Monday, February 8, 2010

A God's God

A response to Dana Goodyear's New Yorker article: "Kid Goth". She quotes Neil Gaiman as saying if he had not been a writer, he would've wanted to design religions.

Neil sat in the third-floor window overlooking St. Edward Street and Green Park. The early birds had already returned from their southern vacations even though snow lightly covered the ground. He watched as a limo arrived at the entrance to the Green Park Care Center. A swarthy man, his hair peppered gray above his white polo shirt and black slacks, opened the door for a ten-year-old boy who clambered out of the rear seat. The boys black shoes reflected the gray sky and looked like they'd never touched slush.

There was a knock on the frosted glass door with Neil's name upon it and below that, "Religions 'R' Us". Neil pushed a hand through his twisted hair that didn't make a dent in the tangled mass. The boy and the chauffeur stood outside the door and Neil waved them in, "Please, have a seat." The boy sat slumped in the wooden folding chair in front of Neil's desk and the chauffeur just stood by the door. "What can I do for you?"

The boy looked around and said, "Are you really the Neil." Neil nodded. "I thought this would have been more," the boy paused, "majestic. Can you really design a religion?"

"Does Cthulhu have tentacles?" The boy didn't answer. "Of course he does. Business has been slow is all." Neil noted the boy's Armani jacket and saw that every hair was in its place. He must've had his own hair stylist, since boys that age were never that neat. "It is quite unusual for someone your age to requisition a religion."

"Ahmed, show him the money," said the boy.

"No, that won't be necessary. So you want your own religion. Where do you stand on guilt?"

"I don't care about guilt. You can put anything in it as long as you build in lots of religious holidays."

Neil raised an eyebrow. "Lots of holidays, check. Sounds like a nosy god. Anything else?"

"No. Just make sure the holidays get me out of school and leave me free to spend the day however I desire."

"Okay, come back next week I'll see what I can manage." Ahmed and the boy left through the door. Neil rubbed his hands together, he knew that this would be a challenge. Holidays did not come at little cost to one's soul.

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