Interview with God
by Mary King
He stood about five foot six, in a well-worn cardigan, trousers that were baggy at the knee, and carpet slippers embroidered with small rosettes. Not at all the imposing figure I had been led to expect. He smiled delightedly at me.
“Will you have tea?” He asked. “I can offer you a choice of black tea, green tea, oolong tea, or white tea.”
Before I could speak, He went on. “Or if you prefer, you can have English Breakfast tea, or Irish Breakfast, if you’re so inclined. Or Caravan tea, or Earl Grey, or Darjeeling. Name your poison, boy. Free will, that’s the name of the game.”
“Well, I’ll have whatever you’re having,” I said, feeling that one can’t go very far wrong following God’s example.
He chuckled. “Well, I prefer plain old Lipton’s with just a bit of milk and sugar.” A sort of dreamy look crossed His countenance. “Tea,” He murmured. “Yes, tea...”
I cleared my throat. “Sir,” I began, “It is certainly an honor to meet you. You are hardly ever seen in public; may I ask why you agreed to this interview?”
He seemed a bit preoccupied. “You’ll have to excuse me,” He said. “I’ve had this song stuck in my head all day and I can’t seem to get rid of it. It’s called ‘Layla.’ Do you by any chance know it?”
I said that I surely did.
He smiled. “I wrote that song, you know,” He said.
I didn’t want to correct Him, but I felt that the issue should be addressed. “Well,” I said, “Actually I think it was Eric Clapton who wrote it.”
God shook his head. “Of course, of course. How silly of me. Still, a natural enough mistake, I suppose.”
I agreed that it was a mistake that anyone might make.
“Sir,” I began again. “I wonder if we could, just for a moment, address the state of world affairs.”
He seemed reluctant. “Well, we could, I suppose. Yes, we could if you’re absolutely bent on doing so. Although I don’t consider myself an expert, by any means. Still, if you’re adamant about it, go ahead.”
I could see that the subject was a troublesome one for Him. Still, I am a reporter and it’s my job to get to the bottom of issues, especially the problematic ones. “Well,” I said, “I was just wondering what you thought of...”
He leaned forward, shaking his finger at me. “Rap music,” He said quite clearly.
“Rap music, boy! Wouldn’t you agree with me that it sounds like something you would expect to hear in a nightmare? I did not invent that; I want that to be on the record, if that’s what you reporter fellows call it.”
I hardly knew what to say. I tried to remember any rap music I might have heard but I was drawing a complete blank.
God nodded as if he knew just what I was thinking. “Still, to be fair,” he said, “It does have a good beat.”
I had to get things back on track. “Sir,” I said. “You mentioned free will...”
He looked puzzled. “Did I?”
“Well, yes you did, and I was wondering, well, er... well, how do you think that’s working out, I mean with hindsight and all...” I was beginning to babble.
His brow suddenly cleared. “Oh, of course, you’re talking about that movie about the whale. Although I think it was called “Free Willie.” Wonderful family fare, just wonderful. I think I have it on DVD if you’d care to see it.”
I had a sort of unreal feeling, much as the Titanic passengers must have experienced when they heard that first crunch and wondered what the hell.
“Maybe later...” I murmured.
Suddenly, God once again leaned forward and fixed me with a penetrating gaze. He seemed at last ready to share with me some profound truth, some pearl of wisdom for me to take back to my readers. Finally, something to make this interview newsworthy and worthwhile. I leaned forward as well, ready to record His every word for posterity.
“Tea?” He said. “Will you have tea?”
Copyright © 2005 by Mary King