My friends are having a difficult time with their new god, so they will visit a monastery. It is unclear whether the god will come, too, since the point of the visit is to straighten out my friends’ heads. God training is really people training, my friends like to say, and in truth, it’s never the god’s fault. I guess a god with the finest pedigree can be misshapen by abuse, inattention, or overindulgence.
The last place I would have looked for a suitable god would have been a monastery. But the monks breed them, instruct people on how to care for them – books, DVDs, the works.
I’ve considered a trip to the monastery, too, but I’ve had my god for a while, and “new tricks” and all. Besides, if I took him to the monastery, I think he would prove an embarrassment. A monk would spot my god’s haphazard training in an instant. I mean, it took me twenty-five years just to get him to stop biting other people.
Maybe I could come with my friends and do a little window-shopping. I have a relatively new breed, and the older ones sometimes seem more attractive to me now. But I guess you can’t trade in an old friend like an old car. Anyway, I think I’m just infatuated with the whole idea of god, perhaps with what gods were like before we Westerners turned selective breeding into an art form over the last millennium or so. My god, though, is suitable for young children and long absences, and I need to be practical.
After he stopped biting, I was hoping that I could train him to do all he was bred for, but, for starters, such training would have violated our suburban leash law. And I have to admit that, overall, I’m satisfied with his proud pedigree, low maintenance, and comforting presence.
My god. I think I’ll keep him.
[I can’t blame any of this on Michael and Toby’s new puppy or their plans to visit the Monks of New Skete, still less on Teju Cole’s fine poem, “the god-walker.” It remains to be seen, though, whether I’ll take full responsibility.]