Song: “I am a God” by Kayne West from Yeezus
JULIE is sitting, elbows up on the long counter, holding her head in her hands. In front of her, a cup of coffee slowly cools. To her right sits her friend KARA. The bar is largely quiet. There are some patrons, but no one is sitting very close to them or paying them much mind.
KARA (rubbing her friend’s back, a look of vague confusion and concern on her face)
I guess I just…I really don’t understand. Why are you so upset right now?
JULIE (turning her head towards her friend, but still holding it as though it might just drop directly onto the bar if she doesn’t support it.)
I died Kara—
Well, I mean, you nearly die—
I died! I was dead for two minutes. TWO! Before they brought me back
KARA (pumping her arm)
Woo! Score one for modern medical science!
JULIE casts her a withering look.
KARA (trying again, more hesitantly)
JULIE shakes her head no.
KARA (a mix of embarrassed and annoyed)
Ok, ok. So…you almost died.
I did die!
KARA (pumping her arm)
Ok, fine. You did die. For 15 seconds or whatever it was.
JULIE (correcting with an air of “why don’t you remember this?!)
Two minutes. 120 seconds.
KARA (rolling her eyes behind JULIE’s back)
Right. Sorry. Anyway, dying is no fun, I bet, but you got to come back. Coming back, I think, is pretty cool.
Try it sometime.
Sorry. Yes, obviously it is better to not die at all than to almost—
Not almost, did. I did die.
Sure. What I am sa—
JULIE (volume steadily rising)
No, not sure. Yes. Really. I died. My heart stop. My breathing stop. My brain ceased to function. For. Two. MINUTES! Get it fucking straight Kara!
KARA (gesturing to calm down, looking around in shame)
Ok. Ok, ok, ok. All I am saying is that you experienced a fatal accident and while it would be better to never encounter such a thing, a fatal accident that was only briefly fatal is the best sort of fatal accident. Wouldn’t you allow I am at least right about that.
JULIE (either conceding the point or just choosing not engage with it)
I went to heaven.
KARA (wide eyed)
What?! I mean, you’re…You don’t believe in—
I didn’t. I do now. No choice, really, once you been there, you know.
You went to heaven?
Yes. Well, general heaven.
I’m sorry? General heaven? Is there a Sergeant heaven?
Really? That’s your line?
What do you want from me? You just told me heaven exists and then added in that there’s apparently a military leader of it too.
No. Not general like “Yes, sir, General sir!” Like general admission general. It’s like…the first step, I guess? Heaven is different for everyone, which makes sense I guess. If you have an afterlife and all of existence to perfect it, why not make it individually customizable? Anyway, you start in general and then move on to your own.
And what if your loved ones idea of heaven is different than yours? Am I never going to see my mom in the afterlife because she’s always been more of a beach person and I prefer the snow?
JULIE (shaking her head)
No. Never seeing your mom again is not your idea of heaven so it wouldn’t happen like that. I don’t know exactly how that gets resolved. Like I said, I only was in general. I’m not like an expert or anything.
You’re the biggest expert I know of!
Look, the way heaven works; the system? That’s not what I want to talk about.
Sure, I get that. Who wants to talk about heaven with someone who knows, for sure, it exists? That does seem pretty boring.
I get you’re being sarcastic and I’m ignoring it because…it’s what happened in heaven, ok?
I’ll bite then. What was in heaven?
Well, to be honest, there’s not “the” when it comes to God, really? To us, because we were raised with the idea of God as one entity and that entity is in the form of an old man with a long white beard, that’s how God looks up there. I think if I was, say, Hindi, God would appear as Ganesh, for instance.
I think you are kind of missing why I might be a little incredulous here. To be more clear: you met the Creator of the world, in whatever form?
JULIE (eyes turning downward)
I did. Yeah.
Ok, you’ve got to do a little better than that. Why are you acting like this is terrible news? You have confirmation of an afterlife and that, provided you keep on keeping, you’ll get to go to it, despite being a heathen. You are acting like God, I don’t know, screamed at you or something.
No, it’s just…it was not what I expected.
Was God a woman?
God’s a being without gender who, yet, still seems to comfortably fit human understanding.
I guess that makes sense. Just tell me what’s going on here, Julie.
JULIE (almost sobbing)
It’s just that…well…God loves baked good. Like, loves them. Couldn’t stop talking about them. Demanding them. Why would God be so concerned with baked goods?!
KARA does not immediately reply, just returns to rubbing friend’s back. Until….
So, just so I’m clear, you found God’s interest in baked goods to be insulting to your sensibilities because of your gluten allergy.
JULIE, with a sigh of utter frustration and defeats, just lets her head drop to the bar with a thick, noisy THUD!