I’m lost in a pile of morning words, thrashing like a rainbow trout that has taken the bait, uncertain if I am a victim of catch and release or soon to sizzle. The bait? Fame and fortune. Vast influence. The ultimate saving of the planet. Or at least meaning beyond pulling the stubborn cheat grass in the raised beds. The strawberries are in trouble and the chives. Even the mint is being overtaken.
“What if I were the governor or a movie star?” I think to myself.
“You’d still die,” God thinks back.
“What if I were rich beyond measure?” I think to myself.
“You are,” God thinks back.
“But I could be richer,” I counter with narrow eyes.
“Sure, but why? Even the outer limits are limits.”
“I don’t like that.” I shook my head.
“I know.” God smiled.
So apparently this day is going to inch forward and end–like every other day and no other day. It’s hardly begun, but as I argue with God, each moment slips quietly into the past. I watch the wind move the new leaves. They’re relatively secure for the coming season, assuming no tornadoes or killing frosts. What a brilliant celebration of all that is transitory.
“God,” I said, “You are a pain in the butt.”
“So are you,” God said as she sat down in one of the chairs that scratch the floor if you move around very much.
“What if I bought a camper van and drove to DC and parked and protested for the rest of my life? Huh? What then? Would that fix things? What if I piled my possessions on the sidewalk and labeled them ‘FREE’? What if I shaved my head and wore a robe? What if I climbed a tree and sat in the limbs on hunger strike? What if I chained myself to the wall? What if I gave everyone the right kind of light bulb? What if I broke all the glass in sight, shattering everyone’s phony security? What if, God? What if?”
“Sure,” God said. “Those all sound feasible. Which wall and how big of chain?”
I swore and threw my beer bottle at God. God ducked, spun around, and rammed a shoulder into my stomach. We fell like children wrestling in green grass and dandelion fluff. We shouted and shrieked in glee, startling a magpie and the neighbors. Our molecules were drunk on a bacterial invasion that made us come apart. To my surprise, I liked disintegrating. God and me. Me and God. The Great I AM. The Jokester, the Coyote, the Source of All That Is. And me. Me.
“Don’t forget the bacteria,” God said as we lied on our backs, panting. I shrugged.
“You know, God, I’m kind of artistic,” I said.
“True,” God said. “Maybe go with that.”