Sunday, August 30, 2009

Guest Blog - The God Negotiations: Act I

This masterpiece from Elizabeth:

John McManamy wrote in his book that he has a feeling that he chose his fate before he was knit in the womb, so to speak. That he has a feeling that he was offered options and actually chose to be bipolar in a pre-womb, metaphysical state. This is an idea I’ve had about myself for many years. I told John that we with mental illness should create our own religion. I guess, though, he’s too busy providing people knowledge that could save their lives. Go figure.

So I’ve been thinking about this choosing-your-life idea for some time, and came up with my latest version of me picking my own bipolar life. Let it rip. Here’s the opening scenario:

Act I

Situation: It seems necessary that I have to be born into another planet-earth life once again, and God and I are discussing options. He takes out a file from his rather disorganized cabinet.

He pulls out a form from the file. He says, here’s one you might want to consider. It requires you to have many disorders that are pronounced incurable. Let’s see. Sexual abuse in your teens. Something termed chronic fatigue in your twenties. Then it says fibromyalgia in your thirties. Then a diagnosis of bipolar as you reach 40. Hmmm. Says it should have been diagnosed earlier on that one. Darn, I need a better editor. Need to get rid of that word “should.”

Doesn’t sound so bad, I say. That looks like a breeze. Remember that past life when I lived in a small agrarian New England town that ran a lottery that required us to stone to death one innocent person a year to make the crops grow better? Didn’t work. And those people I had to live with were so boring! Plus all those kids I gave birth to and loved who died in their infancy. Seven dead out of nine!

Look, He says, don’t get snarky. Just be quiet and let me continue. You people who think they can remember past lives are getting on my nerves. You all say you were Cleopatra or Atilla the Hun or some such. Wrong! As for you, you were not in a short story. Believe me, I’ve wiped your memory clean in an ECT contraption. You are getting too imaginative again, so watch it. Here, do this crossword puzzle till you calm down.

Then He leaves me in a cubicle for eight hours with nothing but this crossword puzzle, a pen that doesn’t work, a computer with many, many viruses, a razor blade, a raven feather, and a woman in the next cubicle who keeps blathering about the bras she’s about to order from Victoria’s Secret. I tell you, it seemed like an eternity.

When He comes back, He looks at the blank puzzle and says, what have you been doing all this time?

The pen you gave me was out of ink, I simper. And what’s a six letter word for stupid? Plus, You’re the Expert, so I must ask you. Should I show more or less cleavage?

He ignores this most urgent question, and dismisses my excuses for not completing His assignment. Don’t you know by now that blood is an excellent ink?, He asks. Are you totally out of it?

So let’s get on with it, He says, pulling at his snowy white beard and trying to be kinder. Try to focus. Keep on-point. He says to me. O.K. More on this potential life. Here’s the objective of the life I’m proposing for you. You spend most of your life trying to heal yourself. On this form it says that lots of people termed “assholes” get in your way. Gosh, I really need better editors. Told them many times not to use that word. They just don’t listen.

I say, O.K. God, or gosh if you’d rather be called that, what do you have in mind? All I have to do is cure myself of a few ailments and then I get a mansion in heaven? I hear there are many mansions, some with pool tables in the basement. Any still available? Do they include mineral baths and servants way wiser than I am but whom I can keep in near-poverty and at my service, attendant to my every emotional tizzy, like in the classic Hollywood movies?

He answers, the real estate market here in Heaven is a bit farked up at the present moment. However, I do have an opening for a basement efficiency in a district of Indian computer service providers.

O.K., I say, getting excited. That sounds fine, as long as I get fed decently.

Well, He says, pulling at his long snowy beard and showing deep wrinkles around his eyes—He should really see a plastic surgeon about that—let me review the form. Says here that you can get a junior bacon cheesburger, plus a small fry and a small drink consisting of caffeine, refined sugar, and many artificial ingredients for under $5. Is there anything else that can complete your order?

O.K., I say. Do you mind if I sleep on this decision? I’m feeling a bit woozy.

No problem, He replies. Being that it’s January in Cleveland and a bit chilly, just go downtown. There are some really nice grates on the sidewalks that blow hot air up from hell that you can sleep on. Pretty cozy. Lots of people who talk to me sleep there.

More to come ...

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