Are you there, God?
It’s me…cancer dude.
My cancer diagnosis came in the same week my cat died, one week before God decided to piss on my face with his mighty pink laser. OK, my cat’s fine and God didn’t transmit the Gnosis to me, but for lack of the Shekinah my life feels like the plot of a Philip K. Dick novel. The cancer diagnosis is definitely real. Fuck.
I find the chapel two floors down in an adjoining wing, and despite my fervent hope to the contrary someone else sits within, maroon scarf tight over bald head, frail neck too pale to be healthy obvious above the collar of the powder blue terry cloth bathrobe. I clear my throat and take a seat two pews back, my eyes focused on the faux stained-glass descending dove surrounded by a golden glory, a 24-ray nimbus for a pigeon.
The urge to scream–to curse at the Maker (a being that didn’t exist for me until I found out I was dying,) to rant and rave and weep for the sake of the tumors in my lymph nodes–remains.
Fuck you, you stupid bird. The thought slides over my tonsils, up into my sinuses, expresses itself in a short sharp snort. Fuck this dumb rock, the stupid fire in the sky, the books people tout and tote without ever reading, and all the pseudo-pious mewlings of your millions of vapid, dimwitted minions.
The person in front of me, man or woman, wheezes, gasps for breath, clicks the switch on the portable morphine drip dangling from a pole on casters.
What do they call those things, anyway? IV’s, yeah–but the pole with wheels?
The dove seems to wink at me, a mischievous glint on its plastic eye, a flip of the divine middle finger to return me to my meditation.
What the fuck did I ever do, anyway? I don’t deserve this, you feckless prick. I cough, slide across the pew to get a better view of the flimsy dove, plastic, post-modern trash hanging on the wall of a walk-in closet to comfort the desperate. And that’s most of all why you should Fuck Off–giving people false hope. You’re an asshole. You’re THE asshole. YOU deserve cancer. Had we never invented you, we might be immortal now, colonies on other planets orbiting other stars. But you caught on, like a bad fad. Hence, no meaning to life because countless morons think they’ve already found it in you. Fuck you, birdie. Fuck you in all your halos.
I rise, grab the back of the pew to steady myself as vertigo sweeps over me, tosses me like a ship in a storm, but I regain my footing. A cough and I turn to leave.
“It’s called an IV stand or an IV pole. There’s no special name for it,” the voice comes from the dove–no, the person in the maroon scarf. “And fuck you, too. Think you’re tough? Come around here and say it to My face.”
The voice echoes through the tiny room, neither male nor female, neither young nor old, with no particular accent. I stop and turn to the patient.
Part of me wants to see this mentalist, know how the trick is done, but another part of me recalls a lesson from Sunday School, a lesson I thought worthless but now rings in my ears. No man may look upon the face of the Most High and live.
I wait for a moment, listen for the voice, unsure if I heard it or hallucinated it, then leave. Back in my room, I observe that my life finally took on the final aspects of a dystopian, Gnostic science fiction novel. The realization produces weird dreams, or that’s the morphine sulfate.
I never believed in reincarnation before, but now anything seems possible. As the final paragraph of my life plays out, I’m hoping there’s time for a sequel before the Author dies. She wasn’t looking too good the last time I saw Her.