So, I'm out in my garden talking to God. It's a beautiful spring day about 55 degrees with a slight breeze, just enough to keep me cool while I'm pulling weeds.
"You missed one," He says to me.
"Smartass," I reply as I snatch at the little patch of green, peeking out from the tilled soil. He is, you know, but then we talk as equals, usually when I'm doing something mundane, like pulling weeds. It's usually times like that when we talk, when I'm doing something that gets me in closer touch with Mother Earth.
We start off when he shows up, getting preliminaries out of the way. "Still doing okay without my help?" He asks.
"Yeah," I say. "You?"
"Still good," He says.
"Cool," I sit up and fish a smoke from my pocket and light it.
"Those things are gonna kill you," He reminds me.
"When?" I ask.
"You know that would take all the fun out of it," He explains as he has on many other occasions.
"Speaking of fun," I raise a finger. "How come you're letting all those Jesus freaks drag your name through the dirt? A well-placed lightning bolt or two would be entertaining as well as effective."
"Sure would be," He agreed. "But you know I don't work that way. Remember what I told you that day on the Afghan border?"
"When we pulled that Agency puke out of the mountains two steps ahead of the Russians?" When else? It was the only time I was in Afghanistan, unofficially of course.
"Thought I was gonna lose you that day," He chuckled.
"Tell me about it," I agree, taking a long drag from the Camel as I relive that day in a moment's time. "Thanks for the memories."
"What did I tell you when your friend bought it?"
I took a deep breath. "That you don't care. That you think long term."
"Dude," He says. "You've only been around a million years. That's nothing in the big scheme of things. You're nothing in the big scheme of things."
"Thanks a lot," I mumble sarcastically.
"Your ego can take it," He laughed again. "Look," He gets serious. "Those guys are your problem. In a hundred years, nobody's gonna remember them."
"Unless they convince that simian nitwit in the White House to unleash Armageddon," I remind Him. "He's another one I'd like to talk to you about."
"And you know what happens after, don't you?" God says. "Something else will spring forth from your ashes and begin the cycle anew. I'll probably have to wait a long time for them to become as entertaining as you guys are, but I can use the rest. You're keeping me up nights."
"That's nice from where you sit," I tell him. "That immortality gig changes your perspective. I sort of had bigger plans for humanity. There's a Solar System to conquer, and the rest of the galaxy after that."
"Who says the folks out there will let you conquer them?" God laughed. "I told you, your ego is cast iron and inflated."
"Fine," I shrug. "No lightning bolts?"
"You'll have to do your own dirty work, dude," He says. "But charlatans are generally never successful in the long run. They'll self-destruct soon enough, probably not soon enough for your liking, but they will."
"I wish I could share your optimism," I tell Him.
"Optimism?" God laughed once more. "I'm not optimistic for you people at all. You should have dumped the religiosity thing a thousand years ago. Shit, you should have done some of that conquering of space by now, at least have colonized the Solar System by now. You idiots are still debating Me. You missed another one."
"Happy?" I ask as I rip the weed out by the roots.
"Look, I gotta go," God says.
"I thought you have eternity to spare? What's the rush?" I ask.
"Heh," He mutters. "There are a bunch of idiots just like you people on a planet about fifty thousand light years from here. It seems they are on the verge of nuclear war and I have to stop and get popcorn first. The fireworks should be outstanding"
"You have such macabre tastes," I say.
"Hey, you watch Murder, She Wrote reruns," God replied. "You should talk. I'll catch you on the rebound."
"Hopefully before we provide fireworks of our own," I say.
"Indeed," He says. "I was getting attached to you. You're creative in your stupidity."
"And you're a smartass," I called after Him.
"Yeah," He said. "But I'm God."