(Image From SleepyHollow Wiki)
I’m in Chicago, visiting. Bad things have happened in the world. Very bad. A young father, wrapped in his black widow hoodie, hovers over a brand-named stroller. He’s at Starbucks. He is white. His child is rose petal pink. He will order the same drink his entire life, which will be neither as long nor as easy as one might guess. This much I know on my own.
Then, the heavens open, and four horsemen descend. Even before they hit their stride, most of the world bows down. A few try to hide. I casually throw my coat over the child, looking down and away. She’s remained quiet, playing with her hands, which are turning to long green vines. Beautiful strands of ivy. So tender they make me cry. I wish she were turning to stone instead. I wish I were turning to stone, but I’m not. I’m seething, disoriented, weak to the point of water.
God is glaring from every corner, fretting at the customers, darkening the sky. Hurrying the line along. The horsemen dismount, elbow forward, and place their orders. It’s clear they’re not going to pay. They slug each other’s shoulders and point lewdly at younger women. They’re eyeing the baby, making repulsive gestures. As they stroke their filthy beards and move closer, I gag in fear, and vomit. They back up, disgusted, and leave, whipping their horses and shouting joyful obscenities as they disappear over the horizon.
God brings a mop and bucket, and without a word, cleans up my mess. I touch my face. The child. The window. I take her outside and she puts down roots.
Even with the sky black and foreboding, I realize I’ve been saved.
But to what end? I feel an urgent need to know.
I go back inside the Starbucks and summons the courage to tug on the frayed sleeve of God’s flannel shirt. “Why did you save me?” I ask.
“What can I get for you?” God answers. “Wait, let me guess. Split-shot latte with two percent.”
I nod, and accept the foamy drink. “Why did you save me?” I ask again, this time a little louder.
God sighs and gently takes my face in those warm, strong coffee-scented hands. I want to look away, but it’s too late. The eyes have me completely in their spell. “Why did you come back inside?”