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God Is Dead

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Posted on Jan 11, 2012
Mr. Fish

By Mr. Fish

(Page 2)

Five minutes later I was flushing the upstairs john and shushing him as he ran up and down the hallway with his leash in his mouth, the carabiner bouncing along the floor like a tiny iron fist wrapped around a flattened jingle bell. By the time I’d climbed into my thickest pair of jeans, pulled two T-shirts and a sweatshirt down over my head, dragged on two pairs of thick socks, threw a baseball cap onto my head and tied two perfect bows into the grubby shoelaces on my Chuck Taylor sneakers, God was moaning and bending his black lips around what sounded like actual words, like Swedish expletives played backward. All it took was for me to stand up from the corner of the upstairs bed to send him thundering down the steps ahead of me and tearing through the living room and skidding across the linoleum in the kitchen, his big dumb tail wagging hard enough to metronome against the face of the dishwasher. With him too far away to hush anymore, I moved quickly through the house, taking elephant steps on the balls of my feet, before finally meeting him at the backdoor. “Jesus, God—relax, Princess!” I said, fastening the leash to his collar.

When I opened the backdoor the outside hit us like a bright light. The cold rushed in with the weight of water, flowing over our faces and freezing our noses immediately. In the dim light of morning I saw that the sky was the color of wet cement and that snow was everywhere. Everything was white and rounded, as if the whole world had been imagined only halfway by a groggy creator with socks on his hands, and it was still snowing. I waited for a moment before opening the screen door, pausing to appreciate how absolutely quiet it was, amazed at how the planet Earth was able to disappear so completely during the night without waking me up, when God opened the door for me, using his nose and exploding off the back porch and running around the side of the house, trailing his leash behind him. I gently pulled the door closed behind me and ran after him, with my sneakers crunching through the snow. It was the only sound in town.

When I got around to the front of the house I couldn’t believe how beautiful Manayunk looked. As far as I could see in both directions up and down the street, there were no footprints or tire tracks on the ground, nor were there lights on in any of the houses. There was just snow. It reminded me of growing up with my big brother, Jeff, down at the Jersey Shore and how he and I would wake up at 5 a.m. on snow days and pull on our thermals in the dark and, too impatient to wait for confirmation from the radio that school would be closed, sneak out so that we could run through the streets, deliberately ignorant of all property boundaries, our hearts bursting from the unique joy that comes with being the first men on the moon. Unstartled by my appearance, God stood hypnotized by the profound relief he was feeling at getting to pound a thick line of green morning piss into the ground at the base of the neighbor’s mailbox, a mini-soufflé of foam forming within the evaporated hollow created by his effort. Relative to nothing more substantive than the comfort and beauty of routine, I bent over and trawled my hand across the ground and scooped up a hunk of snow and stood to make a snowball, the bitter coldness against my naked flesh feeling almost immediately like burlap being pressed into a sunburn. 

Finally finished peeing, God took one step forward, stopped and turned back around to examine the steam rising out of the snow, as if the stench of urine, as gregarious as a hot onion, had something to say about salvation. “Ball?” I asked, tossing my snowball from hand to hand, suddenly regretting my tawdry offer to replace his profound interaction with the music of the spheres with the cheap and easy pornography of sport just because my fingers were cold. Of course, seeing his ears spring to attention, his head cock to one side and his whole body shift toward mine, and then to feel something lovely somersault inside the center of my chest, I wondered if maybe I wasn’t providing both of us with the meaning of life. After all, by giving meaning to the moment and knowing that the biggest increment of time that either one of us is able to occupy at any given time is a moment, was I not merely bringing enlightenment to the smallest increment of infinity and therefore bringing enlightenment to the whole universe by proxy? “Ready?” I said, watching God bring wide separation to his front paws and arch his back. “Here it is, the meaning of life!” In a great pantomime of a magician releasing a dove from oblivion, I lobbed the snowball into the air and willed the significance of mine and God’s lives around its temporary weightlessness before it landed without bouncing and disappeared.

God searched through the snow with his muzzle for almost an entire minute before I made a move to tackle him, always ready when it came to ambush-wrestling to take full advantage of his knees being on backward and his thumbs being nothing but flabby little nubs on his wrists. He, of course, always ready to take full advantage of his superior hearing, phenomenal peripheral vision and instinctual distrust of monkeys wearing clothes and corrective lenses, saw me coming and took off down the block in the direction of the abandoned canal that ran parallel to the Schuylkill River, his leash dancing like a serpent beneath his gallop. I ran after him. With the snow falling all around me in big wet flakes, I was forced to narrow my eyes as if braving confetti, momentarily allowing my confused equilibrium to imagine that I was not only moving forward at a hundred miles a second, but that I was also ascending, along with the rest of the filthy, corporeal world that refused to leave the underside of my feet, into some sort of paradise.

An hour later I was in the passenger seat of Sawyer’s car lying through my teeth about what had happened. “I don’t understand,” she said, having been shaken awake fifteen minutes earlier by her boyfriend who was dripping wet and covered in blood. Her face was still pale and creased from sleeping and she was braless and dressed hastily, her coat humpbacked by an inverted hood. “Why didn’t he try to rescue you when you fell through the ice?” she asked, trying to wipe the fog off the windshield with her sleeve. It was drizzling now.


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Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, January 17, 2012 at 2:31 pm Link to this comment

Lucy I find nothing “complicated” about Mr. Fish‘s writing. It flowed nicely and I could picture it all happening. A mark of someone who knows how to right above the 4th grade level. Have you thought of improving your reading comprehension? Like every thing your intellect must be exercised too as mine is. I am still learning. One can never stop learning or learn too much.

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By Lucy, January 16, 2012 at 10:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ugh. Stick to cartoons. Your writing is too
complicated. You can be clever and astute without being
so pretentiously wordy.

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James M. Martin's avatar

By James M. Martin, January 14, 2012 at 5:25 pm Link to this comment

Mr. Fish, my God, man, what a revelation about God being dog spelled backward.  Did you know that Aleister Crowley’s “Book of the Law” asks if God is to live in a dog.  Moreover, and this is critical, Robert Anton Wilson points out that all of the modern (King James on) versions of the Bible are frauds: the original was in Koine Greek.  In Koine, there were no punctuation marks, such that the sentence “God is now here” could just as easily be “God is Nowhere.”

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By heterochromatic, January 14, 2012 at 9:58 am Link to this comment

EZ—- wherever you find yourself you’ll still be one fit to serve in heaven

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EmileZ's avatar

By EmileZ, January 14, 2012 at 4:04 am Link to this comment

Ahhh… brings back memories of Indian Queen Lane and bicycling along the West River Drive path to Center City in the morning.

The cherry blossoms in the spring… the geese… the leaves blowing about in autumn…

Sorry, but I didn’t make it much past page one. It became unsexy and though I love animals, I am a cat person.

Pondering dogs freaks me out and I am already freaked out enough.

Yikes!!! I just briefly scrolled up on page three and scanned a glimpse of horror.

Safer down here in comment hell.

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By heterochromatic, January 13, 2012 at 4:24 pm Link to this comment

how could anyone not love a story built around a
heterochromatic God dog?

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Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, January 13, 2012 at 3:00 pm Link to this comment

Better work on that short attention span. You will need to be able to read more than a paragraph.I found it well written even if it all wasn’t to my taste. But you can see I can dislike the subject matter and still see its merits.

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By ferrellms, January 13, 2012 at 6:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Boy, this is just terrible stuff, and so
long, too. I did get thru a paragraph or
two, though.

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By acmerecords, January 12, 2012 at 4:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

~
“His love affair with life was either an expression of the robust and confident compatibility he had with existence itself, or it was just another demonstration of dimwitted glee”

it only humans who can’t decide if ‘their’ dogs and cats are as ‘smart’ as they are.  In fact, I warned my cat just yesterday to be careful & give wide berth to my ‘dimwitted glee’

“i know a guy who had a dog, he was that guy who started that war, fucking dumbass” g.singlaub

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By joseph bodden, January 12, 2012 at 11:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s a lesson too late for the learning,
Made of sand, made of sand;
In the wink of an eye my soul is turning,
In your hand, in your hand.

Are you goin’ away with no word of farewell?
Will there be not a trace left behind?
I could have loved you better, I didn’t mean to be
unkind,
You know that thought was the never in my mind.

The line between life and death is the wink of an
eye. Sometimes we only know the measure of our love
by the pain we feel when it is gone.
For REBOOT BODDEN, bff, “He was a good boy, no
greater praise was ever needed, although much more
was deserved. (Walker Hound)

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By Sulphalon, January 12, 2012 at 11:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I want the last ten minutes of my life back.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, January 12, 2012 at 8:51 am Link to this comment

Gathered from this long short story, is Mr. Fish is somewhat of a hornydog and probably should not be allowed around animals,..... possibly then God would not be dead and we would all be happier, including God!

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By rumblingspire, January 12, 2012 at 8:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“by giving meaning to the moment and knowing that the biggest increment of time that either one of us is able to occupy at any given time is a moment, was I not merely bringing enlightenment to the smallest increment of infinity and therefore bringing enlightenment to the whole universe by proxy?”

goodness.  i often imagine such in bed with the cat pushing her face into my beard while i touch and name her body parts.
yet it is the last moment that often occupies my thoughts.  the moment i expire.  will i be able to stage it and thus gain a measure of control and Finally give meaning.

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DonSchneider's avatar

By DonSchneider, January 12, 2012 at 5:33 am Link to this comment

christian96…your moniker fits ! sorry for your lack of comprehension. Point is,
there is no point to be made !

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DonSchneider's avatar

By DonSchneider, January 12, 2012 at 5:31 am Link to this comment

to christian96 yep ! your moniker fits !  Nicely written piece. Not every piece of
literature need be a herculean effort full of life changing revelation !  get a life !

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By christian96, January 12, 2012 at 4:43 am Link to this comment

As I read this piece of nothingness I thought how
it represented people in academia and Washington.
Someone trying to show off their vocabulary without
anything of substenance to say.  What a waste of
time!

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By heterochromatic, January 11, 2012 at 8:22 pm Link to this comment

Okasis,  sometimes I despair for humanity.  your comment is one of those times.
maybe if you re-read the thing ......

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By Okasis, January 11, 2012 at 7:39 pm Link to this comment

NightGaunt, What brought about Karry Rose’s statement is her belief that God, as all dogs do, deserves more from the self proclaimed Masters of the Universe than they ever get.

Mr Fish spent his time worrying about his piss hard-on, his cold hands, and his head ache, when he should have been paying attention to the really important things in his life - Like wonderful animals who give love and loyalty always, and often get shit in return.

And then, like a real MAN, he lies to his girl rather than except his responsibility.

Both she and God deserved better.

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Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, January 11, 2012 at 6:25 pm Link to this comment

Poor dog, shit happens an sometimes you die. What crawled up your ass Kerryrose? A strange and vile sentiment from you.

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By heterochromatic, January 11, 2012 at 5:58 pm Link to this comment

—-”  IT may still be around, but just can’t
communicate any longer with his
sheep.”——

bah, humbug.

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By balkas, January 11, 2012 at 4:48 pm Link to this comment

don’t forget [ok, maybe you never knew?] that god only spoke hebrew; jesus spoke
only aramaic. but since hebrews and arameans vanished, so did their languages.
and god, not using these languages, simply forgotten them.
so, s/he or IT may still be around, but just can’t communicate any longer with his
sheep.

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By balkas, January 11, 2012 at 4:33 pm Link to this comment

even as a very poor goddologist i testify that god is dead. thanks

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By heterochromatic, January 11, 2012 at 3:52 pm Link to this comment

again he proves that he writes a hell of a lot better than that other thing he futzes
around with.

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By gerard, January 11, 2012 at 1:27 pm Link to this comment

Something we all need:

  “...phenomenal peripheral vision and instinctual distrust of monkeys wearing clothes and corrective lenses ...”

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By Aaron Ortiz, January 11, 2012 at 11:34 am Link to this comment

I’ve noticed Mr. Fish often constructs straw man
arguments and displays his considerable talents of
mockery against them…but what’s the point of doing
that? Proving he is smart? He achieves that, but why
bother? We all admire his talent already, without the
disdain toward God.

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kerryrose's avatar

By kerryrose, January 11, 2012 at 10:38 am Link to this comment

Poor God.  Fuck you.

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