Before the sun rose, God manifested himself under the Washington Square Arch. There was nowhere to be and time didn’t exist until he stepped onto the concrete sidewalk. He was aimless as he proceeded to walk for hours. As time turned he bore witness to the rising sun and with it the busy people walking past him. He saw mothers and fathers with children, he saw young people sitting on steps playing with small round globes as smooth as glass, he saw children pumping their legs to keep up with those charged to keep them safe. He found it easier to walk on the peripherals of the sidewalk where he could meander with greater purpose; it kept him moving forward, though by doing so he noticed less.
The more he walked the greater the sun’s heat as the day progressed. He was solicited by a young woman on 63rd and Columbus so that he might help save the environment, but he didn’t know anything needed saving. He continued and began to dwell on an unsettling notion: he’d no idea anything here was wrong. How could he help a people he didn’t know needed saving? He knelt down to a child in a stroller, a young girl not more than three years old, who reached out her hand. God took it and in a continued state of detachment asked her: “What kind of God am I?” The mother turned from talking with a friend and shifted the stroller away with a quickness he hadn’t realized he imbued her with. His outpouring of love grew for her in equilibrium with the anxiety he harbored until he stopped and refocused; he pushed forward and soon found himself on 75th and West End Avenue. His anxiety was massive; his love for this place was eternal, it radiated out of him in competition with the ever growing heat of the sun that beat down upon him, but he felt anxious and lost at knowing so little about a place he created from nothing. Nothing. He looked left, and right, up and down and diagonal, he spun in circles like one of those old-time hand-generators he once saw while window-shopping. He spun and tried to take in all of Earth, to learn everything he could from scratch to better understand the pain He, I Am Who Am, had allowed himself to be immune to and unaware of.
Each rotation of this generator, each turn of his body, acted as a 360 degree rotation of anxietal-love, creating an energy within him that expelled from his being in an ever brightening glare of inner light until it gave him a headache; so he stopped and bought a pair of sunglasses at a corner bodega.
His eyes were still adjusting to the sudden shade when he was almost hit by a speeding black town-car in a crosswalk on Riverside Drive. Shaken, he stuck close to the buildings and came by a homeless man trying to sell pickles to passersby. He patted the man on the knee and said, “Be well, my son.” The man asked God to buy a portion of his stock but when God told him he had no money, the man threw up his arms and told him to, “bug off. Don’t be such a tease. Go away, you’re blocking the path for others,” the man said. God didn’t answer right away, he just stood there and decided to make amends by saying he’d be happy to eat a pickle if it would satisfy the man, so the man performed a rude gesture.
Bewildered, God continued forward in a stupor, only stopping at 81st and Amsterdam where he came across a painter creating a beautiful picture of his own son. God was amazed and told the painter, “Great likeness.” Jesus was surrounded by an onslaught of imagery, but the top left corner caught God’s eye. There was a ladder with a man sitting on the bottom rung outside of a bar, of which the painter was focusing on from across the road. “Jake’s Dilemma,” God said in observance. The painter looked at God like he’d asked a question and pointed at the bar across the street. “It’s over there. Open your eyes, dude.” And though God wasn’t asking, he still thought to himself how he’d never before considered taking part in worldly things. He grew confused momentarily about self, about how he might have made a mistake in splitting himself into three beings, about what he had done and hadn’t done and whether or not he remembered everything. He felt like he’d lost time and that perhaps the Holy Trinity should consider a weekly meeting to catch up on things.
He looked at the bar and continued to grow confused between temptation and self-fulfillment, so in an attempt to understand his creation he gave in to desire. He went up to the window, knocked three times to garnish the attention of a young woman inside, and after she peaked out of the door, he inquired if he could enter the establishment before opening hours. After being let inside, he hopped on a barstool with less than precision and confessed it was his first time there and though he created the people who created the bar, he was unsure of how to proceed. “What’ll you have?” the woman asked, but God was flustered and of nervous quality. He felt anxious again at being out in the world and more than a little trapped and frustrated at having zero guidance. “I don’t drink,” God confessed. “In fact I don’t do much of anything. I’ve spent the last three millennia building a notebook of self-help books but those were stolen some time ago by a thief named Moses.” The woman looked at him in a quizzical way, complimented his sunglasses and said, “It’s best to start light.” She handed him a hard cider. God lifted the drink, imbibed the liquid and felt better. He felt like he understood the establishment, humanity, and his own wandering. He felt like he were merging with the world. He thought the woman good looking.
He said to her, “You’re a kind spirited woman, what’s your name so that I might remember you?” “Eve,” she replied, and with a sigh of frustration God said, “Damn it,” and the world crumbled.
I slide my finger over books,
tiny kitchenette sinks,
the caterpillar scooter,
the stuffed tiger
missing its tamer,
and the lion welcome rug
wondering who needs courage.
I wander this space,
bumping into where she used to lay,
before I circle the room’s edge,
peeking into each nook,
curious to ask why,
why everything is in its place.
The room is clean.
I am the changeable piece
floating in the air,
a tangible peace
who shouts “Celebrate the Season!”
to no one.
I think about everything
I’m missing, but I stay, listening,
waiting for the girl who went
I guard the night,
Sitting in the girl’s doorway,
silhouetted by windows,
and the man reminds himself,