by Arnold Snyder
We left the coffee shop and started walking down Broadway side by side. It was a pleasant sunny day. People were out strolling. There was slow traffic on the street. A lot of people going nowhere. I was glad I wasn’t driving.
Lulu took my hand and squeezed it, then continued to hold it, officially making us a couple. She looked so cheap and slutty and I felt so proud to be with her.
“Let’s do something crazy,” she said.
“What kind of crazy?”
“Like miracle crazy.”
“I’ve been through this before.”
“Don, this isn’t the same as last time. You’re not a kid anymore. You’re doing real miracles now. And I’m a witness.”
“I thought I was doing real miracles before.”
“But you have me now to make sure the miracles are real. I won’t let you get into trouble. Why don’t you put a giraffe on the street?”
“Wouldn’t that be crazy if there was a giraffe just walking calmly down the street?”
“He’d be hit by a car!”
“You could protect him. Put some kind of invisible barrier around him.”
And just like that, for no reason other than Lulu’s amusement, I stuck a giraffe clopping down the street about ten yards in front of us. The squealing of brakes and screeching of tires up and down the block was soon accompanied by the sounds of metal-on-metal fender benders. But the giraffe plodded on, unharmed.
I stopped walking and just stared at the animal. Lulu stopped beside me. It was such a thing of beauty.
“That’s so awesome, Don. You really can do anything!”
It disturbed me that the beast seemed to be causing traffic accidents and such a commotion. Was I actually hallucinating car crashes and the public chaos that was building around the animal? “I think I should get rid of it,” I said.
“No! It’s beautiful! There aren’t enough giraffes in this world. I never realized that before. People need to see giraffes regularly.”
“No they don’t. No one needs to see giraffes.”
“He’s so graceful,” Lulu said.
“He’s a she.”
“So peaceful and elegant,” she said.
That voice inside my head that had been telling me to stop doing crazy things had stopped talking to me. That giddy feeling I’d felt in 1967 that I could do anything, anything, anything …
“Lulu, this is fucking dangerous.”
People were coming out of the shops and out of their cars and apartments, just to look in awe at the giraffe.
Lulu stepped in front of me and threw her arms around me. “Kiss me,” she said.
I looked at her mouth. I wanted to kiss her, but I had a knot of fear in my gut.
“Lulu … I’m afraid you’re just … a figment of my imagination.”
“Don’t say that!”
“It’s the main thing I fear. I might still be at home sitting in my bathtub. Or maybe I’m really out here on the sidewalk, talking to myself …”
She stared at me like she couldn’t believe I was saying what I was saying.
“Much as I like you,” I said, “I can’t stand here kissing because what if you’re not … you know … It’s too dangerous.”
“That’s an insult, Don.” Her voice was as stern as the cut of her lips. “Maybe I can’t do miracles, but I’m every bit as real as you.”
“How can I know that?”
“I’ll prove it to you. Close your eyes.”
“People are looking at us,” I said.
“No, they’re not. They’re looking at the giraffe. Now stand perfectly still and close your eyes. Don’t move no matter what happens.”
I closed my eyes, though I could still see through my eyelids clear as day. I watched as she swung that big bag of hers and walloped me right in the side of my face. Hard. Real hard. So hard I lost my balance and fell backwards onto my ass on the pavement. “Hey!”
Then she hit me again when I was down. Conked me on the head so hard it almost knocked me out. It felt like she had a brick in her purse.
“Don’t you call me a figment of your fucking imagination!” she screamed. “Who do you think you are?” She kicked me in the ribs—really hard—and I fell over onto my side.
“Stop it! You’re hurting me!”
People started to gather around, but no one tried to help me.
She kept kicking me, one foot then the other, in the stomach, the sides, my ass … the toes on her leather boots were hard.
“Say you’re sorry, you fucker! Say you’re sorry!”
“I’m sorry!” I yelled. “Jesus Christ, I’m fucking sorry!”
She stopped wailing on me and stood back, looking down on me, with rage still in her face. Then she smiled. “Apology accepted,” she said.
I got up and the crowd dissipated. I brushed myself off. My ribs were sore. My mouth hurt.
“You look like shit,” she said. “Do something about your lip.”
“What’s wrong with my lip?” It was throbbing.
I touched it. There was a sharp pain. I put my finger on it until the pain subsided and it felt normal.
“That’s incredible,” she said. “You can totally heal yourself!”
We started walking again. Looking down the street, I could see the giraffe about a block away now. A horde of people was following it. I concentrated on healing my bruised ribs.
“Are you always that violent?” I said.
“You insulted me. But why’d you let me do that? You could’ve created an invisible barrier, or turned me into a pillar of salt or anything else.”
“You took me by surprise.”
“I’m so amazed at how you can heal yourself. Can you do anything you want to your body? Like could you grow feathers or make yourself into some kind of animal?”
“Don’t give me crazy ideas, okay?”
“Don, you’re so dense. Don’t you get it? You’re God. Nothing’s dangerous for God.”
“You’re dangerous for God.”
“No. I’m perfect for you. I was made for you. I know now that this was my destiny. I always knew there was something special about me.”
I stopped and just looked at her, dumbfounded. She was even crazier than I was. Some kind of magnetism pulled us together and we started kissing. I was hugging her so hard I was lifting her off her feet. I just wanted to melt into her. I put my hands on her ass cheeks and pulled her hips against me so she could feel my hard dick. When I started to let go of her and back away, she kept kissing my mouth like she was hungry for me.
I took a step back to release her. “C’mon, let’s walk,” I said. “Let’s go sit down somewhere and think this through.”
We resumed walking, my arm around her, holding her close.
“Don, we have to deal with the whole sex issue.”
“What sex issue?”
“I’m attracted to you. Don’t tell me you’re not going to have sex with me.”
“Lulu, I’m too old for sex. I’m not having sex with anybody. Don’t take it personally.” I knew that she knew that was bullshit.
“Don, you are the most incompetent God ever.”
“Why would you even want to have sex with me? I’ll get you some young stud if you want sex.”
“Are you kidding? How many girls get a chance to have sex with God? I can’t even imagine … Like what kind of stuff could you do sexually?”
“What are you driving at? Are you some kind of fetishist? Are you kinky?”
“I never have been. Not really. But in my fantasies …”
“Come this way,” I said, pulling her hand to steer her down a side street.
“Where are we going?” she said.
I led her to the alley behind the building on the corner, pulled her to the back of the painted cinderblock exterior and pushed her up against the wall.
“Are you going to kiss me again?” she said, looking me straight in the eyes.
“How old are you, Lu?”
“Fuck you for knowing how old I am to the day and asking that question. But you could make me twenty. I was really hot when I was twenty.”
I did know how old she was to the day. To the hour. To the microsecond.
“Are you healthy?” I said. I knew she was healthy, all things considered.
“I drink too much wine and I’ve never recovered from menopause. So I’m a bitch. But I always wanted bigger tits. Could you make my tits bigger?”
I slid my hand under her miniskirt and lightly touched her fire-engine-red panties.
“Let’s go to my place,” she said.
“I like to go slow,” I said.
“Your hand’s on my pussy. Are you going to kiss me?”
“I am, but first let’s go sit down in a sidewalk café and drink a nice bottle of red wine. I’ve got to figure out what the hell is happening.”
I took my hand out from under her skirt.
“I knew you would be that way,” she said. “It’s all the suffering, isn’t it?”
I didn’t know what she meant, but I just looked at her like I knew exactly what she meant and I was agreeing with her. I was facing her close enough to lean in and kiss her, but I didn’t.
“It’s all the people who go to bed hungry, isn’t it,” she said. “All the children … you have this overview of the world that makes you a man of unlimited compassion.”
I pulled her close to me because I didn’t want her to look at my face. I wanted her to believe what she believed. I melted in to the warmth of her body. “A cheap cabernet,” I said. “Let’s share a bottle.”
“I prefer white wine,” she said.
I backed away from her. “We’ll get a nice Chardonnay. C’mon, we’ve got to think this thing through. Do you want to go to Paris?”
We started walking back to the street, holding hands. My dick was hard and staying that way.
“Let’s just go to that Italian place on College Ave,” she said. “That’s not too far away. They’ve got sidewalk tables.”
“But we could just as easily go to Paris.”
“I’m not dressed for Paris!”
“How would you like to be dressed?”
“Just as I am. I want to be comfortable and cheap. Are you attracted to me, Don?”
“Yes, of course. Especially to your mouth. You have the most beautiful lips. But I’m not sure about this sex thing …”
“Are you kidding?”
“I’m shy about sex. I have performance anxieties.”
“Performance anxieties? For chrissake, you’re God! You touched my pussy for ten seconds and I’m dripping. We’ll talk about it over the wine. Or maybe later in bed. First—and I think this is important—we’ve got to deal with world hunger.”
Go to Chapter Nine