September 10, 2006

Mere Conjecture

Thread: Equation

God thanked Earl for the handkerchief and padded at the bloody cuts on his face. Removing his Chicago Cubs baseball cap, he reached up to his hair and probed around with cautious fingers for dampness.

“Whoa, you’re gonna bruise up pretty good,” Earl said. “As much as I believe in turnin’ the other cheek, I still don’t think I could be as cool-headed about it. Like a cucumber, sir, that’s what you are.”

Finding a painful laceration at the back of his head, God folded the handkerchief and pressed it against the gash. Slouching, God looked up at Earl and said, “Earl, when you are close enough to enjoy the beauty of the river, you can’t be offended when the spray catches your eye. It’s not discipline, it is what it is.”

“Well, sir, I know you’re God an’ all, but I’m not exactly sure I’d be able to call it a bit of spray in the eye. Don’t you have any sorta regrets? Something you feel you shoulda done but you didn’t?”

Although Earl felt stupid for asking the question as soon as the words broke loose from his mouth, they extracted neither derision nor laughter from his companion. They provoked an atmosphere of troubled gloom. A tense silence seemed to expand and fill every nook and cranny of the old shed. The superficial injuries that God had sustained no longer seemed so superficial; Earl thought they now looked painful and inflamed. Not for the first time, Earl wanted to know what was going on inside the mind of God. Respect stayed his tongue.

Eventually, the gloom was broken and God smiled. Instead of a genuine answer to Earl’s question, God offered a flippant response with a wicked glint in his eye, still holding the handkerchief against the back of his head. “I regret,” he said, sniffing with divine comic timing, “not having a baby girl.”

Posted by: The Harbour Master @ 1734

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