So. I’ve been having visits from god for a year now and the resulting thoughts, feelings and desires are a mixed bag of tricks. For starters, after many hours of conversation with god, I have no better clue as to his/her/its origin or identity, powers or desires than anyone else on the planet. Other than to tell me that Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Brigham Young, Pope Anyone, and the rest of the “preachy” preachers are mostly full of shit, my new best buddy, god, hesitates to tell me what is right, and wrong.
When god paid me a visit yesterday he said to me, he said, “Look, Mooner, the basic tenets of most religions are sound and mark cadence with my wishes for you humans and the world I gave you to foster. Peace, Love and Caring are my middle names.”
God laughed at that one, then added, “I like deprecating and especially self-deprecating humor, sonny boy—like your refusal to capitalize me and my pronouns. You silly human shits have gotten so self-centered and exclusionary that you can’t have any real fun anymore. And you keep oppressing and killing each other.”
We were down to the dock—sitting with our legs dangling over the side—drinking Carta Blanca beers that kept materializing from nowhere, and enjoying the mellow from some nifty mushroom buttons. Each time I’d set an empty down, a fresh new bottle of beer would be sitting in the water ring of the last. And let me tell you this. God’s beer was no colder or tastier than that which I purchase by the truckload down to Mexico and smuggle across to Texas. When I asked him why that was, he answered, “How can I improve on perfection?”
On his last visit, god came in the form of a shape shifter, changing faces and forms faster than Mitt Romney flips his flops. Yesterday’s visage only changed a couple times as points were made to me. I was sitting alone, contemplating life when my cell phone rang in my pocket. I saw on the caller ID that it was my buddy Bill from Tennessee. When I answered my phone, Bill’s voice said, “Look over your shoulder, brother.”
I did and there was Bill, or rather there was god in Bill’s skin. It took me a moment to figure things out and when the thought hit my brain to jump up and hug a welcome on my friend, I was told, “Keep your seat, Mooner, it’s me—god. Have a fresh beer.”
That was when the first new beer materialized in place of the last beer’s water ring. Maybe for the sake of clarity I’ll use the name Bill-god for this visit, and say god was a he and him. “I brought some mushrooms from the Far East for Streaker Jones and Dixie. I’m testing to see just how smart your pecker-wood buddy might be.”
A Zip-Lock baggie appeared in Bill-god’s hand and he opened it, grabbed half-a-handful of buttons, ate three and handed me two. “Best we start you on two of these, son. I need your focus for a little talking.”
I chewed and swallowed the shroomers and noticed the flavor of truffles and the perfume of lilacs. “These tastes like a French countryside, sir. Where in Asia do they grow truffles and lilacs?”
“They’re cultivated in Hanoi, Mooner, but the flavor is all from that mushroom. Truffles can’t grow in Viet Nam.”
Bill-god sat and dangled his feet towards the water, he and I swinging our legs back-and-forth. “It’s too fucking hot here, dude. I know you want some cooler weather so why don’t you look for a place in the mountains?”
I had started sweating like a goat in a soup pot, rivulets of fat, salty drops soaking my tee shirt after running off my face. “Man, these mushrooms hit quick,” I said, “I feel like I’m in a sweat box.”
Bill-god tipped his bottle for a swig of beer, wiped his sweaty brow with the front of his Oakland Raiders tee, swilled and drained his beer, and said, “Not the spores, dude, that’s pure Texas heat beating you down. You need to be drinking more water.”
“If I get a place to the mountains where would I go? I need to stay close to home, so the Appalachians are out, and I’m not crazy about Colorado or Arkansas. I’m not all that excited about Colorado. Everybody’s too intense about something or another—exercise, work, avoiding work, church,” I told him. “And you know I need to stay out of Arkansas after that little indecent from back when we played them in football.”
Bill-god gave me a quizzical look. I said, “Back when we were in the Southwest Conference, remember that year when we tail gaited up to their place and smoked the wild pigs near the front gates to their stadium?”
“Oh yea,” he said. “That was a close one right there, dude. I never knew you could run that fast.”
We laughed about how I almost got my brains bashed out by drunk hillbillies wearing pig helmets, and then reveled in the fact that Texas won a national championship nipping and tucking the Hogs in the game. Bill-god started giggling and said to me he said, “Can you believe old Tricky-Dicky Nixon trying to steal the Horns’ thunder after that game? Catch this action…”
He shape-shifted from Bill-god and transformed into the spitting image of Richard Milhouse Nixon, former president of these United States. He held up peace signs on the fingers of both hands and made that stupid pose and expression that Nixon used when he was attempting anything light hearted. He twinkled his eyes at me, shook his jowls with a “bluuubb” and said to me, he said, “I… am not… a crook!”
“Holy shit but that’s a great impression,” I told Dick-god. “Did I detect a little Dan Aykroyd in there?”
Dick-god did the Nixon jowl shake again, then told me, “I was trying to do Chevy Chase doing Dan Aykroyd doing George Carlin doing Nixon. I think I got too much hard C sound in the crook. Let me try again.”
He did, and then repeated the “I’m not a crook” line over and over with different inflections and voice characteristics. He had me in stitches. When I got my breath back and the tears wiped from my eyes, I said to him, I asked him, “Look, you’re god and all, and I need some help. I need a second home, someplace cool of weather and liberal of thought. But someplace where I haven’t already pre-worn my welcome. And not someplace musty, like Oregon. My balls are growing air roots like Spanish Moss and I need a dry climate that isn’t Colorado.”
Dick-god turned into Michele Bachmann and said to me, her pissy-nasal voice and posture Ms. Bachmann’s spitting image, and answered, “Look at the Land of Enchantment, asshole. Santa Fe is full of communists and fornicators and homosexuals in need of conversion.”
And with that, Michele-god vanished in a fragrant mist of Chanel Number 5 and fresh-pressed linen. All that remained from god’s visit was the memory, a baggie filled with purplish mushroom buttons and a solid dozen empty Carta Blanca bottles.
“Santa Fe, why didn’t I think of Santa Fe. I love Santa Fe.” I said aloud to myself. “Maybe I’ll get a place up to Santa Fe.”
My cell phone rang again, and again it was Bill’s caller ID. I flipped the phone open and said, “Hey, god, how’s it hanging? You coming back for another talk?”
“No, Mooner, I was just calling to tell you that my tomatoes are coming in and the weather here in Tennessee is cool and sunny. Are you stoned already? It’s not even noon out there in Texas.”
Oops. It was the real Bill. I said something like, “Uh, well ah, I was just talking to god and he called me on your phone, and when I answered he was here to Austin standing on the deck behind me, and when I turned to look at him… Well, Bill, he ah, he uh… Would you just listen to me all Chatty Kathy and shit. It’s your dime, brother, what’s up?”
“Jesus, Mooner, you need to get out of the heat. Are you drinking plenty of water?”
Bill’s a good friend. We talked about stuff and laughed at a present he gave Squatlo and Cindy and we rang off the call after a few minutes. I peed in the water off the end of the dock, gathered my empties and headed back to the house to start the smoker going. I was halfway there when my phone rang a third time, and for the third time it was Bill’s number.
I wondered if it was Bill or god this third time, and I figured that whichever it was, he was just calling to fuck with me. I let it go to voice mail.