“What happened!” shouts a man. The last thing he remembers is falling down the side of the cliff.
“You just died, Joel,” says a presence to his right. Without looking, Joel feels its love and kindness like a warm light. It sits at his side like a father explaining that Grandma died. Joel’s eyes are still adjusting to the new plane, so he can’t make out the being.
“Oh. Where am I?”
“Well… I don’t really know,” says the being.
“You don’t know? But you’re here, aren’t you, like, God or something?”
Joel can begin to see, but the being is abstract and changing all the time; made of light and is stunning to behold. He could not begin to describe it in words. Much less the sea of molten beauty around him, moving and not bound by any sense of continuity or cohesion. The being of light thinks Joel can tell. “Oh, that’s a good question,” it says. “Um…. Yes. Well… Yes. Yes. Let’s go with yes.”
“How could you not know?” Joel asks.
“I’m just figuring it out like you are, Joel.”
“Just figuring it out…” Joel repeats to himself. “I gotta be honest with you, God — should I call you God?”
“Yeah!” God says, unconvincingly. “Yeah, you can call me God.”
“Ok…” Joel says. “I gotta be honest with you, God, this doesn’t give me a lot of confidence. I just would never expect God to be so…unsure.”
“No, I’m sure,” God says. “No, but I see what you mean. Yeah, OK. No, I’m just a kind of new God.”
“There are other Gods?”
“Oh, yeah, but they’re in a place that you could never understand; speaking to Joel, at least. Upper dimensions and all that. But, I’m just trying to learn how to make another God — that would be you — and the other Gods don’t think I’m up to it, so, yeah. That’s what we’re doing.”
“Oh. Wait, I’m going to be a God?”
“No, Joel won’t be a God. You, as in everyone, yes.”
“Wait, but, I’m not everyone, I’m Joel.”
“Well, yeah… It’s kinda hard to explain. You’re both. We don’t have to go through it.”
“Well, I’m interested! I just died!”
“Yeah, but you’re going to go right back and then I’m going to have to explain it to you again. This is really more like a metaphor.”
“A metaphor? What the fuck? I’m a real person and I’m dead! What about my family?”
“Yeah, I see how that can be distressing. If it makes you feel any better, everything is happening exactly as planned.”
“Not really…” Joel says. “Jesus, God.”
“Yeah, yeah. Jesus and God. I’m both.”
“So you’re the Christian God?”
“Oh, no. I’m just saying that that metaphor applies to me. All the religions were kinda right.”
“So, the New Age-y people were right?”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. New Age. That’s in your time? I think I remember what you’re talking about. That’s the deal, yeah.”
“Alright…” Joel says.
“Well, this time you’re going to be a Russian gymnast. Sound good?”
Joel shrugs. “You really should work on this whole death presentation. Maybe seem a little more omniscient.”
“Noted. Sending you back!”
And in a flash of light, Joel was born again.
Originally published at https://www.tumblr.com on January 12, 2020.