Author’s note: I asked for this paragraph to be placed above the story, as I would like to clarify some things before you read this blasphemous brainchild of mine. Firstly, I wrote this story with no specific version of an all knowing and all mighty being in mind. So whether you believe in God, Allah, Jehova, Lucifer, Freya, or Vishnu please note this text does not seek to negate the relevance of or atone to your personal beliefs. Secondly, I am not a Christian, but since I have grown up in the Western world, I have grown accustomed to referring to this supposed universal force as God. Hence, this piece is titled ‘A Conversation with God’. Thirdly, please note that this story in no way aims to invalidate or discredit the idea of there potentially being a creator. The fictional story I have written merely seeks out what would happen if someone was to interact with this cosmic force. (Someone, not myself, even though the story follows a first-person narrative.) Thank you for your understanding and I hope you will enjoy reading my short story.
A Conversation with God
The thought crossed my mind when I was walking my dog. After three months of forcing myself to walk the safest, most isolated route in my neighbourhood, I decided to embark on a different journey (given that it would be the most travel I would be part-taking in these upcoming months). During this rogue stroll, we walked past a church. This unexpected sight sparked a series of thoughts and questions in my restless mind. Perhaps these self-indulgent ideas come forth from my arrogance. But I would like to argue that after months of isolation, everybody begins to wonder what it would be like to have normal conversations again. My imaginary interaction merely differed, as I chose a rather unusual interlocutor. Regardless, the initial thought came to me with such speed and such a force, I did not have time to ponder its origins.
Would You be proud of us?
We are currently facing threats to our existence birthed from our own incompetence. A pandemic, which is killing off millions, was largely created by our misuse of our ecosystem. Worldwide protests, in which people are simply seeking to be treated as equals, comes from years of frustration towards unjust legal, economical, and socio-historical systems. A nation in the Middle East, which was mostly because of military interventions imposed by other overly glorified countries, suffers from hunger and illnesses among its citizens. We are ruining your supposed gift and trying to build it back up again. But will righting our wrongs in this moment truly be enough to save us from an apparent imminent condemnation past generations have forced upon us? And if we fail to right these wrongs, how will this play out for us? Some people find these events serve as retributions for our sins and are desperately trying to live more appropriately by diligently following the rules in your preferred playbook. Some people are on the verge of extremism and are twisting your words to justify their violent actions. Most people however, appear to believe that you are here with us. Guiding us through these troubling times.
You’re a hypocrite. That’s what I would tell you. If you truly are ruler of the universe and someone who exerts grace, how dare you implement straining circumstances such as disease, sexism, racism on us. You are undeserving of unnecessary capitalisation. Don’t you dare blame this on a devil or a demon. Even if they were involved, it would still be you who allowed these series of unfortunate events to unfold in such a destructive manner. I am well aware that I sound bitter in these accusations. Perhaps it is my atheist upbringing that allows me to twist the tone of our conversation in a darker direction. Although this may come across as blunt so late into the conversation, I am not fully convinced of existence. But, I digress. I am the one who started this ballad of a monologue feigning to be a dialogue.
I continued my path with my four-footed friend and noticed a young couple. The two girls gave each other a quick peck, and looked slightly elated when they realised I’d caught a glimpse. I realised that I head rudely interrupted what was to be an intimate act of love and sheepishly averted my gaze, not out of contempt, but out of my own shyness. To be quite frank, I don’t care so much about gender, sex, and sexuality conversation. Love is love, happiness is happiness, and beliefs surrounding gender are a social construct. Surely, you who claim we are all your children can understand this much?
Do you honestly care about our love lives?
You see, the aforementioned playbook fanatics claim that you would be against these supposed unorthodox antics. Even though I’m pretty certain there are currently far more important stakes at play that what’s happening in our pants. Even your less-than-kind counterparts must be far more interested in playing a role in the Middle East’s oil crisis, than a colourful parade. Not to mention the roles we’re supposed to have.
Why would there be such a dichotomy in the roles of men and women?
What does it matter who housekeeps and who works? Please, I beg of you if you are planning on sending us a sign, tell us! Tell them! We are all equal we should all be treated as equals. Why are you letting us treat each other like this? Why are you allowing us to take it this far? Where are you? What should we be doing? Please, send us a sign!
The loud barking of my dog breaks through the spiralling pattern of thoughts. We’ve reached the boulevard near the beach. He always gets excited by the sight of the sea. Although it looks rather crowded at the beach, I comply and walk closer to the shore. This was supposed to be our special trip and I shouldn’t let my worrying about existential cosmic forces get in the way of providing him with the best day ever. I find us a relatively remote spot and sit down, before letting him off his leash. He’s well trained enough.
I can’t help but grin when I see him rush towards the beckoning, blue waves. I am well aware that he will make a mess of the house when we are back, but his endless excitement about the mundane never ceases to amaze me. It won’t be long before he runs back to me, carrying in his mouth something new he’s found.
Perhaps this is what you feel like too. You could be looking at us from a distance with a smile, knowing that one way or another, we will find our way back to you.
Perhaps this is purgatory. We all seem to be looking for the next best thing, or a saviour, or both. This could very well be a deliciously hellish waiting room. Equally addictive for its indulgent pleasures, as it is loathsome for its vile horrors. I stand by my previous statements.
Perhaps this is the bad place. This place could very well be the palace of atonement for our sins in a previous life. You have left us with this mess. You are not giving us any directions whatsoever about how to fix these things. Some of your followers are blatantly misusing the lessons you have left us with to their advantage in the worst possible way.
Quietly I lay down in the sand allowing the calming sounds of a summer day on the beach to wash over me, erasing all doubts and worries. Come what may, I doubt us humans will give up that easily. We are headstrong and loving and overly optimistic about our capabilities in making this floating lump of gas, water, and earth a better place. In an unfortunate way, it’s true. We have everything we need and more to help each other and to make this world a better place. We just have to learn how to do right by each other, how to do good.
I close my eyes and imagine a life in which the children of my children will have figured it out already. They’ll mock me for once having had such existential worries about the ways of the universe, as they will already be experiencing and exploring the world that will be built from the actions of my generation. I wonder if their giggles will feel like the warm sunbeams which are dancing across my skin.
How rude of you. I joke. You haven’t answered even one of my questions.
I try to push away my speculative concerns to focus on the sounds of the waves. The rhythmic and melodic crashing of water into sand vaguely reminds me of hymns my grandmother used to sing around the house. Somewhere in the distance, I can hear it. A faint whisper coming from the bottom of the sea. Yet, the voice is clear enough to differentiate from the roaring of the waters.
Perhaps, this has been paradise all along.
*DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of BAISmag or BASIS.*