I arrived at the address. It was kind of a dodgy neighbourhood for the “interview of a lifetime”. Wait. That’s not right. He had said it would be the “interview of an eternity”. Weird cat.
Still not sure why I agreed to do this. I wouldn’t usually do an interview with an anonymous. He was just so damn convincing.
So here I was, early on a Friday morning (only a bit hung over), at an old building in a tough part of town – waiting for my “interview of an eternity” (Who says shit like that?). One last look at the outside of the building and I was sure this wasn’t going to be one of the bigger rock stars I had ever interviewed. I mean, if Mick Jagger wanted an interview, the guy on the phone would have said, “Mick Jagger wants an interview”. It would have been like a request from God.
Yet here I am.
All right. It’s time to do this.
The front door was stiff. The whole lobby was small, unfurnished, and needed cleaning. Now what do I do.
“Hello? Paul? Take the elevator to the top floor, please.”
I didn’t see an intercom anywhere. The voice seemed to be coming from everywhere. The elevator opened as I approached it. I entered and saw the button had already been pressed for the top floor – the thirteenth. Pretty rare to see a building that has a Floor Thirteen. The elevator hadn’t moved yet, but the door opened on the thirteenth floor. I guess I just wasn’t paying attention.
I turned a corner in the hall and came upon a small door. It had a frosted window and black cartoonish lettering that said “The Big Guy”. Well that’s not too pretentious.
As I was about to knock, the door was opened by a skinny, old hippie-looking guy. He had long grey hair pulled back in a pony tail, and a long grey goatee with no moustache. He had bushy eyebrows, and was wearing a pair of half-glasses on the end of his nose. His clothes were all black: Sneakers, jeans, suit jacket, and a black t-shirt that said “London Calling” and had a picture of Paul Simonon smashing his bass guitar.
This was definitely not Mick Jagger.
“Um. Hi. I’m Paul. I’m here to interview … someone.”
The old guy looked amused. “I know. Come on in, Paul. Please sit down.” He gestured to a couch. Everyone thinks they’re rock and roll if they have leather couches.
“I’m afraid you have me at a bit of a loss. It’s not entirely clear to me who I’m supposed to be interviewing. You are …”
Oh shit, he’s crazy. “Sorry, I must have misheard you.”
“God. Yahweh, Jehovah, The Big Guy … Do I need to go on?”
Crazy as a shithouse rat. That’s what this guy was. Time to leave before I had wasted any more time on this freak. “Listen … Jehovah … I don’t think I’m the guy you want to talk to.”
“Please sit back down, Paul. I can provide proof.”
I found myself sitting down again. “All right, Jehovah. What’s the proof? I love a good magic trick. Rain? Frogs? Locusts? A bigger dick? Any of those things would go a long way toward proving your identity.”
“You sat back down even though you didn’t want to. Does that prove anything?”
“Dude, that’s just cheap. You said enough to make me curious. All that means is that you would be a good sideshow barker. You’re going to have to do better than that.”
Something changed in his look. Something happened in my brain. It was like a quick flash of a strobe light, and suddenly … I believed. This was really Him. Holy O’Jesus Motherfucking Christ, this was really Him. Oh, and I probably shouldn’t blaspheme.
He sat back on the couch across from me. “There now. We’ve done away with THAT unpleasantness. Are you ready to get started on the interview?”
“Wait a minute, Jehovah … Almighty … Lord. You want me to interview YOU. Why me?”
He seemed a little impatient with the question. “Paul. FRIEND, you’re right. I could talk to anyone. I could talk to everyone. I’m the Supreme Being after all. But that’s not the way I roll. I actually get a little nervous in front of crowds. No sir, one-on-one is the way to go. You seem like a good guy.
“And by the way … enough of this Almighty stuff. Just call me Jeff.”
“Yeah. I like to think of it as a shortening of Jehovah, and it makes me sound more everyman. Jeff.”
“Listen, God … I mean Jeff … I can’t do this. I mean, I’m a frigging atheist after all.”
“That’s why I like you, Paul. You believe what’s in front of you, and nothing more. That’s what makes you such a good interviewer.”
“Okay, so what should we talk about?”
“Well, now that I’ve got your attention, why don’t you head home and think about it over the weekend? I know that you like to do research before an interview. Come on back here Monday morning at nine. We’ll talk.”
And THAT, boys and girls, is how I met the Almighty Ruler of the Universe.