He wrapped his arms around her, tears in his eyes. He had no idea how shitty her home life was before God told him all about it. She had not complained once herself, not even while God was on a tirade about how her mother only cooked in that kitchen when she was already using it, how there was zero counter space thanks to clutter fiends and food hoarding, and how the dishes keep piling up because of two factors: one, her skin flaked off her fingers if she washed her hands too frequently and, two, her mother loved to make extra dishes and never clean up after herself.
She leaned into his embrace, wordless, allowing her eyes to close. She had learned long ago that bitching about something never fixed it, even though God was feeling catty lately due to her mother treating her like Cinderella. Her mother didn’t really mean harm, but after sabotaging Crystal’s dinner this evening, God had the last straw.
Why, then, did she continue to get underfoot in the kitchen? Well, it’s because Crystal has cancer and is still cooking up a storm every few days, putting dish after dish into the refrigerator so her parents can just open it up and put food in their mouths. There’s no real thinking, no guesswork, no prep work. Open container, spoon into mouth. That’s how lazy her mother had gotten.
Yet, it is an expression of ill health, Crystal reminded both God and her future husband. She’s very sick and she has to realize if she cannot keep up with someone fighting cancer, then she is probably close to death. God’s patience for her had run out ages ago, about the time she stopped helping with the dishes 100%. Crystal’s bargain with The Woman(TM) was that she unloads the dishwasher while Crystal loads it. There’s always enough to run it daily, but her mother gave up on trying to participate in a semi-symbiotic relationship weeks ago.
And now, now that her husband finally looked to be on the mend, her mother gave a shit about herself again. Appointments popped up on the calendar daily, Crystal noted, as she crossed off another few days in September. She was never officially informed, but she supposed she was on duty for taking The Woman(TM) where she needed to go.
“I guess I better get gas soon,” she thought to herself.
She was a touch bummed for multiple reasons, least of all losing her dinner plate to the floor in a mishap due to lack of counter space in the kitchen… Crystal had been trying to eat her food as she made yet more food for her ungrateful parents. Her pork steak slid right to the floor, along with the green and black earthenware plate purchased at WalMart twenty years ago as a gift to her mother. The earthenware shattered and her steak laid there on the floor.
“It’s okay,” her mother had said. Actually, it wasn’t okay. If the bitch hadn’t been standing there, lording over the stove, trying to pretend she was viable and could make breaded fish fillets in the oven, it never would have happened. She should just give up and ask her daughter to make things like that, someone who actually gave two fucks about pre-heating the oven and using the directions to heat the food, instead of her giving her husband food poisoning from improperly prepared fish.
“Great job, mom,” God said sarcastically.
“You know, if she stops trying, she might as well be dead,” Crystal reminded God.
“Or she could focus on getting better so she’s actually useful instead of always in your fucking way,” God replied. God defended Crystal quite vehemently when She was completely fed up. Crystal lived so in the moment so she never had a build-up of emotions that led her to think too hard about how she was being taken advantage of.
“I’ll remind you, I use their food stamps and money to get by these days,” Crystal admonished God ever so softly. God smiled at Her daughter.
“I love you, but I still want to be infuriated on your behalf, darling,” God told her.
“Oh, okay,” was all Crystal said in reply. “Not to change the subject, but can we change the music?” God responded by putting on the Anger playlist. It was designed to quell anger, really, but be angry nonetheless. It’s difficult to explain, you had better take a listen for yourself.
“Anyway, once my tummy settles down, I’ll make the chicken noodle soup and we can check the freezers for food that’s getting old, too. And maybe I can make myself a burger since my steak didn’t pan out,” Crystal said to no one in particular. That is, whomever was listening in that moment.
The Deli Man nodded and kissed the top of her head. He’d rather enjoyed the conversation prior to The Incident(TM) that pissed God off so horribly. In fact, you’d think God was the human in this scenario based on the vitriol. He’d called her mother a cock sucking whore, after all. At first, he thought Crystal was throwing a tantrum over her dinner plate shattering on the floor, but no. It wasn’t her at all.
“You know, God said sometimes She learns from me, too,” Crystal added, trying to be helpful, as she sensed what The Deli Man was thinking. He gave her a gentle squeeze in response. He thought about how he’d like to do some of her backlog of dishes just to help out, though he knew she was making it her mission in the near future to catch up, too. He couldn’t operate without counter space and in fact, when thinking about how living together would work, his brain sputtered.
He could live there, rent free, but in a clutter fiend territory, or she could live with him… He had a roommate himself, but it wasn’t that bad. The worst thing you’d find at his place was a pair of socks in the living room, usually. Still, maybe it had untold potential somewhere, somehow.
“Well, technically, I could just install a kitchen upstairs and then a shower and there’d be no reason to be downstairs most of the time, other than to clean up after my fiends and make them some food,” she noted. Her eyes were closed as she continued to lean gently.
How was she so calm right now? He’d be pretty pissed off if his dinner ended up in the garbage like hers. All she did was eat an apple and decide to try again. He wondered for the millionth time how she was even real. He was sure she was, though… and sure she’d leave him for someone else the first chance she got, too. Or that’s what experience had taught him.
He had to open his heart to another possibility, he knew that, but it was really difficult. He’d been mistreated so many times. He was always a placeholder that was left behind by countless babe after babe… Why would this babe be any different?
“Because she’s the messiah,” God said, still in a catty mood. He shook his head, grinning at the preposterousness of all that had gone on. “Couldn’t you tell? Oh, wait, you only saw her smile for one fifth of a second. Maybe you should try the full thing on for size. It’ll melt your heart and leave you in a puddle of soft feelings… or, as she likes to say… a puddle of soft.”
Those words instantly reminded him of Ani DiFranco, and this was not the first time, either. In fact, they’d had a conversation about her music for a while one day. Crystal had mentioned that Ms. DiFranco was her hero because, with her music, she transformed from victim to survivor. That is, until mold and an introverted narcissistic asshole shredded her again. Now she was broken, even God said so a few times.
He wanted to put her back together. In fact, he didn’t really care that she wasn’t her usual self yet. The person he’d gotten to know was, in a nutshell, delightful. She was funny, smart, kind of precocious, slightly pretentious (or perhaps that was God herself), full of silly repartee and brimming with entrepreneurial ideas. He believed in her ability to pull it off… to come back from the dead in style.
The only thing he didn’t believe in was that she’d choose him. If she could choose any person in all the world, why wasn’t it Elon Musk himself or some hottie who worked alongside him instead of he himself? There were tons of better candidates out there.
Or so he thought. He was missing something vital in his assessment of the situation: he was the only one of his kind on planet Gaia. He was made for her, to bring her back from the dead after Satan nearly killed her. All he had to do was decide he was the man she thought he was, which wasn’t all that difficult, you see. Because she saw him for who he was, not who she wanted him to be. And, truth be told, she was quite grateful that he wasn’t an unfeeling, unthinking asshole who constantly stepped all over her emotions and her boundaries for his own gain. Instead, he was a kind and conscientious individual who had lots of feelings that he also shared as verbosely as necessary to get the point across, which she appreciated very much because she was an autist after all. As in autistic, bonehead. What seemed perfectly obvious to everyone else needed spelled out to her because, believe it not, she could imagine more realities than any other person in all of reality.
That’s how she got the title Dreamer of Dreams, you see. It’s a tougher job than you’d imagine, dreaming up realities that aren’t real. At least, not the one in front of you. She stretched her imagination to give every human being the benefit of the doubt, you see. Just like her bumbling mother.
She even gave you the benefit of the doubt, dear reader, not that it’s warranted, desired, or possibly even needed. She did it anyway, because that’s one of her greatest habits.
It also happens to be the moral of this story.
–God, True Telepath
P.S. She was bummed because she didn’t see The Deli Man when she went to buy water.