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“God owns everybody. But who owns God? Now that is the question.”
The smoke had risen from his mouth and was now slowly headed for the sky. I watched intently as it rose at leisure as if it was sure to reach the stars and there was no need to hurry. I watched as the poor smoke’s dream was smashed against the ceiling. I was saddened not for the smoke but for myself because now I had to look down and see Alex staring at me, waiting for me to speak. We had been drinking for over three hours now. No, that’s not right, that was an hour ago. We had stopped drinking an hour ago and had been smoking joints since then. My throat was dry and I hated speaking when my throat was dry. But Alex kept staring so I tried to remember what he was saying. Something about God. Yes he wanted to buy God. No, no, who owns God, yes that’s what he was asking.
“I don’t know man. What’s the answer.”
He smiled and closed his eyes as he took another drag at the joint. “Nobody” he said as he passed the joint to me. “Nobody and everybody, that is the answer Rob.”
I waited for him to elaborate knowing fully well that he won’t. The smile on his face grew larger and larger till the edges of his lips touched his eyes. I hated him so much. He would never elaborate on any of his vague statements till I asked. He always waited for me to ask, always made me ask. Oh how much I hated him. But I could never control myself. I always had to ask.
“What’s that supposed to mean? Nobody and everybody?” I took a puff and passed it back to him.
“It means that nobody owns God and that everybody owns him. God is a man made concept. Men created God to scare people into following them. Most people are scared of God. They are the followers and so nobody owns God. But some people are the leaders and anyone can be a leader or a ruler. So everyone has the ability to own God.”
He spoke for a long time. I liked watching him talk. He looked like Harrison Ford in air force one or some other movie, I don’t know. I always think of Harrison Ford as the president of theunited states. I liked him. I wanted to understand what he was saying but I couldn’t. It felt as if he was talking too fast. Words were getting fused together like conjoined twins. I tried to hold on to a few words but all I got was ‘godman’ and ‘madeconcept’. I got scared. Something was wrong with me. I couldn’t understand what he was saying. Before I could figure out what was wrong with me, he handed me another joint. He had lit another one. I knew I had to stop but I took it. I kept staring at the cigarette in my hand as he continued talking about ‘godmen’ and ‘godpeople’. I should not raise my hand and put the cigarette to my lips. Then I shouldn’t suck on the butt. I kept staring at it. It was burning very slowly. I looked at my hand and realised I was sweating. It was a hot day. But I was sweating a lot. Why was I sweating a lot? I wanted to tell Alex that I was sweating a lot but I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t move. I was frozen on the bench with my head bowed and my eyes staring at the joint which was burning very slowly. I was breathing very slowly. My heart was beating very slowly. The world was slowing down. But Alex didn’t slow. He kept talking about God. And then it happened. I fell backwards. I could hear Alex. He stopped talking about God. He was talking to me. He said that I was going to be okay. He started fanning me. But I knew it wouldn’t help. I knew I was going to die. My heart was slowing down. I tried to concentrate on my heart beat. LUB DUB. I waited but there was no more sound. My heart had stopped. I wanted it to beat but I couldn’t hear any LUB DUB. Alex was still talking to me. I could still hear him. So this is how it feels to die. It was strange. I wasn’t scared. I wasn’t sad. I wanted to get it over with. I wanted to meet God. But ‘God is a man’ Alex had said. No, that’s not what he said. He said, ‘God is a man made concept’. Yes now I got it. And with that I came back. I could hear my heart beating very fast. I was taking very deep breaths. Alex was above me, fanning and talking. I was totally sober now. And I guess so was Alex.
It took me a few minutes before my heart beat slowed down. I felt cold. I felt good. I just had a very unique experience.
“You are right.” I said as I got up, “God is a man made concept”.