God Doesn’t Believe In Me
God doesn’t believe in me. It’s a real problem. I’ve met Him like three times, and each time He just covers His face with His Hands and starts singing “la la la” really loudly whenever I try talking.
I’m told by mutual friends that soon as I leave the room, God always starts ranting about how there’s no actual proof that Marshall Greenbaum actually exists. He’ll go on about how I’m just a myth invented a long time ago by people who felt like the need to convince themselves that there was yet another twenty-nine year old hipster in Brooklyn. He’ll poke holes in my existence, like wondering how it is that I pay rent on my nice Williamsburg apartment when my only source of income is a barista job, or why it is that I supposedly graduated from Sarah Lawrence yet still repeatedly refer to Yonkers as upstate New York.
I always thought He was a bit of a self-important asshole, so I didn’t mind too much at first. But a few days ago my doctor spotted an inoperable tumor the size of a golf ball sitting on my cerebral cortex, and for the first time in my life I actually felt glad that I ran in the same social circles as God. I’m lucky that God never misses one of Kayla’s parties.
He’s over in the corner of the party, talking to some cute gothy girl with blue streaks in her hair. He’s leaning in close to her as He talks so that He can be heard over the Tame Impala song blasting on the speakers, but I think it’s just an excuse to see if she minds Him invading her personal space. She doesn’t.
The girl bends over when she realizes that the laces of one of her Dr. Marten boots have come undone. God doesn’t bother hiding that He’s staring down at the cleavage poking out of her black crop top as she ties the lace, and He doesn’t even notice the edge of His long white beard plop into his beer-filled solo cup as He does so. God is kind of a dog.
There’s a pause in their conversation as the goth girl ties and God oggles, so I figure now is a good time to approach Him. If He goes home with her, then I’m done for the night. I weave my way through the party, giving polite nods to friends I pass, and approach God and the girl. She finishes tying her shoe as I reach them.
“So, as I was saying, I really don’t like this era of Tame Impala very much,” drones God as the girl rises back up. “Lonerism and Innerspeaker were both masterpieces of modern psychedelia, but they really sold out with Currents. And don’t even get Me started on The Slow…”
“Hi God,” I interrupt as I approach them.
God turns to look at me, and His eyes grow wide. Then He covers His eyes with His hands, allowing His solo cup to drop onto the floor and spill Goose Island IPA all over Kayla’s carpet.
“God, I have a favor to ask,” I begin. “The other day my doctor…”
“La, la, la” sings God monochromatically.
“My doctor said,” I continue, raising my voice to now compete with both God’s signing and Kevin Parker’s. “That there’s a tumor growing…”
“La, la, la, la!” sings God with increased intensity. “La, la, la, la, la!”
His singing has begun taking on the melody of “Eleanor Rigby”, and I wonder if He has noticed.
“What the fuck is happening?” asks the goth girl.
“La, la, la!” sings God.
I step forward and grab God’s wrists, clutching them by the edges of His white robe. I tug His hands off His eyes, forcing God to look me in the face.
“La, la, la, la!” sings God, His voice growing shrill but still carrying the tune of “Eleanor Rigby”, albeit now in a higher octave.
“Just shut up and listen to me,” I yell at God. “There’s a tumor growing on my brain, and You’re the only one who can save my life!”
God abruptly stops singing. For the first time ever, He stares right at me with His big dark eyes and really takes me in.
“I can’t save you, Marshall,” says God in a calm, steady voice. “Because you’re not real. So there’s nothing to save, you see?”
“But I am real,” I insist to God. “Look at me, I’m right here.”
“I’m just going to let you guys figure this one out,” interjects the goth girl as she inches away from us.
“Cassie, wait,” God calls after her. “Let Me get your number!”
Cassie continues walking away from us until she is swallowed up by the party around us, dissolving into the crowd. God turns back to me and glares.
“Way to ruin that for Me, dude,” grumbles God. “We were totally going to boink.”
“Sorry,” I mutter.
I’d usually feel bad about cockblocking some dude, but I had bigger concerns at the moment than whether or not God got His rocks off.
“I haven’t gotten a piece of goth ass that nice since Mary Shelley,” He carped. “And then nearly two-hundred years later it looks like I’m finally going to get to revisit the peak of My sexual existence, and it only takes Marshall Greenbaum two minutes to completely blow it for Me.”
A thought blooms in my brain.
“If I’m not real, then how could I have ruined that for you?” I argue.
“People who aren’t real ruin things all the time,” shrugs God. “Holden Caulfield is fictional, and he’s the reason John Lennon is dead. And, come to think of it, John Lennon is the reason Sharon Tate is dead. I wonder if that’s connected somehow.”
“Okay, you’ve got me there,” I admit. “But You can’t have a conversation with Holden Caulfield, except by reading some scribbles made by a man who died over a decade ago. You’re talking to me right in the flesh. How do You explain that?”
“You’re talking to Me right now in the flesh, and there’s plenty of people who don’t believe in Me,” says God. “I’ve met Richard Dawkins like three times, and each time he just covers his face with his hands and starts singing ‘la la la’ really loudly whenever I try talking. It’s a real problem.”
I stare at God, dumbfounded.
“Do you really not see the irony in that?”
“How do you mean?” asks God, cocking a bushy white eyebrow.
“That’s exactly what You do to me!” I exclaim.
“No it isn’t,” says God dismissively as He shakes His head.
God’s eyes widen.
“Oh My Me,” whispers God. “You’re right, I do do that.”
“Yes, exactly,” I say. “See, I am real! Now, please cure my cancer.”
“What if Richard Dawkins is right,” murmurs God as He vacantly stares off into the distance. “What if I’m not real?”
The color has drained from God’s face and He trembles as He speaks.
“What if I’m not real,” He repeats.
“Hey God, I think You’re drawing literally the opposite conclusion from what I was going for,” I say. “I’m trying to prove that I am real, not that You’re not. You see what I mean?”
“I’m not real at all, am I?” says God. “I’m just a figment of humanity’s imagination.”
“Of course You’re real,” I argue. “I’m talking to You right now. Just like You’re talking to me. We’re both real, see?”
God leans against the wall and collapses His face into Hands. He murmurs something to Himself, but whatever it is muffled by His palms. But I can more or less guess the gist of what He’s saying.
“Come on, God. You’re messing with me,” I say. “There’s no way that You’re concept of self is so fragile. You’re God, for fuck’s sake.”
God collapses onto the floor and hugs His robed knees close to His chest.
“I’m not real!” screams God. “I’m not real, I’m not real, I’m not real!”
As God repeats those words, He begins to fade away.
“I’m not real!” declares God one last time.
Then He winks away into nothing at all.
“Did I just kill God?” I say aloud to no one in particular.
Around me, the universe begins to shake.