First Draft

That sixth day was a long fucking day for God.

He made man with a heart you could literally break. Snap, just like that. Sometimes in two, sometimes in a lot of jagged pieces. And when the hearts broke, so did the humans. Just fell over, like a cut tree. Before noon, even, God realized this was sort of a disaster.

So God created replacement parts for hearts. Little valves and bits of tissue and such. But it wasn’t really any good, because it was only the sixth day of creation; He saw folks picking up these replacement parts and nearly fixing themselves or each other, but they were useless at fixing things yet. And He sort of wanted them to figure out the whole Western medicine thing for themselves. Otherwise what was the point?

So then He resigned Himself to another try, like you do. And after a lot of tinkering and no shortage of cussing, out came the second draft of man. Needless to say, God was pretty pleased with himself upon seeing the first heart break; the human not only stayed upright, but also continued to walk and talk and breathe, even without wanting to. Not really a great revision in terms of Free Will, but God was willing to lose the battle if it meant winning the war.

He’s busy, you know?

Lunch Ride

For lunch it’s the bar and a stool by the taps. It’s a sandwich with fries, because it’s Wednesday. It’s July, and the air sticks to itself. The wind heaves at my hair before I go in, but all the fight has gone out of it for now.

Last night I rode south between fields, corn and beans, with the sun sailing away to the west. The fields were straight and true and the corn was as tall as it should be, and the beans. Stray stalks of the former jutted up out of fields of the latter, stubborn holdovers from the fall harvest. I imagined, knowing as little about it as I do, some farmer somewhere. Telling his boy to grow the crops tall when he goes out on his own, so last year’s upshot won’t show.

They don’t need to be knowing you by what you done, he maybe told the boy. Let’s just say, for example, that he added, keep your rows straight and true and each as tall as the other, as much as you can. Pray for it every spring and thank God if it turns out by fall. Let’s say the boy nods, and when the boy is suddenly a man he keeps his rows straight and true and prays when he should and thanks his God when he should. When the beans replace the corn, he watches for stray stalks of the latter, growing as tall as they should one year too late, and cuts them down when he needs to, or when he can.

But I say grow your crops short, charming boy. Darling boy, show me what holds over in you.

A bead of condensation runs down the tap line–racing me with the patience that gravity affords its subjects–and for now I wait to heave downward, to match it, to run slick with friction to whatever end the heat might muster.