Face Flowed Into Her Eyes
Location: Miami Metropolitan Area
Exercise: Don't look God in the breasts
God shifts in Her bath, I tried to look away, even as an atheist it didn’t seem right to peek at God’s breasts. But mirrors were everywhere in God’s bathroom. Mirrors for walls, floor, and ceiling: God’s cocoa breasts poking out of the suds and Her black-and-orange curls from a hundred angles. She notices me trying not to notice and Her lips curl up at the corners. “Say, have you heard the one about the fisherman?”
I crossed one leg over the other and sat back in my seat, frowning at Her. “Maybe.”
She nods. “Want to hear it? It might take your mind off Lauren.”
Like cold water it washed over me. Lauren. Hospital Bed. I crossed my legs the other way and looked around for an exit, perhaps a door hidden behind the towels or a window…but nothing, just mirrors, mirrors and mirrors and more mirrors.
God rolls Her eyes. “Sorry, I guess I pink elephanted you, didn’t I?”
I blinked. “You were saying something about a story.”
“Oh right. Well anyway, there’s this fisherman. One day the fisherman is casting out his net but he can’t get nothing. So he prays to Me. But he gets My name wrong the first few times so I don’t listen. When he gets It right though I throw him a bone. He nets a samovar. One of My Wrong Names is in the samovar. Now the Wrong Name is damn mad for being cooped up for so long so He decides to take it out on the fisherman. Now the fisherman prays to Me again and almost gets it right.”
“Almost?” I adjusted my glasses.
“Mhmm. Almost. Rolled an r where he shouldn’t have. As the Germans say: kann man nicht machen,” God smiles and snaps Her fingers.
“Was that story true?” I asked after a pause.
“Was that question oxymoronic?” She asks with a snort, “But yeah, yeah it did happen.”
Another pause, longer this time. “You’re not God,” I said.
“Oh?” God shows Her flawless teeth, “You still don’t believe in Me?”
“No,” I leaned back and tried not to think of hospital beds, “I don’t believe in God. But if God existed, God wouldn’t be cruel or fickle.”
She turns Her eyes to me. For the first time their blackness transpires. Not black like Her skin or even black like coal; black like an empty space, a placeholder for eyes. “I must be consummate in all things. That includes cruelty and caprice. Take Lauren for instance. I feel bad for her just as I find it hilarious that she serves two tours in Iraq without a scratch and then gets fishtailed by a drunk driver as soon as she gets back to the Burbs.”
I wanted to throttle Her. “Damn You,” I whispered, as if She wouldn’t hear.
She laughs. “Want to hear another story?”
“Where the longleaf pines are whispering
to him who loved them so.
Where the faint murmurs now dwindling
echo o’er tide and shore."
-A Grave Epitaph in Santa Rosa County, Florida; I wish I could remember the man's name.