She never saw him crawling from her nose. One hand over the other, like a spelunker out of a new tract, easily enough, out he came. Not every night, and not always from her nose. She never saw him. But she believed in him. And that night, he only came out for no reason other than to look at the moon hanging out in space, through her open window, framed by the purple curtains her mother made her when she was a child. And she still believed.
Slowly, once he took the moon in (that night he thought, “That bastard did make that piece of rock damn beautiful from down here.”) - almost as if he needed to breathe it in through his eyes – he went back inside her. Yes through her nose.
He didn’t have the shape of a man. Not that sort of form. “One hand over the other, like a spelunker,” is just a cliché to describe what’s indescribable. So what did he look like, and what would she have seen had she ever awakened when he was looking at the moon? The answer is this: nothing.
Back he was, inside her stomach, settling back into his favorite chair that was inside his mansion that really didn’t exist as either a chair or a mansion other than in the describing of both things. And it really wasn’t his mansion: he shared it with someone else (that bastard who made the damn moon), but there was enough room for each and their own armies. The strange tesseract of faith.
He settled in and lit a fire and wished himself a hot cup of chocolate the way the old Aztecs would drink, and it appeared in his hand. Everywhere he looked it was night time because that’s what would be his vision worked. He sighed and non-existent sigh and suddenly felt so old. But how can he feel old? How can the Devil feel old since he’s always existed? He drank his chocolate and remembered something that wasn’t solid in his mind, but made him feel better.
God wasn’t really trying to make everything the right way. But he made it anyway, more by touch the way a blind person feels your face so he can imagine what you look like. If something felt finished, it was. God isn’t an artist but this is the feeling an artist feels whenever she said, “Fuck it: it’s done.”
There wasn’t a single thing he’d made in thousands of years. Nothing new existed anymore, and nothing else was being made. God was a car plant that stopped making Renaults but still didn’t close its doors. God wasn’t progress. He decided to retire so long ago from making things. Long before the first man ever walked upright, God’s long-term plan was already in motion and he already saw himself spending the rest of existence doing nothing. Existence was always open to him of course, so he already knew everything and didn’t really care that when things began to evolve on their own nothing and no one would ever need him again. Fine by him.
When the Devil told him he wanted to go and see the moon, God couldn’t even remember making it other than thinking, “Fuck it: it’s done,” but he always said that.
The moon’s craters weren’t meant to look like anything. God remembered the Aztec stories about the rabbit and the serpent. He knows everything.
The Devil went to look at the moon and God did not: their story is everywhere and in everything and in everyone.
After a while, God felt the Devil return to the mansion and make himself Aztec chocolate and God felt young for the first time this century. Whatever young meant to the Devil, for God it meant he was satisfied with the Devil feeling old. But God, right then, didn’t want the Devil to feel old, so he walked across the vastness of the mansion inside the woman’s stomach so he could talk with the Devil.
It was so bright out when she finally woke up. Not a cloud in sight and so she again reaffirmed her disbelief in the weatherman from the local news. That guy was always wrong she said when idle chat with people turned to the local news. “Except when he’s right,” she always thought during these conversations.
She always thanked God when she woke up. When she was small, her mother said she always thanked God for every new morning and so should her daughter. She was thirty-four that morning and she thanked God for it.
After breakfast and a quick email check on her phone, she drove to work and thought how winter was too short this year; it’d seemed short. “Winter is always the same length,” she thought, “so why does it seem longer some years and shorter in others? Who knows this? Why am I thinking this? Has everyone had this thought before? If it was still cold out I cold have worn the new scarf mother sent me.” During her drives to and from work, these were her thoughts: some deep and some not, but all quickly forgotten and never thought again until the very next year, during the very exact day and time as we measure them.
At lunch that day, the guy who trained her last year, when she was new there, Miguel, saw her sitting on a bench outside and sat next to her and chatted her up. She always thought it was unfortunate someone as handsome as Miguel was (he’s dead now) was married so young. He was almost ten years younger than she, and would always be. She had developed an attraction to him that sometimes made her ache, but was, too, forgotten over the time frames during which he wasn’t around. She didn’t pine for him, or wanted him until she saw him. Every time. She’d be embarrassed to ever tell him, of course, she was attracted to him. She didn’t hate very much in life, but as close as she would ever get up until that point in her life was extremely disliking Miguel’s wife, whom she’d not met nor would she ever.
Miguel sat and they talked about the new turn cycle, the new groups being formed, the old co-worker who was about to stand trial for killing his girlfriend’s brother while driving drunk. Work talk and gossip wasn’t something to build a relationship on, she thought. She also thought that day if Miguel thought the same thing. They also talked about going to each other’s church service one day. Their conversations were mere segueways and not destinations. Finally, Miguel walked off and she sighed a sigh she didn’t realize existed.
At night was when she prayed. She thanked God for the day and for her family’s well-being. She prayed for continued health. She prayed for her friends. She even prayed for a new longer winter next year so she could maybe wear a new scarf, but she didn’t know then that next year she’d forgotten all about it. But she prayed anyway because she never imagined the future.
Her mother once told her, after that night’s prayers of course, that Heaven was in side all of us. Hell too. Her mother never told her to pray for either: “Heaven is here, inside all of us, and Hell too,” her mother said, and with her hand touched her on her belly. “Sweetie, people who pray to stay out of Hell or get into Heaven are just the sort of people who don’t know we all have both in here,” her mother said, now using the same hand and pointing to her stomach. And that night she imagined Heaven inside her (not Hell, not really), and thought that was a strange thing. But as an adult now, she still thought about it from time to time, her mother’s little anecdote. And what if mother was right? Silly things a parent says.
She lingered for an hour in bed, looking out her window, out into the night sky, not restless or bothered. She wanted to look hard enough at the moon that night, try to see if the shadows cast by the moon’s craters so many miles away, could ever resemble a rabbit and a serpent entwined. She slept not getting a satisfactory answer from the moon and its shadows.
[this is my 3000th tumblr post. this story i dedicate to ms mlleghoul for the inspiration.]