He bundled crack baby Jesus in his meager blankets and took him to the church rectory. He put the child in Father Manny’s arms, “I am weak. Take this special child and give him to the world.”
Father Manny could not keep the child, even if he was the son of God, because he was nothing but a poor immigrant parish priest. The next morning he took the baby to the Orphanage of St. Vincent, run by the wonderful nuns of St. Joseph and put the baby into their arms. The orphanage had babies of every kind but the kindly nuns saw that crack baby Jesus was special and very, very sick.
The little crack baby was malnourished and addicted to cocaine. He was moody and unresponsive at times. The nuns knew he would be alright once the drugs were out of his system. Most of all he needed human affection and loving care. The Sisters assigned his care to an elderly Grandmother who volunteered on a daily basis. Yancha was originally from Poland, her husband was dead and her children grown and gone for many years. She only got to see her grandchildren a few times a year so the service at the orphanage helped fill in the gaps and provided an outlet for her abundant love.
She took the crack baby Jesus into her arms and would not let go. She held, cuddled and cooed the child all day long. She got the infant to take the bottle and eat cereal or other baby foods. Crack baby Jesus quit his fidgeting, put on some weight and became a normal healthy boy. At night when Yancha went home the older nuns would take her place and Jesus was never without continuous love.
Father Manny and Jophus would come to visit and both worried who would care for this child of God. Maria was now in jail and on her way to detoxification. Father Manny was going to get her a job with the parish when she got out. The State Welfare Department finally figured out that Maggie Lynne’s mother was abusive. They got her out of the Church’s Chicken parking lot and into a good care facility. Jophus was cleaning up his life; no booze, no drugs and no more whores. He had started going to Father Manny’s church and was dating a good woman but they were not married and the state would not let him take baby Jesus.
One day when Jesus was about one year old a strange Mediterranean looking man showed up at the orphanage with all of the necessary paperwork for the adoption of Jesus. The nuns looked over the papers very carefully and called the State officials just to be safe and sure. “Yes”, they said, “everything is in order.” The man was to be Jesus’ new father.
The man took Jesus to a big house in the northern suburbs. It was across the street from the Bahai Temple. The man put him on the floor of a big comfortable room. In the room were other children of different sizes and colors. Jesus immediately recognized them as his brothers. He did not need to ask their names for he knew they were Moe, Sid, Dali, Lao, Babi and Jane. Jesus felt right at home. This was so much fun, almost as good as flying. Jesus laughed and laughed and all the other little Gods laughed with him.