Tuesday, 1 May 2018

An Unexpected Sabbath

© Denis Fitzpatrick, 2015

God, with neither Warning nor Prompting, suddenly had an entirely original Thought, the first in billions of years. Sure God was a rational Creature, fully Engaged in the worlds that He Had Created, but this Thought was only His First original Thought, after He Had Created Reality. Since that time He had been far, far too Busy. God had just Thought that He was due a Sabbath, a due Reward for eons of hard Work. He had never been Entitled to a Sabbath before, or so He Reasoned, as He was Necessarily its Subject of Veneration. Not feeling the Compunction to Worship Himself, He had Worked every day since the beginning of Creation.
    ‘Time indeed for a day off,’ He Said to Himself and Shut down His Laptop. As this was only God’s Second Sabbath it Must Needs Be a very Special One, somehow Reflecting His Unstinting, Perfect Work throughout all of Reality. To help Him Choose something appropriately novel He brewed up a Coffee and when it was ready He Sat in His Armchair, Sipping, and Considering.
    The Answer came with His third Sip and was also an entirely original Thought: He would Descend to Earth and see if He can Chat up some nice, intelligent young woman. He had never Needed Companionship before (apart from that one time with Mary, who still hasn’t forgiven Him for allowing her only treasure to be butchered), Being Complete in Himself, but perhaps time was wearing His old Habits down. After all it wasn’t so long ago that He Had Had some Wine after a Break of three thousand years. Indeed, time probably was wearing His old habits down as He had just had His second completely original Thought in less than an hour. Will there be a third? God Expected so. He Finished His Coffee and Dressed Himself for some Heavenly Romance.

*

Earth was a lot shabbier close-up, and after doing a quick tour of the world God Set His Romantic Eyes upon an Aus lass, Aus being in its warmer months, and God very much Liking the summer apparel of the Aus women. Aus was not as shabby as the rest of the world and its human population wasn’t high strung, being instead a very relaxed and sociable people. It was their sociability that really appealed to Him, being thus the easier to Find a companionable woman. These companionable women He Expected to Find in the centre of Sydney (having Chosen Sydney for its business centrality, and where there’s smart business there’s bound to be smart women in smart, fetching outfits) and Walking out of Central Railway Station He instinctively Made His way to a cocktail lounge. He was initially Going to Try a pub but the sort of woman whom likes a bitter, ill smelling ale was not what he was after. He was after class, someone to complement His Omnipotence. Sure, God Knew everyone in existence but that was only at a passing level. He simply didn’t have the time to get to intimately Know everyone, although He was always on call. He soon Found a cocktail lounge, Chez Chic, and the plethora of dazzling female costumery Made Him Sure that a right well Companion was closer than He Thought. He Ordered a Margarita and Sat down, Surveying the crowd.
    Perhaps He should have Told the young lasses that He approached that He was the Maker of Heaven and Earth and duly Showed them Proof of This for that way His luck may have been much better. As it was, though, despite how many drinks He Shouted, despite His Intelligent, Mellifluous Conversation with very attractive ladies, He was Getting nowhere. Surely He wasn’t too old for them? He had Checked His face in the mirror at the bar and He looked a healthy forty. Still, though, forty is a whole generation away from twenty- something. By an hour before midnight He had more or less Given up. Maybe these women did indeed see Him as an old Fuddy Duddy, too old to make them seriously happy. He Left the lounge for Central Station, to Return to Paradise in the blink of an eye when He was unobserved.
    Halfway to the station, though, He had a Change of Heart. By spending all night at the cocktail lounge He had Put all His Eggs in the one Basket, not Allowing the full Expression of His Second Sabbath, and not Allowing the full Scope of chance to work His Way. So He made His Way to a pub Determined though to Leave at the stroke of midnight to Salvage the rest of His Sabbath. At least He was Focusing on His Own Welfare rather that the rest of Reality’s as had been His Wont. And it must be admitted that He was Enjoying His Second Holiday. The Cocktails also helped there. And a Beer or Three would top them off very well. He Chose The Central Tavern, just across from Central Station.
    The pub was nice and ambient in noise when He Entered, also neither too cold nor too hot, and He Approached the bar while Studying what they had on tap.
    ‘You remind me of that Germaine Greer joke.’ God Looked over at the speaker. He was being addressed by the young woman behind the bar, with red and black shoulder length dreadlocks, a black throat collar with a glittering pendant, and the corners of her eyebrows and the corners of her mouth being pierced. She was smiling at Him.
    ‘What Germaine Greer joke,’ He Replied.
    ‘Germaine Greer walks into a pub and the barman says, “So, why the long face?”’ God Laughed and the barmaid responded to His deep, manly Chuckle with a tinkling laugh of her own.
    ‘What can I get You, Love,’ she asked. God Chose a Beer without Considering and Was soon Exchanging Jokes with her, whom had introduced herself as Bella, ‘as in Belladonna’ she affirmed. Her piercings grew more alluring with each guffaw, and Bella, deliberately or otherwise God was Unsure, gave Him an extra Dollar in the Change for each of His Beers. God, indeed, was fast Becoming Infatuated with this lively young lady and her very colourful presentation. What Spoiled it though was when she told him that she was only nineteen and still at Uni, doing a BA, albeit a BA (Hons). Her thesis was on Patrick White’s cultural cringe.
    But God Rallied to this news well. Since He Had Eternity at His Disposal He would Gladly wait another five years or so for her, Befriending her in the meanwhile until she’s old enough for a Mature, Deep Relationship. Doing so would be no Chore for she was very funny, even joking about God’s apparent forty years as the Start of what Looked like a lot more. She claimed to be able to tell how long someone would live.
    Thus God spent the rest of the night with Bella, until the pub shut. Afterwards He drunkenly Made His Way Back to Paradise, not Caring if he was seen to Vanish after He Passed through the ticket barrier at Central Station. He went to Bed as soon as He Arrived Home, Laughing at some of Bella’s jokes as well as the magnificent time that He Had Had on His Second Sabbath. He Looked Forward to Seeing her again next Sunday.

*

   God Was Surprised to Find that He Had Butterflies in His Stomach when He Entered The Central Tavern a week later. He Approached the bar and Chose his usual Beer, served by a middle aged man.
    ‘Bella having a sickie,’ He asked of him.
    The barman looked at Him sharply.
    ‘You a friend of hers,’ he asked.
    ‘I Suppose So. I only Met her last week though. A very funny young lady.’ The barman placed God’s Beer on the counter and took His Money.
    ‘Well, Bella won’t be in to work anymore.’
    ‘Why’s that? She’s not in any trouble I Hope. I can Help there, most Probably.’
    ‘Bella’s dead.’
    God was Speechless. ‘Dead?’
    ‘Yes. She od’d a few days ago. She told me that she had quit the heroin, was very up front about once being a junkie when she applied for the job. So I helped her help herself, gave her the job to make sure she stayed off the junk. No-one knows why she started up again. Probably just the usual relapse. I used to smoke cigarettes and know well about relapsing.’
    ‘When is the funeral?’
    ‘It was this morning. Quite a few of the locals were there. She was very popular.’
    ‘Can you tell Me where her grave is? She was a lovely young woman that One rarely Meets with these days.’
    ‘Sure,’ said the barman and gave God the location. He left without Drinking any of His Beer and was at Bella’s graveside the instant after Exiting the Tavern.
    Musing silently at Bella’s grave He had His third original Thought since after the beginning of Creation: He would Observe a Sabbath from now on in order to Remember Bella and to Ponder what had almost very pleasantly Been. Sure there were other fish in the sea but only Bella had that particular feminine laugh at that particular pitch. He would have liked to Resurrect her but that would Violate so many Natural Laws that time itself might come to an end. He would not of course See her in Paradise, Bella having pronounced she was an atheist when He Asked her if she believed in God. Given time God would have easily Changed her belief.
    ‘It was very nice having Met you, Bella,’ He said to her gravestone. ‘I could have Brought you to Heaven where you’d make Eternity even richer.’ God then Returned Home, Surprised that He had Found a regular Sabbath now.
~~
If you have been enjoying Fitzpatrick's stories here you may also enjoy his short story collections, and other books, available online as both Kindle books and paperbacks (go to http://amzn.to/1NfodtN). Other ebook and paperback options are available at  http://bit.ly/1UsyvKD Fitzpatrick is also having a collection of short stories, Aberrant Selected, published by Waldorf Publishing on September 01, 2018. You can follow its journey at www.aberrantselected.blogspot.com



   

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