Fred: You’re God?
God: You were expecting some white man with a beard. Puleeeaze!
Fred: But you’re Black, and you look like Barbra Streisand.
God: That’s because I’m Haitian. And I love being Barbra on my good days. You know what she sings about people who need people.
Fred: Say, are you a fella or a gal?
God: Fred, Fred, Fred, didn’t you ever stop to consider that God was a drag queen? How else could we create man and woman in our image?
Fred: But all my life, I…..
God: Don’t want to hear it, Fred. I know what you did all your life, and it hurts my head, my heart too.
Fred: Are you this way because of all the fags?
God: (Turning away from Fred for a moment) Emily, would you bring me the extra strength aspirin right away? (Turns back to Fred) That’s Emily Dickinson, one of my favorites. Love hanging with that girl. She’s a hoot. Now Fred, I’m so sick of hearing you say that F-word that as of this moment, every time you say it, what will come out of your mouth is “the lights fandango.”
Fred: But the lights fandango have ruined everything, even hell, which is where I must be by mistake.
God: No heaven, no hell, my misguided non-friend, but just what you make of it – just like the old saying which, by the way, I came up with. Now enough of you saying anything. It’s time for you to hear me out. You have been bad, Fred, very, very bad. Lucky for you, I have a way of dealing with the likes of evil ones. You’re going to Life Rehab.
Fred: But I don’t do drugs.
God: Life Rehab, Fred. You’ll have many decades, maybe centuries, to work out what made you such Fercockt.
God: Fercockt. Yiddish for “fucked up.”
Fred (looking horrified): You’re not Jewish, are you God?
God: Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, you name it. I’m even atheist. I know, no one can believe in themselves all the time.
Fred: How is that….
God: “Do I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself. I am large. I contain multitudes.” That’s Walt Whitman, someone else I put together. Love when the poets get it right! Back to what I’m saying…
Fred: Whitman? Isn’t he a lights fandango?And what the heck do I do in Life Rehab?
God: A little of this, a little of that. No golf — Genghis Khan ruined that for everyone, but lots of self-reflection activities. Some collaging, a lot of writing, long walks on the beach, a lot of juicing, a bit of hard love counseling, big time energy healing, and if you’re really making progress, maybe a massage, and of course, group therapy sessions with the guys….
Fred: The guys?
God: Fred, you don’t think you’re the worse badass I’ve seen? You’re not even in the league of A-List evil. We have some long-time rehab residents. Stalin has been a bear. And Hitler….don’t even get me started on that one. I refuse to send him back even as a slug until he makes a lot more progress. I don’t know if Leona Hemsley and her dog will ever leave even although she complains about the thread count of the sheets constantly.
Fred: How long are people there?
God: That depends on you, Fred. We’ve had some make remarkable progress. Mussolini was able to turn it around in about 23 years. Richard Nixon knocked our socks off at how fast he progressed, but then again, once he came out, all his unpleasantness melted away. Some will be there for hundreds of years. You’ll love the activities. We have the best crafts counselors there. No fluorescent posters for you, though. You don’t get to touch hot pink for at least 20 years.
Fred: Sounds like a lot of damn basket weaving.
God: Don’t knock basket weaving, Fred. Charles Manson is exquisite at it. Now if you’ll excuse me (turning to Emily Dickinson to take the pills she brought him). What is this green stuff, Emily?
Emily Dickinson: A shot of wheat grass. Good for you, like a certain slant of light.
God (laughing): Good one, Emily. Hey, start early and take your dog. (Looks back at Fred) Guess you don’t know her poetry, do you, Fred? No prob. We have lots of poetry in Life Rehab. You’ll be memorizing a poem a day, starting with the work of Paul Monette, one of my favorite of the lights Fandango. Oh, and one more thing, Fred, you’re not in Kansas anymore. A little gift for the sunflower state this first day of spring. Now as most people who knew of you would say, be gone with you. Emily and I are going to Kansas to get some barbecue.