Lunch With God
©1998 by sunstruck

I walked to my favorite park bench to eat lunch on this nice sunny day. I was pleased to see it was empty as usual. I really didn't like to eat lunch with others. I preferred to unwind from my job and to do that I needed peace and quiet. 

Settling myself down on the left end of the bench, as I normally do, I closed my eyes, taking a few customary deep breaths. Why I always sit on the left end I haven't a clue. Habit I suppose. Taking one final deep breath, I opened my eyes to begin my lunch ritual. 

"Dammit", I cursed half under my breath. Without me knowing it, some old man sat down on 'my' bench. In the middle. Crowding in next to me he did. 

Hoping he'd go away, I turned towards him giving him a half frown. He smiled back at me. Frustrated, I frowned fiercely at him. He chuckled a deep chuckle then crossed his legs and returned my frown with a huge grin plastered across his face. Giving up, I decided to ignore him. 

"Nice day isn't it?", he asked. 

I ignored him as I opened my brown sack and pulled out my sandwich. As I was unzipping the zip lock he asked me, "What kind of sandwich is that? It sure looks good". 

Continuing with my plan to ignore him, I started to reach inside my zip lock when I heard his stomach growl. It growled a second and a third time before I finally told him, "It's a turkey breast sandwich". 

"Only turkey?", he questioned. 

"No. The regular stuff too", I said. 

"What do you consider 'regular stuff'?", he quizzed me. 

"You know", I replied impatiently. "Lettuce, mayo, mustard and sliced dill pickles". 

I made a fatal mistake. I looked at him as I spoke. Something about him made me say, "Here", as I reached in and pulled the first half out. "Would you like half?" I asked already knowing the answer. 

"Hey, thanks", he responded as he eagerly grasped for the food like a starving man could. He then began to wolf it down. I don't think he chewed it. Gulp, gulp and a final gulp is all I heard. 

I took my half and began my own assault. Immediately, I bit into it and frantically chewed. The way he was practically biting off his own fingers, I was afraid he'd want my half too. I wasn't about to let that happen. I finished off my sandwich in record time. I almost tasted it, I'd eaten so fast. 

Reaching into my bag once again, I pulled out an ice cold bottle of rootbeer. Untwisting the cap I took a huge swallow to wash my sandwich down. 

"That was a great sandwich", he complimented me. "Never had turkey that way". 

"Thanks", was all I replied before I took a second swallow of my drink. 

Again, I made the same fatal mistake. I looked at him as I replied and found him eyeing my pop. Sighing, I silently offered him the bottle. Grinning, he took it, pressed it to his lips and in one long swallow drained three quarters of it off. With a small belch he passed it back to me. 

"God Bless", I said with a touch of sarcasm. 

He chuckled as he held his hand over his head for a few seconds. I looked at him. 

"You said 'God Bless'", he answered my unasked question. 

Reading my puzzled look, he elaborated, "You said 'God Bless' so I did. I blessed myself". 

"Uh huh", I replied. 

"No, really", he assured me. 

"Yah, right", I agreed, deadpan. 

"Truthfully, I'm really God", he eagerly told me. "I am the Lord, thy God", he said in a pretty good booming voice. 

Of course I believed him. Why wouldn't I? I come here every week day, alone, to eat my lunch. No one has ever bothered me before, until today. Wouldn't you know it? The 'very' first time my space is invaded and I get a wacko. 

"Oooookaaay", I answered further. "So, God, how's things?" 

"Pretty darn good", he said smilingly. "The sun's out, warmish without being too hot, good food, nice company. What more could you want. Oh, by the way, you can believe me, ya know. You come here every week day, alone, to eat your lunch. No one had ever bothered you before, until today. (At this part, I swear he had a wicked glint in his eyes.) Wouldn't you know it? The 'very' first time your space is invaded and you get a wacko". 

My mouth flew open as I stared in shock listening as he verbalized my exact thoughts. 

He winked at me. 

"Oh, God", I mumbled. 

"Yes?", God asked. 

"What?", I dazedly responded. 

"Nothing. When you said God I thought you were going to ask me something", God said. 

Blushingly, I apologized. "Sorry", I stammered." I know I'm not supposed to take your name in vain. That's, like, number one isn't it? Or, at least in the top three." I just couldn't remember at this moment. 

"S'ok. A lot do it", he sympathized. "At least you didn't say God damn it. Now that one ticks me off. I mean, I'm not the one pissed over something someone said or did, but, how come they always have me damn things?" I saw God was definitely getting agitated here. "Why don't they resolve it themselves? I gave them the ability to reason. Cha!", he finally wound down. 

I never thought of it that way before. God did have a point and I told him so. 

"Thanks", he said. "Not many understand. Well, hardly anyone, really." 

Not knowing what to say I said nothing. Instead I reached into my bag and pulled out an apple. I put my empty zip lock bag back into the sack for recycling. I wash 'em out for the next day's lunch. As I started to hand over the apple to share with God a thought struck me like a bolt of lightening from Heaven above. 

"Oops. I can't tempt God with an apple. He really could zap me with a lightening bolt and I'd end up a crispy critter. Not a good idea". 

Unobtrusively, I hoped, I pulled my hand back and tried to stuff the apple back into the sack. The next thing I know, God is taking the apple from my hand. 

"Don't be ridiculous", he tells me. "I love apples. They're my favorite fruit." He proceeds to twist his hands in opposite directions which split the apple in two. Offering me half he says in a bad Groucho Marx imitation, "Say the secret word and all your dreams will come true." God even added the wiggling eyebrows for effect. Giggling I took half the apple offered and chomped into it. He ate his own half. 

"Jesus", I suddenly exclaimed. 

"Where?", God asked looking up and around. 

"Huh?", I barely replied. 

"I don't see him", God responded. "Where do you see my son?" 

"I've never seen him", I blushed in reply finally understanding I did it again. "I saw Bob Randalls, a jerk I'm stuck working with, drive off in his convertible. I know he's taking off for another two hour or longer lunch and I'm going to get stuck doing his work, again. the bastard". 

"Ahhh", God responded kindly. "Don't worry about him. One day he'll get what's coming to him". 

"I wish it was now", I mumbled. 

"He was driving his car rather fast. One never knows what can happen", God said soothingly as he watched Bob skid out of the parking lot. Then he continued, "I was hoping you did see my son. I haven't seen him in quite awhile and I was wondering what he's been up to lately".

"Excuse me, but, I thought that you being God and all meant you knew everything all the time", I retorted. 

"Oh, I do", God replied. "He just pops in and out wherever he chooses." "Takes after his old man there, ya know", he added on rather cockily. 

I snorted. 

"Now in looks he takes after his mother's side of the family", God said conjolingly. 

"Considering we're all made in your image that's rather a backhanded compliment", I tweaked God. He doubled over in a big belly laugh. 

"Ya got that right", he roared laughingly. 

I reached for my pop bottle to take a final swig which to my sadness I found empty. Sighing, I sat it back down God watched my little antics. He said, "Watch this". He then placed his index finger at the bottom of the bottle. As he slowly raised it to the lip, liquid filled the bottle from the bottom up. "My son's not the only one who knows this particular trick", God boasted. "I taught him everything he knows". Smiling in anticipation he handed me my rootbeer. I took a tentative sip. Rootbeer. The good tasting stuff too. 

"Thank you", I told God. 

"You're welcome", he chuckled. 

I glanced at my watch and saw I had to hurry to make it back to work in time. I turned to God to say good-bye. He was already standing up, stretching, while cracking a jaw breaking yawn. Before I said anything God said to me, "I want to thank you for lunch. I had a good time". 

"Think nothing of it", I replied. "It was my pleasure." And I meant it. 

"I think I'll head on over to Tel Aviv and see Mrs. Abramowitz. She makes the most tender brisket you've ever tasted. I'm in the mood for brisket for supper", God confided in me. 

"As long as it's not your last supper", I emphasized. 

God roared in laughter once again. Slapping me good naturedly on the back he exclaimed, "Good one". 

Wincing a bit, I kept quiet. He's stronger than he looks. 

"We've got to have lunch again", God said wiping a laugh tear from his eye. 

"I'll have my people call your people", I answered. 

"You do that", God said just before he vanished. 

"Uh, sure", I thought as I walked back to my office cubicle. 

"I heard that", I felt God say deep inside me. 

I surrendered. 

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