Watching the news makes me hateful. I contemplate murder. I don’t like this. “God,” I said. “It’s hard enough to see all the disgusting, bad, abusive, selfish, dirty rotten deeds in the world, but worse, if I sit very still, the vicious beasts inside me peek out and eat a piece of my soul. Or take a bite out of someone else.”
“Hmmm. Interesting,” God said, not acting all that interested.
“I’ve considered a lot of remedies. Whack-a-mole, rat poison, denial, embracing the shadow…I like the poison idea, but it seems excessive. And I don’t like the image of bloated dead bodies, inside or out.”
“I agree,” God said. “And it makes my job a lot more complicated. Raising those rats from the dead isn’t my idea of a fun afternoon.”
“Ah ha!” I said, pointing my finger. “I knew it. You. You let things be. You bring them back. You’re worse than the Dark Web or the Deep State. I bet you practiced witchcraft a couple centuries ago. You consort with the enemy.”
“Guilty,” God said, laughing. She took my finger and curled it so that it was pointing at my stomach. The demons inside screamed like the spoiled children that they are—indignant, defiant, foot-stomping brats.
“Come out and play,” God said to the demons. “The light will do you some good.”
And they did. We had a little picnic–sandwiches with sweet pickles and fresh kale. God smoothed their foreheads, brushed their hair, tickled them. They crawled on her lap, and the youngest ones nursed at her breast and napped in her arms. God looked down with affection. “I can make something of you,” God whispered. They snuggled in closer.
“Run,” I thought to the little demons, but I didn’t say it out loud.
God heard me anyway. “Don’t worry. I’m not going to hurt them. It isn’t possible to defeat evil with pain or torture. You can’t destroy it. It’s like energy. You can only transform it. Recycle. Compost. Start over.”
I felt sick and confused.
“Too much for you?” God asked. Her voice was soft but it penetrated my defenses and laid itself at my feet, a lamb’s wooly hide, a yoga mat, a warm bath.
“Yes,” I said in a weak voice. “I try pretty hard.” God nodded and sent the demons merrily on their way. They were saying true things to each other, waving and pointing back at God.
“What? How? They seem to know the truth,” I said, bewildered.
“Of course,” God smiled. “This is why you need them. The demons always know.”