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The Religions Desk

This God’s for You

A man and a supreme being walk into a bar. It’s a hokey joke until one day it’s true and the big man starts offering tax advice.

God the Father, Cima da Conegliano (1460–1518), courtesy The Courtauld Institute of Art.

It’s hard being a person. I don’t know how you people do it. I was having a beer with god, and that’s what god told me.

Now, I’d just like to say I don’t think god has a penis or a vagina. If anything, god has both, and everything, in terms of sex parts, in infinite numbers. If god was a physical being, god would probably appear to us as a liquid mass, a large pond, say, covered in penises and vaginas, with nipples like lily pads everywhere. That’s why god is invisible, out of kindness, so we don’t have to see all that and feel gross and inferior all the time.

Though I don’t think god has a gender or is all genders, I’m just going to refer to Him here as “him.” Because that’s the way he appeared to me this one lonely night. He was a real guy’s-guy god.

I was in this basement bar with wood-paneled walls and a dead Christmas tree. It wasn’t half-bad. Better at least than being at the job. Anyway, god appeared and pulled up a stool by me. I could tell he was the kind of pal I’d been waiting on forever. My ideal drinking buddy—deep, rich, and full of flavor—like a yogi with an MBA who plays drums in a classic rock band. He wore karate shoes, a blazer, and a Steely Dan T-shirt. Of course, I was impressed. His ensemble was perfectly chill.

To anyone else there that night, it probably looked like I was sitting alone, drinking two beers myself. Not so. In truth, I was sharing those cold ones with the big guy. We talked about beer and wine, tequila, rum, vodka, Scotch, Kahlúa, and Steely Dan. Then god went to hit the head.

God hit the trail and left me with the bill. I was annoyed by this at first, considering he was probably a millionaire.

In his absence, I got to worrying about some legal/financial troubles, and wondered if he’d ever said: Thou shalt not not pay taxes, though it didn’t sound like him. Ten minutes later, god came out of the bathroom holding his iPhone and I knew I was saved. He had a plan. The screen was cued up already to a Yelp review for Klutzman & Klein Tax Attorneys. They had many five star ratings, some four stars, and only a few three stars and worse. I asked if they did any pro bono work, but god said I’d have to Google that. Then I asked if he was a client, but god changed the subject.

We got on the topic of mixology. I was thirsty for the most righteous beverage on earth, and thought god might be able to dream up some harmonious blend of all the world’s liquors. That’s when he said that thing about it being hard being a human being. I was about to think: If that’s the case then, hey, dude, come on, make it easier. Make it easier to take it easier. But of course, god saw this thought coming from infinity miles away, and said: It’s out of my hands.

After that, god hit the trail and left me with the bill. I was annoyed by this at first, considering he was probably a millionaire. But in the end, the cost was worth it. There aren’t a lot of guys who I’d like to buy a beer, but god was definitely toward the top of the list.

I’ve gone looking for god in lots of bars since. No luck yet. Though I swear, if I ever meet a lady like him, I’ll probably be a bachelor no more. That’s because god is chill, and he and I have a lot in common. I may not be covered in penises and vaginas, but I’ve still fucked myself a million times, and that’s cool with god because he’s my best friend.

Brendan Flaherty is an LA-based freelance writer, originally from Canton, CT. For more of his writing, visit brendanflaherty.net. More by Brendan Flaherty