He raised one eyebrow. “What?”
“I said the sun is shining.” I looked over at the plate-glass window, then returned to Him. “I’m going for a walk when I get home. Afterwards, I’m going to write this blog post.”
“Y’lost me,” He said.
“Let me explain so you’re jacked little booze-riddled noodle can wrap its pissy little crab legs around it because you’re obviously not getting it. What you say and what you do doesn’t matter. Just as those 2 decades I spent in the Waste Land don’t matter. What matters is Now. What I do Now is all there is. And right Now, the sun is shining. Right Now I’m going to take a drug test. Now, what will happen because of the drug test is I’ll be cleared to work at the Society again. And I’ll take care of the cats and I’ll volunteer with the dogs and maybe I’ll get the job in Behavior I want and maybe I won’t. And maybe they will clear me to work with controlled substances again and maybe they won’t. But none of that is happening right Now. Here and Now is what matters. I’m writing you and me in this waiting room and I’m trying to come up with cleverly descriptive ways to paint you but let’s be honest, you’re a pretty tired character and there’s only so much I can do with you, y’dig? Maybe, soon, hopefully, I’ll start writing the book and that scares the hell out of me because you scare the hell out of me and I have to come face to face with you and I’m going to have to do it a lot. But again, that’s not what is happening right Now. Now is what matters. The Now of this moment in this story I’m telling and the Now of the guy sitting in his room that just felt a huge sense of relief because he realized why he was writing this post in the first place. What doesn’t have a place in this Now in the story and in my life is you. You will come back, I know this. And I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. But that won’t happen, because there is no bridge.”
“There is no bridge. There is no future, just as there is no past. There is only Now and what I choose to do with it. For instance …”
Suddenly and with no warning, He became a hippopotamus. The flask fell on the floor because hippopotamus’s don’t have thumbs.
“That’s not funny,”
“Yes it is. Quite funny actually,” I said. “So is this …”
He was now a hippopotamus with a chef’s hat on and a ladle soaked with spaghetti sauce in his mouth.
“Hmm. Nah, I can do better than that,” I said and, instantly, He morphed again, this time into an enormous gorilla sitting slumped over with a paper birthday party hat in His head and a noise-maker in His mouth.
“Change me back jackass,” He said, His words muffled by the noise-maker which expanded and gave a pitiful little “Fwaaa” when He spoke.
“That’s better, but not the best I can do. Let’s try …”
He morphed into a kiddie wading pool with His face blended into the edge of the pool (I sat on a big rock on the middle.) Two little girls in pretty pink bathing suits frolicked in the pool, splashing and giggling.
“See. My reality is the only reality that matters when I’m writing the story,” I said and smiled wide.
“Turn me back goddammit!” He screamed in a voice like He’d inhaled a whole balloon filled with helium.
I sighed. “Oh, alright,” I said and He turned into a water lily floating around the kiddie wading pool and the little girls wore bicep floaties and danced around in a circle, arms hooked, singing “Ring Around the Rosie.”
“There. Perfect,” I said. The people in the waiting room and the staff behind the counter resumed their normal faces and activity, but He remained a floating water lily. “Andrew Sigler?” the receptionist said loudly. I stepped into the pool and zipped up my jacket half-way.
“See, my reality. Right here. Right Now. I know what I want to do with that future. It’ll take work and yes, often there will be drudgery and boredom. And often there will be excitement and joy. I will fall in love, I may fall out of love, and when I email a woman from Match.com later. unbeknownst to me, I may be emailing the love of the my life and this universe for me. And I may not. But it will be my Now, my life. And, sorry guy, but you don’t seem to have a very prominent role in it.
He was sitting across from me in the normal waiting room again. His flask had returned to His hand.
“Hate to deprive of you that,” I said and the flask was in His mouth. He choked on a big pull of vodka. “It is, after all, all you have. You can keep it. I don’t need it.”