The Secret Griefs of Wild, Unknown Men (17)


“I suppose you’ve never seen God, have you?” The Devil mumbled with an impossibly far look in his eyes.
“God?” The Old World Boy didn’t know anything about it. “No, sir”.
The Devil scoffed, “Don’t call me that, and I should’ve known. Nobody sees God. Anybody who says that they have is over-exaggeratin’. Or just a fuckin’ liar.”
“Why?” The boy asked, “How would you know?”
“Because,” The Beautiful Man replied, “If they had seen God, they’d know that she was a woman.”
The boy frowned. “God is a ‘she’?”

“Yep, and nobody knows it but me. People automatically equate power with being male, so it’s an easy mistake to make. But God is a matriarch, and her entire family line is matriarchal”.

“Weird”, the boy huffed with a scowl on his face, “So where do you fit in?”
The Devil pinched his nose and sniffed like an addict. “She’s the one I loved.”
The wind took advantage of the following silence, whipping through the fields in a dramatic display of invisible grace. “I loved her with everything I had, but it’s never enough, boy.”
“Why?” The boy’s eyes were as big as saucers.

“Loving God is like loving a tree, or a river. These things are beyond beautiful, and they give us life and sustain us. That’s what love is, and God is nothing but love. She’s incapable of loving anyone any more or any less. It’s all equal.” The Beautiful Man wiped his brow with a fine silk cloth.

“What about evil?” the boy asked.
“She don’t see good and evil, boy. Just action, reaction, and circumstance.”
The boy thought about this. “Well what about Hell?”

“Oh, yeah, that’s my fault” The Devil scratched his head “It’s also too complicated to explain. Just know that I left God because it hurt too much. It hurt worse than a thousand goodbyes, and if I couldn’t have her, I didn’t want anyone else to either. So I left Heaven and came to Earth, which, at the time, was the most colorless, driest, emptiest planet in the universe, and I slept for a million years. When I woke up, there was water and trees here. Out of fuckin’ nowhere, this dry, colorless rock developed the foundation for life. Then, I realized that She did love me. Really did. Enough to do all this. But I was so angry at our fate that I couldn’t do anything rational. I stayed here, refusing to return. And soon, God created all the animals to keep me company, so I wouldn’t be lonely. Then, she created people, and the nicer she was, the angrier I got. So I ruined it.” The Devil filled his lungs with air and looked to the sky before pushing out a long, powerful breath, as if exhaling the whole of history.

“Ruined what?” the boy asked.
“Everything,” The Devil replied.
“How?” The Old World Boy wouldn’t be letting this one go.
“I convinced one brother to kill another.” Devil’s eyes squinted ever so slightly as the Old World Boy shook his head
“That’s bad.”
“Yep. It was the first time that God cried, because nobody had to die. Then, from God’s tears and my rage, the perversion was born.”

“I’ve never heard of that.”

“Gracious, boy, doesn’t your Daddy tell you anything?”

“Yeah, but not this stuff.”

The Beautiful Devil scratched his chin, then pinched a bit of tobacco to stuff his pipe. The clouds sailed across the sky as the boy, watching closely, wondered if he’d ever see anything like God up there. Then, he wondered about this “perversion”. What kind of being would be born from God’s sadness and the Devil’s anger.

“That’s right,” The Devil said, as if he could hear every thought, “the perversion is a thing unlike any other. It’s the sorrow of God mixed with my anger. In order to please God, it vowed to destroy me and my entire family to atone for me making God cry. It even went so far as to create Hell in order to trap us all inside. And that’s what it’s been doing. If anyone does anything to make God cry, they’re taken to Hell. And you and me? Well, we’re taken there automatically.”

“I hate that perversion” the boy spat.

“Good!” The Devil chuckled. “Go kill it. Go kill it before it kills you.”

The Old World Boy decided, then and there, that he’d one day find this thing and kill it, so he and his Dad would be able to die without fear of Hell. Maybe they’d even see God…

“You’re the only one who’s seen God?” the Old World Boy was intrigued.
“Mm,” The Beautiful Devil examined a shiny green beetle on a nearby leaf.
“What does she look like?” The boy asked, looking closely at the beetle, which the Devil now held in his hands.
“Hard to look at. Really hard. May as well not look at anything at all. She’s more of a feeling.” He seemed to blink twice as often whenever he’d reflect on God.
“What does she feel like, then?”

“Nah, boy,” The Devil sighed as the tiny jewel of a beetle flew off towards the west, where a far off smoke trail could be seen. “You’re askin all the wrong questions.”

With that, the Devil lit his pipe and was silent. The crows could be heard singing in the distance.

More Chapters Here.


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