Hi, guys. It’s me, God. I created your universe. That is, Julie and I created it. I’m wondering: with all of the religions you guys have created, have you ever come up with a version with exactly two creators, tandem deities working side by side, painstakingly crafting the parameters of the universe to allow for your existence? When you get down on your knees tonight, I demand that you offer up a prayer to Jon and Julie, your almighty creators!
Ha ha! Just kidding.
So, I’ve been watching you guys, and I just wanted to tell you for the record how interesting I find you. You’re not my favorite life form in the universe. I would have to give that distinction to the g*’gu# (I’m being a bit creative with the spelling since you couldn’t begin to pronounce it correctly.) They’re really smart and funny, and the music they make is fantastic. On Earth, though, I think I’d put humans in my top 5. (You’ll never guess who’s #1! Wrong! Ha ha, you actually haven’t discovered them yet.)
Anyway, I’ve been roving back and forth on the time axis (Yes, I can do that. No, you can’t.) Right now is a pretty interesting time period. The past 100 years have been awful for you and (SPOILER ALERT!) the next hundred years is going to be awful too. Sorry. But you’re on the cusp of some pretty interesting stuff. I’m not going to give away what happens next. Julie would be furious with me if she knew I was communicating with you at all, let alone telling you the future.
We had a conversation about this last week, as a matter of fact.
“I still don’t know why we can’t have dragons down there,” I said, half-joking. She laughed. “I’m serious,” I said, half-serious.
“You want fire-breathing lizards?” She swung her chair around and raised an eyebrow. This is the look I was going for. She’s not always beautiful, her dark hair straggly and pulled in a ponytail or a bun, her glasses slightly crooked, but I love this look. When she twists in her chair it shows off her waist too. She does not care for fashion and her dress is like a billowy sack, but she has a nice figure under there.
(By the way, you may think it strange that we gods have chairs and eyebrows and waists and such. We don’t actually, but David Hammond, my current avatar, does and so that’s how he understands things.)
“Yes!” I said, in earnest now. “The humans already thought them up! Think how smart they’ll feel.”
“No,” she said with finality and turned back around.
I knew this was an argument I couldn’t win, and so I fell back on looking hurt. “I just want to mix things up, just a little. It’s so boring being deist gods. Can’t we be Greek gods, or Hindu gods … or a wrathful old testament god? Heck, I’d settle for being a Freudian id, driving unconscious passions. All we do is sit and observe and gather data.”
“It’s beautiful though, don’t you think?” I was surprised to see her grow so animated all of a sudden. “Simple rules, and look what can happen. It’s dynamic and elegant…”
“And messy…” I added.
“And messy,” she agreed. “It’s wonderfully messy.” She turned back around as if this last point was the coup de grâce. I opened my mouth to argue some more, but thought better of it. She wrapped a strand of hair around her finger and thoughtlessly hooked it behind her ear, which she does constantly.
Anyway, she likes your universe the way it is. No meddling from above. That’s why, incidentally I’m using this guy David Hammond to write this. I can be assured that only a handful of people will read this. (Which is fine. The universe is infinite, so every person is actually repeated an infinite number of times, so even one person reading this would be an infinite number of readers. Hmm, maybe I shouldn’t be telling you that either. Another fly in the ointment, a grain of sand in the gears. There could be a ripple effect that causes the whole thing to crash. Whatever.)
Enough beating around the bush and adding parenthetical comments! The real reason I’m writing this is a little embarrassing. I’m in love with Julie. There, I said it. Can you imagine working side-by-side with someone long enough to create a universe from scratch, smelling her skin, seeing her delicately wrinkled forehead when she is deep in thought?
The whole thing is impossible though. She’s married. Even if she wasn’t, I doubt she’d go for me. I just needed to tell someone. I think you humans understand what I’m going through. The g*’gu# are awesome, but they wouldn’t understand. Their hearts are full of love and compassion, and they’d try to understand, but they don’t know a thing about social awkwardness or self-loathing or jealousy. They don’t even know hate. How is that possible, right? You guys get it.
I should have known. Julie has a monitor on the system that immediately picked up my meddling. She read this thing. Embarrassing.
She wasn’t mad like I thought she’d be though. It was actually a useful test, she said, showing the paradox tolerance of the system. She has already started working on version 2 of the universe anyway, and she said I should feel free to do whatever I want with this one.
“Be whatever kind of god you want to be.”
I thought for a moment.
“You didn’t tell me you were working on version 2.”
She twirled her hair around her finger and smiled somewhat pityingly. “Well, I don’t really need your help with that one.”
There was a long pause, and I could tell she was getting ready to turn away and go back to work, so I finally got the courage to ask her what she thought about the content of my message.
“Well, actually, duotheism is uncommon but not totally unheard of on Earth.”
“Oh?” I said.
“Yeah. And I agree about the g*’gu#. Best. Species. Ever.” She laughed but cleared her throat when she saw that I wasn’t smiling. “And … I was flattered by what you said about me.” She just left it at that and went back to working on version 2.
It made me rethink our whole collaboration. All those ideas I had that she seemed to take seriously, but upon further reflection she deemed impractical or inelegant. I favored a metaphysical layer to the universe, for instance.
“Every being should have an eternal soul,” I said.
She thought for a moment. “So, define ‘being.’ Single-celled creatures? Bacterium, for instance?”
“Well, sure, every living thing.”
“Umm…” I knew she was preparing to reject the idea, just like she had rejected all the others. A ghost of a mocking smile played at the edges of her mouth as she leaned her elbow on the table and tilted her head into her palm. “No, not viruses. They aren’t really alive,” I said finally.
“Aren’t they?” That mocking smile. It seems like it’s never left her lips, the lips I fantasize about kissing. What cruelty, for me to love her.
I tried to get a peek at The Universe 2.0, but of course she’s locked me out. She actually came up behind me while I was trying to get in, in her stockinged feet, quiet as a cat. She put her hands on my shoulders and made me jump.
“You’re tense,” she said. “Back rub?” Her hands on me were warm, loving. I closed my eyes and allowed myself to imagine a universe in which the love was real, one in which she wouldn’t, 30 seconds later, pat me on the back and leave me alone.
So I have free rein to do what I want with your little universe now, and I’m not entirely decided on how to proceed. So many options. You know how young humans will sometimes crouch by an anthill and use a magnifying glass to burn up the ants? You guys get it.