Wednesday, March 2, 2011

god talk

God Talk

God  Talk

“We are the leopards. Those who follow will be Jackals and Sheep  and each shall think                                                                                      themselves the salt of the earth”Guiseppe di Lampedusa ‘The Leopard’
Each night before I sleep I turn to Jesus. I say,  I’ve failed again. Then I turn to Buddha, I wink.                   Dennis McBride

God groaned, shifted uneasily, pulled the cover up and turned slightly onto his left side back into a shallow sleep. Labored breathing preceded a small cough. He turned to his back and a weak smile turned into a grimace, which only partially faded. After a while he inched over to his right side, the corners of his mouth struggling, and then in the middle of a deep sigh, he coughed, sputtered, and abruptly rose to his elbows, his hazel eyes flying open. “Huh! What!” he muttered. He stared blankly for a minute, then relaxed as he realized he was in his familiar futon bed under his favorite quilt with the picture of Bambi and the great Stag. He lay back down and leisurely glanced over at the cosmic digital. It said l99l. He felt an annoyed confusion rise up to threaten his usually limitless calm. He knew he’d set the alarm for 2875. “What the hell’s going on?” he said, louder than he’d intended. Then it hit him sharply. “They’ve been praying again,” he said suddenly to the empty room, “God damn it, they’re all praying again! The damn fools have started another necessary war in my name. Where the hell...”      The door opened slowly. Biman Chan, the century clerk, entered quietly, “So sorry to interrupt, I just wanted to see if you, too, had been disturbed.” “The others, too?” God inquired pointedly. “Not all,” said Biman, “Just Allah so far. I haven’t been able to check on Buddha, but I didn’t hear any sound passing his room.”     “Well, you needn’t bother,” said God, “He never gets inconvenienced. There’s a lesson in there about choosing your words carefully when it comes to job descriptions. All that emphasis on Karma and the Void worked out just ducky for his sleep. Well, where is it this time?”     “I’m afraid it’s in the Middle East, “ Biman said quietly. “It seems there was a dispute about land and oil and…     “Christ,” God interrupted, “I just don’t understand it. I left more than enough of everything for everyone. All they had to do was limit their numbers, wait for the next harvest, and divide things up. Instead, they’re strangling the soil, turning my blue air brown and reproducing like lemmings hungry for the sea. Be fruitful and multiply does not mean screw your way to mass suicide. And this abortion thing is becoming a luxury dilemma. They’ve got to get a handle on this, this... what do they call it?...”    
“Fucking,” said Biman softly. “”Yes, fucking,” said God. He started to continue, but Allah appeared at the door, dark, stern, aloof, then bowed perfunctorily and entered.  “I, too, was awakened for the same reason you were and could not help overhearing your voices. Personally, and though I mean no disrespect, I have always felt that Jesus committed a few significant errors with his slight-of-spirit performances. I mean, what could the poor multitudes think, being fed with next to nothing, the lame and blind cured by command, even the very dead raised. What could they think but that there was no real need to conserve, abundance was behind every bush, within eventual reach of all.  No! They need to be told they’re in the hard place, and they need to be controlled severely to survive in it.”     “Excuse me, did you say ‘Lord’s place?” inquired God happily.     “No. Hard place. I said hard place,” Allah replied sternly.     “Oh,” said God sadly. “Anyway, I just don’t understand why they’re so afraid of running out all the time.” God rose from the bed, went to the closet and picked out a dark brown bathrobe with green trees on it (the closet revealed a fondness for earth colors, extending even to brown underwear) and started back to the bed, then hesitated, took the robe back to the closet and picked out a rare blue one with polka dot stars on it, then returned to the bed. “I mean, I told Jesus to tell them there was nothing to fear, you know, to take heart, so to speak.”     Allah eagerly interrupted, “But even Jesus despaired when he was there, and again, I mean no offense, but you may remember we discussed this at that first department meeting before the beginning, the one where Buddha came up with that idea about desire causing suffering. I recall him saying that he had reservations about just how much the mind should be allowed to...”   
 “...know of a future without seeing it,” said Buddha, entering softly. “The mind is a dangerous place for a tree house, especially when the vision is impaired,’ is what I believe l said, and in all honesty, I’ve yet to be convinced otherwise. And, incidentally, I was misquoted on that ‘desire causing suffering’ thing. I said it’s not getting what you desire that causes suffering. You can see how sloppy quoting can put a whole wrong spin on things, and if you doubt that you can talk to Jesus.” His wonderful eyes searched the room and lighted upon a soft wide satin sofa which he eased himself into. “And incidentally, Allah, you’re wrong. I believe the messy fact of the matter is, they’re not going to survive, and they desperately need to be shown how to do that.” He turned to God. ‘You put them in time and kill them with random abandon, and you wonder why their main suit is scarcity. I try to teach them to relax, to steer them inward toward abundance.”     “Oh, is that what you call it?” God interjected, his voice rising. “I go to all the trouble and no small expense to come up with a stellar sparkling creation, and you teach them to ignore it. What’s the point in a parade if no one bothers to look?  Meditation, hogwash!”     “You’re taking this much too personally,” said Buddha. “I was merely trying to teach them to cope with your creation.”     “Cope,” interjected God angrily. “Life is a gift, not a chore.”     “Evidently you haven’t read the latest Stanford studies showing rather conclusively that mildly depressed people see reality most accurately. It turns out that your dubious gift of thought is used mostly to sustain positive, self enhancing illusions about the self and its fate. And then there are the one hundred thousand suicides a year, by conservative estimate,  I might add, since you refuse to release the books. Evidently the mind is a dangerous thing to take for a walk.”
“Which simply shows,” interjected God, “That they’re not seeing reality at all.”     “Exactly my point.” said Buddha. “You’ll remember I was in favor of full enlightenment at the start. None of your frantic evolving schemes. But no, you had to give your little soul things a mind of gradually increasing awareness, which is a recipe for a mess at best. And, as if evidence was needed, the twentieth century is exhibit A. One hundred million of them killed by their own hand.”     “All right,” said God. “I admit their faith seems to have faltered a bit, but...”      “Faith,” said Buddha, frowning. “You forget how little your little people are. They can’t see that far. Do you thing it’s a coincidence that your impetuous little land mass America puts ‘In God We Trust’ on their money? There’s your faith, and as for your sacred world and nifty Nature, they’ve turned it into a dollar and they are spending it. You’ve been sleeping through much of this century-- when the gods are away, the people do not play, they destroy. It’s what your attachment to them blinds you to. It’s the suck and pull of the want. They can’t handle it.”
     “That’s really quiet nearsighted of you,” said God. “You forget they’re still in infancy, learning to walk, so to speak. The brain is still a planted seed, mind is just starting to sprout mind, they don’t even know what it’s for yet, still using phrases like heart and head, thought and feeling.” He shook his head back and forth sadly, then picked up a tray on his nightstand full of macaroons and daisies and ate one of each, then offered it to Allah, who politely declined. “I’m fasting this week. I’m afraid the war took more out of me than I’d realized, so many losses.”     “They were just being obedient to your will,” God gently prodded, reaching for another macaroon before offering the tray to Buddha, “Which, if you don’t mind my pointing out, is a bit humorless.”     “A bit too uniform and severe is the point, I believe,” interjected Buddha, refusing the tray of macaroons and daisies. “In fact, you might want to look into the connection between the severity of your image and the magnitude of the losses that have so grieved you.”     “I see nothing improper in my image. After all, I’m merely trying to keep up with God,” responded Allah, his aloofness unraveling slightly.     “I refer only to some of the more extreme measures you’ve taken,” replied Buddha.“The cutting off of hands for stealing, killing for adultery, applied only to women, not to mention the general enslavement of the female half of the species. My heavens, that’s Middle Ages psychosis. What part of sick is it that seems to escape you? Want and need, food and sex, that’s the very fuel of your cherished magic show. You punish people for being obedient to the deepest vital impulses of your manifest will. I fail to see even a hint of heart or a trace of understanding in your attitude...”     “That’s just because,” interrupted Allah, “you are so cavalier about the gravity of existence. On closer examination your celebrated compassion turns out to be a thinly veiled stoic indifference. It is because the conditions of their  existence contain such strong and terrifying forces that severe regulation and control is called for.. And besides, God started it all with that Old Testament rhetoric, ‘plucking out eyes that offend’ and such. And then I heard about those Commandments, a whole list of things they must and mustn’t do. Well, I could feel a morality and fear gap developing. All of his people were scared straight and I was falling behind. What else could I do?”     “Don’t throw the blame back to me,” yelled God, putting down a half-eaten macaroon. “I was merely trying to set examples, a kind of guideline for good behavior.”

Buddha cleared his throat suddenly, did a small swift clockwise swivel of his stomach, then deftly lifted his majestic weight off the satin sofa and ambled over to the tray of macaroons and daisies. “On second thought, those daises look irresistible, I mean almost irresistible. Now, as far as this talk about proper behavior, I’m partial to the poet who said, ‘Those who worry about morality ought to.’ What was his name, Hugh, Hewitt, something like that?”     “Hugo, Richard Hugo,” said God.  “Frankly, I’ve never entirely understood poets; silly alchemists always trying to turn gold into Gold. Hugo was often subject to dark spells of irreverence. Still has them, refuses counseling.”     “Good,” replied Buddha. “Squirrels and poets should stay away from counselors. Their urgent ways are attendant to their needs. They require support, not correction, which is the problem with much of your ethical hygiene, too antiseptic. Remember that fellow, the Christian missionary and ornithologist, I forget his name, tried to publish a book entitled “Good and Bad Birds of North America.’ Well, you get my point.”     “No, I’m afraid I don’t,” said God, slightly irritated. “I think you’re treating a serious matter rather lightly.”     “On the contrary,” responded Buddha, “You’re the one who has made a relatively light matter deadly serious.”   
 “Life is deadly serious,” said God, his voice rising, “I made it that way. Life is a masterpiece, a great painting that...” A voice from the hallway interrupted him: “...That was painted by a blind man in a wind tunnel with Alzheimer’s.”  It was Janis Joplin. “Pardon my intruding, but I can’t resist souls in heat or anything else for that matter, which by the way is why I so loved the Big Bang, the whole universe in heat. Radical theater, a bit pretentious, but delicious fun. Incidentally, Buddha, I quite agree with you about the counselors and I would add gurus and prophets to the list. Like I used to say, never listen to people who tell you what you are doing on the physical plane, they are not on it.” Janis  sauntered in, -small, olive dark and cat-electric in a blue aqua low cut with brilliant rainbow-colored pearls. She walked quickly over to Buddha with a puppy-like incessance and brushed his soft white cheek with her red lips. “Hi, hon, was passing this way and just decided to stop off and spend some of this interminable time with you.”     Buddha’s soft cheeks glowed with the color of red blood coursing through live veins, his serene eyes sparkling with the joy of seeing what one wants to see. “What a dear, dear surprise,” he said, elated. “Come sit here by me. You’re a jewel in the void.” Pleased, she sat next to him. He continued, “I was just discussing the demerits of artificial decency. It’s always deadly in prescribed doses.”     “Yes, I overheard you in the hall and rather agree with you,” said Janis.     “Do you mean to stand there and tell me that you don’t believe in morals?” said God accusingly.     “Precisely. I can only stand bad taste when I’m in love, and at present I’m not.” Janis replied tartly. “The ones who cause most of the trouble down there are the ones who never go off the block, whose souls never go to the deep, frightening, wonderful, unnamable places, never let themselves have any experience unless it can be talked about in public, to approval. The cowards in the dirty white hats who made it all the way to death without having a near-life experience. I recall Jesus saying after he returned that there were people down there who should never have been people.”    Buddha continued, “It is true that he was just not himself for a long time when he came back, taking that bottle of Jack Daniels to his room and not coming out for a week. Never really has returned to form. Still wanders the halls at night muttering something about ‘hopeless damn fools’ under his breath. He took the whole thing too seriously, too personally.”
     “Frankly,” said God, “It wouldn’t do you any harm to take things with some personal investment. Your airy indifference is annoying to more than a few. ‘Cosmic cop-out’ is how you’re referred to behind your back. I ran into Abbie Hoffman in the mess hall a while back, and when your name came up he said something about ‘the sensitivity of a dead Republican.’ You should be more concerned about your image.”    “Abbie is like so many heavenly activists,” said Buddha, “Still bitter because their cause died before they did. Anyway, I think you confuse indifference with detachment. They’re not at all the same.”
     “Frankly,” said Janis, jumping in, “I think you’re both kind of stingy with your sandbox, all your ‘do’s and ‘don’ts and taboos. At least Brahma and Vishnu throw in a little novelty and spice things up, though I admit, Shiva gets carried away sometimes.” She stood swiftly and performed a crisp twirl, then went hurriedly into a one-two-three, one-two, two-one variation resembling a fused fox-trot- jitterbug-waltz, stopped suddenly and bowed from the waist. “Reality is a filthy tyrant in tight pants, and now I’m late for my nails appointment. See you around campus, ta-ta” She did a hop-skip through the door, down the hall, humming a baroque blues version of ‘When the Saints Go Marching In.’     Allah arose with a ceremonious disgust, “I find such displays disrespectful and disruptive. She should remember her station, which reminds me, I have a department head meeting with Mohammed. Seems he’s worried this women’s movement is getting out of hand, and I quite agree. Good day.” He straightened his dark tunic, turned stiffly and left.      After allowing the silence to linger a while, Buddha remarked, “I can’t quite put my finger on it, but he’s always had a problem. He’s” his hazel eyes turned green and scanned the ceiling, “I don’t know, so religiously joyless. Must have been something in his childhood. “ Buddha shook his head and sighed as Biman Chan entered hastily through the door. “Pardon again, please. I was asked to convey a message from Talowa; could lower your voice, they’re having a meeting in conference room C, down the hall.”     “Talowa.” Who the hell is Talowa, and who are ‘They” said God.    
Biman blushed slightly, “Talowa, Tanka, Kithcie Manitou and Waken. They are American Indian Deities--the Lakota, Iroquois, and Ojibway tribes. More are due to arrive shortly.”     God looked suddenly disturbed, like a janitor who’s just had his mop bucket overturned on work already done. “Well, tell them to keep their door closed if they’re so fussy.”     “Very good,” said Biman, turning to leave.     “What are they meeting about?” said God in a matter of fact voice, trying to mask his curiosity.     “It’s concerning Reclamation, sir,” said Biman.     “Reclamation?” said God abruptly. “What’s that?”     “Well,” said Biman hesitantly, “it seems they feel that you have received preferential prominence of late, and they want a fairer representation. ‘Affirmative Action’ is what they call it these days. It seems they feel things were in better shape down there before the white man brought in (Biman’s voice trailed off as he mumbled) your presence.”     “Pure ridiculous insolence,” bellowed God. “It’s just that something more controlled and responsible was needed than that ‘Great Spirit’ stuff. They’re just being adolescent. They can caucus all they want as far as I’m concerned.”Biman heard him mutter ‘pesty savages’ under his breath as his voice trailed off.
“Very good,” said Biman, bowing. He turned to leave, then remembered something, paused and turned back. “There is one other thing. The Archangel Michael is requesting a leave of absence. He’d like to return to earth.” “What, again? He was just there. I distinctly recall...”     “Uh, that’s just it, sir,” interrupted Biman. “It seems he’s, well, sort of fallen in love.”     “Love! Love!” said God indignantly. “My archangel? What ridiculous nonsense ? He’s supposed to be there on divine missions, not playing around in their tragic romantic mud puddles.”    
“All I know,” said Biman, “is that he said something about finally finding genuine innocence, an absence of, I believe he said, toxic sophistication. A woman he met in a  bar, something about having rabbit ears on her TV and fake paneling on the walls; knotty pine, I believe he said.”     “Well you tell him I want to see him up here first thing in the morning,” said God firmly. “He’s become as attached to the world as a drunken Buddhist. No offense to you,” he said, turning to Buddha, “it’s just an expression.”     “Very good,” said Biman. He turned to leave and bumped into Janis, who was absent-mindedly inspecting the backs of her nails as she entered the room. “Excuse me,” said Biman, embarrassed.     “Oh, don’t be silly,” Janis exclaimed, smiling, “especially in front of Buddha. ‘No accidents,’ you know.” She winked at Biman as he hurriedly left. “He’s really very cute. Wherever did you find him? By the way, I heard Lucifer is in the house and may stop by,” she said, beaming mischievously.     “That’s enough” said God exasperated, “I do not have to put up with him. He is not welcome here. We have to retain our standards, our professionalism.” God rose and began  pacing nervously back and forth in front of the picture window, fidgeting with his bathrobe belt. His right eyelid began twitching spasmodically. “He can go somewhere else. There’s plenty of nice...”
 A solid clear transcendent voice halted his. “I believe you’ve confused the kingdom of Heaven with Alabama l955.” It was Lucifer. He appeared suddenly at the door and stood firmly under the transom, tall, slender, and serenely self-assured in a smooth maroon suit with a purple silk shirt and lavender vest. He moved in with a casual authority toward the most seductive soft chair. An old unending smile teased around his lips, revealing a kinky tenderness, a religious, sensual, tranquil greed. He owned his will, and he relished the possession. He sat down. “How are the good old Gods this delicious day, everything under control?”     God felt a painful hate rise up inside like molten lava, but managed to subdue it into a feigned curtness. “I’m quite well, thank you, I always am.”
     “Good, good,” said Lucifer loudly, “I wouldn’t want it otherwise. I just stopped by to pay my respects.”     “Well, I’m thoroughly delighted,” said Janis, her face flushed with excitement. “”You’ve always been a kind of psycho-spiritual Zorro to me.”     “Thank you,” said Lucifer growing taller.     “Well, I’m not interested in your respects,” said God adamantly. “Frankly, “I’m not interested in your company, or in having anything to do with you,”
“Oh come now, don’t be so modest,” Lucifer responded casually. ‘Light and darkness, goodness and evil; I, the Lord God, do all these things.’ Isaiah! Ring a bell?”     “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” replied God awkwardly.     “Dear Buddha,” Lucifer continued, switching his attention, “forgive my delayed acknowledgment. How very good to see you.”     “Likewise, I’m sure,” said Buddha graciously. “You always add to the festivities.”  Lucifer gave an appreciative nod and continued, “Now where were we? Oh yes, perhaps God would assist me in shedding some light on the dark subject of Shadow.”     “What Shadow? What are you talking about?” said God, still annoyed.     “Well,” said Lucifer, “let’s start with the fact that I can never seem to find a room here at the Royal Parnassus. I was told by an inside source that it is a result of your instructions. If that is the case, I don’t know what to think. It’s either pious posturing or very bad manners. In either case, you should be ashamed.”   
“Ashamed!” exploded God. “I don’t have to listen to this blasphemy, and I would add, since that sort of brings up the subject of bad manners, you were not invited here. I would not want to be where I was not wanted.”    “Oh, it doesn’t bother me,” said Lucifer happily. “I’m used to serial denial and rejection; it’s my favorite invitation, though it usually centers around sex and money.”     “Sex is sacred, and you’re right for once, you’ve done enough damage in that area.” said God accusingly.     “Sacred! Damage!” said Lucifer, amused, “I’m just adding balance to your sloppy sanctimonious creation. While placing yourself at the center for top billing gives you excessive prominence it also creates confusion. They take their cars to a mechanic, their pipes to a plumber, their clothes to a tailor, their shoes to a cobbler, pets to a veterinarian, money to bankers, hair to a beautician, teeth to a dentist, bodies to doctors, their minds to  psychiatrists, their souls to priests, but they’re shamed into hiding their sexual needs from commerce. That’s not merely irrational, it’s controlled hysteria.      “That’s disgusting,” said God indignantly.     “Well, you’re entitled to your opinion,” said Lucifer, “Which, by the way, is more than you gave to your poor little humans.”
     “What do you mean,?” asked God sharply.     “I mean Freedom” said Lucifer. “Your Christian thing has made most of them emotionally and spiritually frozen. I know a woman in St.Louis who has spent most of her adult life at home. Won’t leave it. Thinks she’s escaping your omniscience. ‘Santa Claus God’ she calls you to her therapist: making your list and checking it twice. But  we’re getting back to shadow again. What I mean to say is that most of the lives down there have all the risk, adventure and dull excitement of a Christian taffy pull.”   
 “I don’t know what you’re talking about with this incoherent babble,” said God, his voice starting to rise. “Furthermore, I don’t have to be ashamed of my treatment of you. There is no delicate way of putting this, but as things worked out, I’m Good and you’re Bad.” God stiffened abruptly, straightened the collar of his bathrobe and looked out the picture window. “I do not have to have anything to do with you, nor do I....”     “Excuse me,” said Biman, entering sheepishly. “Begging your pardon again, but the Muse is outside and would like a moment of your time.”     “Now?” said God, annoyed. “You mean she just showed up unannounced? Have her come back in the morning, and next time see that she calls for an appointment.”     “I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” said Buddha. “If you’ll recall, that is part of her job description. She has an inherent aversion to schedules appointments and reservations. I humbly advise, if you want to know what she has to say, you’d better receive her when she comes. ‘Now’ is all she understands.”   
 “Oh, very well,” said God dejectedly. ‘Ask her to come in, but just for a few...”  Before he could finish, she simply appeared, barely visible in a long quiet dress of white silk and soft blond woven straw, her amber eyes glowing from out of short brown hair and fair skin. She spoke with a calm assured firmness. “I won’t detain you long, as my  business is brief. I just want to turn in my resignation, effective immediately. Things have not lived up to my expectations, and I’ve decided to move on to larger pastures.”     “Larger pastures! Resign!” said God, incredulous. “What’s the meaning of this? It’s...why, that’s absurd, irrational. I insist you see one of our therapists before we have any further discussion,”     “I’m sorry,” said the Muse in a soft sure voice, “but my mind is made up. I have no need of a therapist. Psychology is to experience as diagramming sentences is to poetry, not without application, but essentially irrelevant at the deeper levels. You see, one day I just stopped and looked at myself in the mirror. I saw my soul’s scar tissue in the sagging skin and sunken eyes. I knew I just couldn’t go on any more on anti-depressants and dying hope, its simply no way to live. The worst poverty I’ve found is of the imagination. I mean no disrespect, but you’ve either made a tragic oversight or there is a significant problem in your quality control. I’ve only been able to get through to one-tenth of one percent. For the rest it’s all a frosting Hallmark hustle. You should see the dreadful picture of Jesus that hangs in sixty three percent of the homes. He looks like a cross between a chairman of the board with a perm halo and a well-behaved hippie.” She moved wearily over to the ornate dining room table, sat down sadly in a straight-back chair and continued.      “One typical evening last week, before I made my decision, I was in Des Moines, Iowa, and made a random stop at a home in the suburbs. I found the father sitting in the living room with the children. I went up to him on the couch and whispered slightly behind and below his right ear where the tunnel bone to the mind is. I said, “You’re alive,” pause-nothing. I raised my voice, “You live now, you breathe in and out this minute and the time is coming when you won’t.” Pause--nothing. ‘The woman next to you with the small small child who anchors you to this world; loosened, all loosened and lost.’ Then I waited and watched, watched for a sign, just a hint of awareness, a flicker, a small twitch in the ear, anything. Slowly something began to happen inside him. He opened his mouth and said, ‘Honey, would you switch the channel, Jeopardy is on channel eight!’  “From there I went to a college dorm and found a sophomore in his room alone. I whispered in his ear, ‘When the wind blows the trees argue.’ I went around to see the front of his face -- nothing. I lost my temper and yelled, ‘You idiot! There is summer on earth, be amazed!’ Still nothing. His mind returns to his last basketball game. I realized he was as good as hopeless. It was hopeless! I could make it snow gold and they would just worry about driving in it. It seems everything has gone from bad to desperately bad.  And after this last war, a ‘desert storm’ mentality took hold in the popular culture, creating a kind of widespread pathetic sub-species. It was shortly after that when I made my decision.” “I just don’t understand,” she continued. “Their little clay-baked reality is so much shorter and homelier than fantasy’s alternative twirl. I’m beginning to think you may have made a mistake in not setting them free from the knowledge, I mean the rumor of you. I think the imagination’s poverty is tied to not being able to get to their own experiences, to find their own truth about their own experience. They are instructed, urged, and threatened how to think, feel, and behave from the beginning, so that in the deep layers of the mind they mistrust and fear the self. Their authentic heart is stillborn. What could be a vital alive radiance becomes a cold gray unsure ness. They end up trying to take cues for existence from others. Culture finally overwhelms them. The price they pay for staying huddled around the campfire’s group safety is not to know the wonderful unexplored forests of the self. When they wander away from the warm fires and the insecurity rises up, they feel the fear as a weakness rather than a call to deeper strength, and they scurry back.”    Slowly the Muse rose from the table and walked over to God, who was sitting on the side of the futon, his head between his knees. She tossed an envelope next to him. “I hope you will not take this personally. I know things take time, but I can’t wait any longer. My self esteem is at minus two-hundred and falling, and I need to attend to that before the damage is beyond repair. I’ve written an acceptable cover story for press release, so you needn’t worry about the publicity, and I’m sending you one of my new grad students to take over. Mira. She’s my favorite understudy, long dark hair and eyes that flash bright sparks.” She looked out the window at the constellation Orion. “Well, I see that I’m late for an interview. I have to run.  I’ll keep in touch. Good-bye.” With a flurry she vanished.     Biman had remained motionless in a corner of the room while she spoke, trying to be invisible, but now began to feel a self-consciousness as silence filled the room following her departure. He made his way to the entrance, stepped out, closed the door quietly and stood in the hall shaking his head in a slow back-and-forth motion. “It is no wonder there is such confusion and sadness down there,” he thought. “They have been parented by dysfunctional Gods. But then, they, too, haven’t had it easy, to have to do it all from nothing, no role models. It’s really a miracle that it works as well as it does. Still, it is sad. Perhaps if he hadn’t made them in his image, or at least waited until it was improved. But then, they are still evolving down there. I suppose you have to start somewhere. I guess you just have to have faith that it will work out eventually. Faith is trickier here, though, when you’re face to face. It’s not good to see too closely. That’s a blessing I think they’ve overlooked down there. True mercy is not knowing. Oh well, it’s not my worry,” he thought gratefully. “Two thousand more years and I’ll be retiring. Get a little cottage over on Alpha Centauri, out near the edge, quiet and peaceful.” He looked at his watch. “Almost time for the late movie,” he thought. “ ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ tonight--been looking forward to that, always lifts my spirits; Atticus, that good lawyer and father, on the porch with Jem and Scout, shedding gentle wisdom.” Then he thought of Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court. “Life should learn to imitate art better,” he said softly, out loud, shaking his head sadly. He continued walking quietly down the hall talking to himself in a low voice. “I think I’ll get a dog for the cottage, an Irish sheep dog or one of those little brown and white terriers. And maybe a cat. Yes, I’ll get a cat too.”

No comments:

Post a Comment