“Can I talk to you?”
“Why?” she asked, looking him up and down.
“I’m god and I’m here to judge you.”
“I don’t think so,” she snorted, sitting on a stool.
“Excuse me?” he said, shocked. “I’m god. Arn’t you in awe? Don’t you want to drop to your knees?”
“Yes. I’m GOD.”
“I don’t believe in you.”
“You can’t not believe in me. I’m standing right here.”
“You could be anybody. I don’t believe in god, therefore, you aren’t god to me, so buzz off, I’m trying to eat my pizza.”
“You should be thrilled just to see me.”
She choked, waved her hand in front of her face and reached for her drink. “Dude, move away from my table, or I’ll call the manager.”
“I’m here to judge you.”
“”Don’t care. Judge away.”
“I don’t understand,” he said, adjusting his halo.
“Look,” she huffed. “If you’re homeless, there are places you can go to get help. Maybe they can even help you get your meds. If you really are god, you still won’t matter to me because I’m not into god. How you feel about me, or see me, is of no interest to me at all. Not even the tiniest bit. If you are god, I’d like to beat the crap out of you, so you’re lucky I think you’re just another nut job.”
“I could send you to hell.”
“Have you looked around this planet lately?”
“What about the ten commandments?”
“What about them?”
“You have to live by them.”
“You need to pay a lot more attention to your flock,” she snickered, popping a mushroom into her mouth.
“What does that mean?”
“Your representatives are raping kids, telling one lie after another to cover up their evil ways and they are richer than you are.”
“Been on vacation, have you?”
“Your costume wearing representatives, squeeze poor people for money, instead of parting with their own, even though there are homeless people all around the vatican area.”
“What’s a vatican?”
“A billion room castle where your guy lives. He has a bullet proof car too.”
“How can you not believe in me?”
“You don’t really exist. Sorry about that. Really, I am. Have a french fry.”
He took one, after she shoved the plate toward him.
“If you went to the vatican right now, it’s in Italy, by the way, they’d never let you in, unless you paid for a tour, and got in that way. You don’t look rich, you’re not with the mob, you’re not a lawyer, or a person who is in acquisitions, if you know what I mean, so you would be useless to them, even though you’re supposedly their boss.”
“Do you really want to beat me up?”
“Definitely. But since I don’t think you’re real, it’s out of the question.”
“What if I can walk on water?”
“What if I can turn water into wine?”
“What if you can? And don’t even bring up the poor fish and loaves story.”
“How do you know so much about me, if you don’t believe in me?”
“God’s everywhere. Huge money maker. God’s REALLY BIG BUSINESS, and no taxes need be paid, since the modern day peasants will be worked to death to pay them. Easy way to control others too. But there are a lot of gods. You’re just the god for some people. If you WERE god, I mean. People are no longer illiterate and afraid of everything. What’s god gonna save us from? Ourselves? That ship sailed a long time ago. We are what we are. No need for gods any longer. That whole lightening bolt and smiting thing, doesn’t scare anyone. Now we use Glocks, viruses, bombs and politics.”
“You have a bad attitude.”
She laughed and lobbed a piece of tomato at him.
“Thank you for the compliment.
He sighed. “Do you believe in any of those other gods?”
“No. I’m a grown up.”
“What’s that supposed to mean.”
“It means, that I believe in me and take responsibility for myself and I don’t believe that any god worth his flappy, rope sandals, would let people suffer the way they do. That’s why, if there was a god, and I met him, I’d beat him to a bloody pulp.”
“Good thing I’m not him, then, right?”
“It is, because you’d also be a sexist pig.”
“So, god’s not such a nice guy, is that what you’re saying?”
She stared at him. “Haven’t you been listening? God doesn’t exist. There is no god. There is no guy.”
“What about the devil?”
“What about him?”
“Do you believe in him?”
“What about evil.”
“That’s what this place IS. Were you born yesterday?”
“I’m older than that.”
“Duh. I was being facetious.”
“How about the Goddesses?”
“We are everywhere.”
He nodded. “That’s what my wife said.”
“Where’s your wife?”
“Oh, sorry. Even though I don’t believe in heaven, I’m sorry she’s gone.”
“She’s not gone, she’s in heaven, waiting for me to come home.”
“She is. Why would I make something like that up?”
“This whole thing is made up. Nothing’s real. We make it up as we go along. Well, men make it up and everyone else suffers because of it.”
“But I really am god and my wife is waiting for me. She probably has dinner ready.”
“Whatever you say.”
“That’s sarcasm, isn’t it?”
“I bet there’s someone in this pizza place who would recognize me and worship me and do what I tell them to do. Some of them have crosses around their necks and crosses drawn on their arms.”
She got to her feet and said, “Hey. Listen up. This guy said he’s god and he believes you’ll know him and think he’s worth worshipping. He said that you’ll do what he tells you to do, because he’s…god.”
After the boo’s died down and he wiped the food stains off of his clothing, the best he could, he sighed.
“Anything else you’d like to try?”
“I think I’ve seen enough.”
“Oh, I don’t know. Want to walk through some of the neighborhoods on the south side?”
She chuckled. “If you’re god, maybe the bullets won’t hurt you.”
“I think I’ll pass.”
She made chicken noises and some guy walking past her table, shoulder bumped him hard.
“You people are nasty,” he said, rubbing his arm.
“Gee, I wonder how we got that way?”
“It’s not my fault,” he said quickly. “I gave you free will.”
“Well, we’re using it, to not believe in you.”
“I didn’t actually think about that part.”
“You supposedly sent your own kid, to die for you.”
“He died for YOU.”
“I don’t think so. I think you were just scared to come here yourself. Parents are supposed to protect their kids. But those who don’t, are just emulating you.”
“I thought you didn’t believe in me.”
“I don’t. I don’t even like you as a person.”
“I could call down the angels.”
“So they can fight your battles for you? Like your kid did? Besides, the people in this joint could take out the angels.”
“You don’t know what your talking about,” he said, shaking his head. “No one can take out an angel.”
“When was the last time they were here?”
“What do you mean?”
“What? Were there like six people on the planet? How many of those people had more than a rock or stick for weapon?”
“Angels can’t be killed.”
“IF they existed, I bet we could make them really unhappy.”
By now others were listening to their conversation.
“Are we gonna fight angels,” said one guy, excitedly.
“No,” she said. “Sorry, but this person is just one bottle short of a six-pack.”
More boo’s went up, a few slices of bread were thrown at him, but then everyone went back to what they were doing.
“If you want to have people believe in you, you’ll have to stain the side of a building, so that the stain kind of looks like one of the pictures people think their god looks like. You can make a statue cry, by putting a tube inside the statue. You can show up in the shape of a potato, or put your face on a piece of toast, or any number of things. People will believe all of that and even pay money for it. They will stand in front of a wall, for hours, just to see the face of god. A face that no one has ever seen, of a god, that doesn’t exist. They won’t believe in you, no matter what you say, but they will believe in those things. Actually, there are probably a few homeless people outside who might try to get you to acknowledge the fact that they are god. You’d be better off trying to pass as one of the Beatles, or Elvis.”
“Elvis is dead.”
“No one’s positive about that. There are still sightings.”
“He’s dead, believe me.”
“I’m teasing you. I don’t care about Elvis either.”
“Do you care about anyone?”
“Cats, dogs. All of the animals, actually, plus the plants. The environment too.”
“If you’re god, get rid of the plastic floating around in the ocean that’s the size of Texas. That’s something I’d like to see. Do something useful. Clean up the oceans and rebuild the ice so the polar bears are okay.”
“You’re going to be disappointed.”
“Not really, since you don’t exist.”
“Right. I don’t exist. Do you exist?”
“I have no idea.”
He laughed. “You’re not easy.”
“That’s what all the guys in this place will tell you.’
“It was nice talking with you.”
“If you say so.”
“I’ll see you. Eventually.”
“I don’t think so.”
He walked down the aisle to the door. A few people booed and some threw things at him, as he passed, but it wasn’t a big deal.
Jake came over to her table and said, “What if he really was god?”
“Do you care?”
“No. Do you?”
“Not even a little.”
So he sat down and they finished her pizza.