God and Me

by Kate Wisel 

As you can tell, I no longer care about God. Whether he’s watching, or not, logging on to some complicated system to check on me.

See, I’m moving around my kitchen, knifing peanut butter onto Oreos. There I am, barely talking to myself by the window. Mouthing silent declarations. Or I am in the bath, submerged and blurry with one leg out like a magic trick, and he could be above, watching as a razor dips through the surface, soap in its teeth.

I don’t care. It’s a free show.

When I was younger, a teenager, I cared deeply about God. I wore turtlenecks down the hallway and swallowed my chewing gum. I crossed at the shoulders, silver chain around my neck, cold and thin enough to rip with a tug. I kneeled with my head in my hands in his house.

I thought he could be proud of me.

That if I buried my face in his jacket he would take me around the party and I wouldn’t have to introduce myself to strangers. In this way, I was saved. I am the only one, I thought, but how could that be?

By then we were like lovers who became jealous too easily. In the mirror, my features took on an interchangeable quality. His words made me suspicious. He started not to show. I asked people deliberate questions like oh, have you seen God? We were supposed to meet for coffee at two. Then, pressing the issue, has he ever done this to you?

I obsessed over him and knew we could never be together ever again.

Even so, I would create tests, seeing if he might come back. My problem might have been regret. In the freezing rain I searched the sky and waited, my eyeliner fissuring to the perfect, movie-black drip. I jumped off buildings, hope suspended in mid-air. I’d follow him home, hat crooked on my head, newspaper held low beneath my obvious eyes. I became far too dark for anybody to bear.

It was a very bad time for me, but now I don’t care. I threw him out--don’t think of him. Started fresh with new misunderstandings, better endings, more trustworthy opponents.

It’s good, really. We’ve become like distant friends who still know the same people. One time, out to lunch, I casually asked my friend how God was doing. “Great,” she said.

“God is great.”

This year, happy with others, we’ve learned how to look in the mirror without shattering it.

Only sometimes, I can see him out of the corner of my eye, impatient at the bank. Laughing at the park. In line at Home Depot, checking receipts.

Me, I’m always changing. In this way, I’ll never change.

Even today, possessed by Facebook, I came across a photo of God’s new kid, a newborn with his barely opened eyes. I liked it, to further prove I have no lingering feelings towards God’s love and God’s authority.

Kate Wisel is originally from Boston. Her fiction has appeared in New Delta Review, SmokeLong Quarterly, Bartleby Snopes, where she was awarded "Story of the Month" and nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and elsewhere. She has received scholarships to attend The Wesleyan Writer's Conference, The Juniper Institute, and The Squaw Valley Writer's Conference. You can find her online at katewisel.com