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When God Came Back I Became Alone by James DiGiovanna


     Godís return to earth was a surprise to those who were awaiting Him because they thought that he would come in judgment. Instead, He came in a Learjet, and his small retinue of security agents were gentle, but hard to get to know.
     And yet everyone recognized Him and threw garlands at Him and bowed before Him. But He was modest, and said No, no, really, no, and they stopped, and He shook some hands and kissed a baby, which became The Baby That He Kissed, and you know her from her TV show where she helps couples with love and partnership.
     Some of us wondered where He had been, but He said Letís not talk about the past, letís talk about the present, and the future. Like how great is this country? And have you noticed that some money is taxed twice, and can We fix that? We can.
     And I wondered, Can He see everything that weíre doing? And does he know all that we think? And He answered me, and said, Yes, but itís cool. And I wasnít sure if it was cool or not.
     His followers didnít ask such questions, they just praised him. And they were surprised when He didnít make Himself king, but instead declared His candidacy. He said: Iím not demanding obedience, Iím asking for your vote, because I respect you, and I respect the process.
     Of course He won, though not by as much as you would have thought. Early polling had Him at 100%, as did middle and late polling, but the actual vote was 51% God, 49% former senator Terry Stevens of Idaho, who got a lot of traction on his Iím One Of You campaign. Some suspected vote fraud, as Stevenís large holdings in Freemont Voting Machines becoming a minor post-election issue, but God said Ok, the votes are in, the American people have chosen, can we not make a big issue about it?
     His first acts in office were minor. He eliminated the estate tax for holdings of less than 250,000 dollars, and graduated it for higher sums. He did away with unnecessary soy bean subsidies. He tapped a rock on the White House lawn and a dancing fountain arose, and it was lit with colored lights, and you can still go to see it today.
     And I reported this story, and as I wrote it God stood over my shoulder, and He said Thatís a nice metaphor; I like that, I really do. And I thanked Him, but I didnít mean it, and He knew that.
     International relations became strained, mostly because other countries were jealous, and some demanded equal rule by deity, and some just laughed, ha ha, because they were atheists and thought that Godís comment at the U.N., I may be God but Iím not gonna tell Secretary General Bíshawe how to shave! was very funny.
     Many thought Godís changes upon the earth and our land would be more extreme, and it was His followers who first started to grumble, because the rest of the people were too impressed by 18% year-to-year growth. And in the press conference I said Isnít at least some of this growth due to the policies of your predecessor? And He said I knew you were gonna say that! And I felt dissed by omniscience.
     The progressive wing of the party wanted debt relief for third world countries, which He said He was working on, but His followers wanted universal judgment and the burning of the unrighteous in fires of purification and the establishment of the City of God for the saved. And He said The City of God is your town, America, if you make an effort!
     But they demanded more, and his popularity with his base faltered, and his approval rating was only 70%, which I wrote was a typical affect of the end of the honeymoon period in newly elected presidents, and God appeared to me and He said you mean effect, not affect, and I said Yeah, thatís what I meant.
     And He signed a law allowing victims to testify anonymously in cases of violent or sexual crime, which some said was unconstitutional but the Supreme Court said Far be it from us to judge God wrong!
     And crime rates did drop nationwide, and we were thankful, and God said Hey, you know what? Thatís My job. So thank you, America, for hiring Me.
     And the climate change bill was making progress in committee, and this was seen as a good sign, and our gun rights were not an issue, and God went golfing with the president of Russia, and He got a hole in one.
     But at last a cry came out too loud for Him to ignore, and it said We do not need a balanced legislative agenda, we do not need a simplified tax code, we do not need a budget shortfall collection guarantee, we need a sign from You that our beliefs matter, and that we matter, and that we are the blessed jewel of Your creation to which You bequeath the small fraction of Your glory that is salvation.
     And God thought about it, and He said Ok. I can see that. I can see where youíre coming from.
     And he went into seclusion for 40 minutes, which is known as the time of the Great Darkness, and then he returned after a commercial break, and he said Ok, I have an idea.
     And that was when we received our beautiful costumes, our capes and masks and many-colored insignia. And we received our powers. And He said Blessed are the poor in spirit, for you shall have super-strength. Blessed are the mourners, for you shall have stretchy power. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for you shall have flight and either intangibility or eye-beams, but not both, as that would unbalance the whole thing and who could stop you? And blessed are the meek, for you shall have super-intelligence and robots.
     And others were also blessed and arrayed in their new clothes. And I asked Him, can I have something a little different? And He said, Sure, what did you have in mind? And I said, could you give me the power to hide from You?
     And He said, Wow, thatís sort of a paradox. But sure, why not, to you I grant the power to hide from God.
     And while the others played with God in the great gardens that He founded in all places, and while they threw a ball to Him and He tossed it high and they soared in the air to catch it, I stood alone to the side and I watched, and I wrote my reports, and no one saw me, and this made me very, very happy.

James DiGiovanna is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and multiple award-winning film critic for The Tucson Weekly. His fiction has appeared in Spork, Blue Moon Review, and 20X18. In collaboration with Carey Burtt he made the feature film Forked World and the short Kant Attack Ad. His website is www.spoonbot.com.

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