We hunted him as a stag across his fields, trophy we called him red man, color of Ares, gods sacrificed on our altar, his rivers run with his spirit. I am white bereft of color, barren, a glare a desert stripped of life. It is I who wear Cain’s mark, plucked from the garden the sweet taste fades my lips are dry. You are black an amalgam, green of the grasses in summer field, orange of sun singeing an ocean surf ablaze, blue of a crystal sky purple of robes of Nubian kings, brown of the soil fertile and yielding.
When I write the story of my life, it will not be me standing by the sea staff in hand, waiting for the waters to part. It will be sand, endless seas of sand, piled around my feet. I will not recount ten plagues for there is only one that matters at all and it was not terribly exciting, no generation perished, we weren’t overrun with frogs or vermin save the odd infestation of cockroaches and the passing rat that makes faces at the cat cowering in the corner. I could have climbed that damned mountain, but the thought of dragging two great tablets back down with the poor footing, it just wasn’t worth it. It has been over forty years wallowing around in the sand until it caked between my toes and not a cursed thing has happened, just sand and writing on the sand grows tiresome after the first breeze. Actually I don’t care if I never see this new land, just get me away from this godawful sand.
Do us a favor hold back on your tired, your poor. We’re no longer real hot on those yearning to be free. We left it on the plaque but no one’s supposed to read them anyway. Take the hint, we closed the Island, made it a museum that ought to tell you something. Emma’s dead, get it, and Lazarus, well just read your Bible. We closed the sweatshops and shipped out all those menial jobs to Mexico and the Far East so you’re of little good to us now.
So stay home at least until you’re fluent and can speak at least one Scandinavian language.
He said he sent God an email but got no response until, after three days, he got a bounce back saying the account had been closed for lack of payment. A few hours on the internet yielded a heavenly website, and after another hour digging down into the site map, he found a tiny hot link to the Contact Us page, and there a phone number he immediately called. What could be better than asking God directly, he figured. He should have known better, and did when on the third ring the phone was answered and the recording began, “For Jewish, Press 1; for Catholic and most Protestants, Press 2; for Muslims, Press 3; For atheists and non-believers, Press 4. He pressed two and was told the office was only open for calls on Sunday from 6 AM until noon, and occasional Saturday afternoons. Unsatisfied he called back, pressed 1 and learned the phone would only be answered Friday night or Saturday, though he doubted anyone worked then. He tried 4 on the next call and was transferred to a line that seemed to be answered in Norwegian by someone who he thought said was in the branch office in Stjordal in Nord-Trondelag. The afternoon was growing short and he realized he didn’t really care about the answer, wasn’t sure he’d believe it anyway.
How often have we sat in pews, on the zafu and heard an enrobed man or woman say “Let me describe for you” that which cannot be described, that which is beyond mere words.
We would be better served to just sit in silence and hear deeply what we need, not empty words meant to lead, to mislead, for you God does not speak and you cannot claim to be enlightened, for both are delusion, but both can be experienced if only you look deeply within.
The internet, he said, was God’s gift to Satan, but Satan returned it within the warranty period since it didn’t bring him nearly as much business as he had hoped. That, and the broadband in Hell was iffy most of the time, something about the heat, like broadband in Florida in the summer, only worse. God didn’t particularly want it, so he gave it to humans, figuring one more plague might keep them from begging for all manner of selfish things.
He arrived today although none saw him coming. He had been here before, been quickly ignored, despite his pleas and prayers, they twisted his words to suit their venal desires, his message forever lost in translation. They were not ready, and in their hate fueled world, they might never be.
So, if I have it right, God managed to come up with ten plagues for Moses to visit on Pharaoh, although at the time Moses probably could not understand why it was ten, since God was boundlessly creative, or so He told Moses.
Maybe it dawned on Moses when wandering in the desert that ten was a convenient number, after all, he only gave Moses ten commandments, but I doubt he told Moses they were a starter set and the other 603 would come along in due course, but Moses wouldn’t take the blame for them, he’d be written out of the story in Book Two.