The very greenly greens out my window should be making me happy. The realization that I cannot save the world should be a relief. The ways I am rich should bring me joy: my art supplies and new welder; a soulmate, nice neighbors, kindred spirits; drawers full of chocolate; the asparagus, birds, and well-gravelled roads. But no. I’m not happy. Not relieved. Not filled with joy. I’m surprised God even wants to share my peanut butter milk dark stout. But here she is, swirling the frothy brown around like a connoisseur.
“Sweet and musty,” she says, with an exaggerated French accent. “With une légère saveur de dirt.”
“Stop it,” I say. “You’re not funny. I’m in a very bad mood.”
“Really?” God asks. “Who would’ve guessed?”
I ignore the sarcasm. “The thing is, God, I’m not sure what I want anymore. I thought it was a blue couch and a book club. Silk pajamas. Clarity about what to give away and how to die. But the days roll on … tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow creeps in this petty pace…”
“And here you are, strutting and fretting your hour on stage,” God interrupts, picking up on that profound riff Shakespeare wrote for his character, Macbeth, four centuries ago.
“Not strutting,” I protest. “But yeah, maybe fretting.”
God grins. “My favorite definition of fretting is to gnaw with teeth in the manner of a rodent.”
I don’t want to smile, but who can resist that image? God and I clink our glasses together and she says, “When you die, you’re gone. But what you did with your life stays. It’s fine if you leave some teeth marks here and there. I leave some myself occasionally.”
“I know,” I say. “I’ve got the bite marks to prove it.”
“Oh, those aren’t mine,” God says. “Look closer.”
Dental patterns are unique. I know very little about God’s dental features, but I’m familiar with my own. I examine my scars. It appears I’ve been gnawing on myself for years. I run to check nearby loved ones, and yes, I’ve gnawed on them, too. God reveals her tender underarm. Unbelievable. I’ve even gnawed on God.
“Sorry,” I mumble. “That’s not the legacy I was hoping for.” I grab some healing balm and rub it on God’s flesh. The bite marks fade. “I’m so sorry,” I repeat. I offer God my first born, my pajamas, my credit cards, and the book club. God laughs, helps me rub some balm into my own bite marks, and shakes her head.
“None of your stuff fits me,” she says. “But you’re on the right track. Carry on.”