There’s a women dying on the moist asphalt in some alleyway. Her name is of no interest to you or me, neither is the whereabouts of this alleyway. Frankly, it doesn’t matter if she is fat or skinny or stupid or bored or interesting or kind or really really good at rubik’s cubes, all it matters is that she sits in some alleyway between at cat and a dumpster. I supposed it also matters that you know she is hungry. You can tell by the way she pets the stray cat. With a sort of furrowed hand, clenching to get as much heat from the cat into her bone fingers. She would agree that that matters, I think.
This women pets the cat and just as the night really sets in, just when it hits the point between three and four where the streets get really quiet, the woman asks the cat a question.
“How do you feel about this whole God thing?”
The cat does not reply. Not even a purr.
“Ah, well, I know what you mean. But it is a lovely idea to fancy all day long. It’s fun to just wonder what it does all the time, why it doesn’t come around to see us. Like maybe God is just distracted. Maybe God has no idea what it is missing, maybe there is more important stuff to deal with, it’s a big universe you know.”
The cat shifts a paw slightly.
“That is an interesting question. What is God doing? What is God doing?”
She says it louder the second time, as if she were asking the clouds or the wall in front of her.
“I suppose it is fixing things. Or maybe God doesn’t fix things, maybe it is more of a clean up fella, maybe it just gets to swoop in for the comforting part, and maybe we are in the part of our lives where it’s a mess and once we clean it up a little God wakes up and sends all it’s love our way. I wonder what hugging god is like. I wonder what’s the density of God.”
The cat nuzzles the women a little more, reminding her to keep scratching.
“No, no, God cannot be thin. God is thick. God is cotton. God is a dense hug, God is warm and safe, but just a little drowning. Hugging God doesn’t let you breath much. Probably because it doesn’t know when to let go, maybe because it forgets we are mortal.”
A drizzle of rain begins and the woman and the cat watch for a moment as the little drops collect on the ground in front of them.
“Maybe that is why God hasn’t helped me here. Maybe it has forgotten I am mortal. Maybe God forgets we get cold.”
The cat says nothing.
“You know what. I have thought about that. But organized religion never did do it for me. I mean Jesus is great and all, but all that only answers what WE are doing here. I guess I’m old enough now to just want to know what I’M doing here. That’s selfish I know, but don’t you want to know what you’re doing here? Why it was you who came to be. Just you here, now, with this rain in this alley way and this city. I want to know.”
The cat says nothing.
“Maybe God will let me know in time. Maybe God will let me know in it’s time. Maybe God is not ready for me to know, maybe God has some growing to do before it lets all of us know the grand plan for these hands and arms and teeth. Does God do that? Does God change? Does god grow? Does god evolve?”
The women lets out a chuckle that rings for a second between the buildings, enough to provoke the cat to move an ear.
“Ha, sometimes I think religion makes it seem God devolves. Maybe all living things devolve. Maybe immortal things can devolve too. What do you think of that?”
The cat purrs just slightly.
“Oh what a bold little fella you are. What a bold fella.”
Her narrow fingers slowly come to a stop as the cat and her drift into unconsciousness.
The women is now asleep in some alleyway with her hand on a cat and just as many questions as she had earlier. And the drizzle gives the city that smell and the cat gets too cold and too old for the night. And the woman wakes up with her hand on a cold cat and says:
“Oh yes, perfect, you go find out the answers and I’ll meet you there later.”