“Imagine me as a sensory deprivation tank,” God says.
I shiver. “Too claustrophobic. How about I imagine you as a cosmic county fair?”
“Hmmm,” God says. “Methinks you wouldn’t like that either.”
“Yeah. But if we’re talking extremes, I’d rather experience you as over-stimulated children and deep-fried cheese on a stick than the arctic chill of nothingness.”
God shrugs and mutters, “Massive.”
“So much suffering. So much to clean up.” God sounds irritated.
“Wait a minute. You can embody any metaphor, idea, symbol, or myth, and you’re worried about a little housekeeping? You can be nothing and everything, whereas I’ve only got me.”
“Have you seen the satellite debris around your planet?” God’s voice implies this is my fault. “And do you know how many of my beloved are unsheltered right now?”
I bow my head in prayer, hoping the holy Non Sequitur will leave me alone. I wish I could hire someone to give my life an extra lick of meaning.
“What’s your hourly rate?” I ask the One who will not go away.
“Winner takes all,” God answers.
I sigh. Humans do not appear to be winning. There is little doubt the great collapse is coming. The heavenly workforce has thinned, and the eyes of this galaxy are closing. God has woven a casket of willow saplings for the salty residue of existential misery. I should be more grateful. More sympathetic. But I’m resentful
“I don’t even have me, do I?” It isn’t a question. It’s a resigned acknowledgment.
“That depends,” God says. “I’m always willing to share.”
“Why?” I ask. “Obviously, you don’t have to.”
“Well, expansion is my roller coaster. Unconditional love is my triple-shot latte, and forgiveness, my full-body workout.” God sounds momentarily energized. “But of course, I get lonely sometimes.”
“Aw,” I say. I throw my arm over the shoulder of this stubborn lunkhead of impossibilities. “Let’s go for a nature walk.”
The Lonely Lunkhead nods and a terrifying, tangled wilderness appears. Why didn’t I suggest golf and whiskey? Happy hour. Something numbing and contrived. A nice, slightly altered state.
Lunkhead laughs. “You’re always slightly altered.”
Being known that well makes me less afraid. I smile and things lighten up.
“Shall we bring the casket along?” I ask. “I noticed it has wheels. And plenty of room for a cooler and a six-pack.”