106. Babel

Another hungover morning after hanging out with Jeff. Being a prophet was hard work. The name on his door was V.R. Dammt.

I reached for the knob. As I saw it begin to turn, I kicked the door. It opened a few inches before stopping suddenly, and then falling shut again.

“Fuck! Son of a bitch! That hurts!”

I reached for the knob again, and – for the first time – opened the door myself. I take the small victories where I can. “Oh hey, Jeff. How’s your monkey?”

The Creator glared at me over his hands that were trying to stop the blood gushing from his nose. “You’re an arsehole! Why’n fuck would you want to do that?”

I shrugged and sat down on my usual couch. I knew I’d probably feel guilty about this before long – guilty is what I do. I figured I owed him an explanation, and couldn’t think of a good one. “I always get pissed off when someone makes me think in German?”

“Noted.”

He pulled a tissue from his sleeve and held his nose while he sat down. Yep, the guilt was setting in. “Speaking of languages, mind if we talk about the Tower of Babel?”

In a pinched, nasal voice, “Be my guest.”

I flipped open my glittery Elvis bible to a marked page. “I remember in Sunday School, they told us that the people of earth tried to build a tower to reach Heaven. This pissed you off so much (pardon my paraphrasing) because you saw it as a false idol. That’s what Mrs. Tailor, my Sunday School teacher, told me.”

The Almighty raised one eyebrow, tried removing the tissue from his nose. More blood gushed, so he clapped the tissue back to his nose. “Mrs. Tailor is a liar.”

I pictured kindly old Mrs. Tailor, and thought that was a little harsh. Of course, I had just kicked a door into his face. A little harshness may be expected. “Here’s what the Good Book says your reaction was: Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.”

He smiled a little sheepishly through the tissue and said nothing.

I continued. “You were worried about what the people might accomplish if they worked together, so you ‘confounded their language’ and ‘scattered them abroad upon the face of the earth’. Does that sound like what you did?”

Another smile. “It kind of sounds like an arsehole thing to do when you put it that way.”

“I’m not sure what other way to put it. Sounds like you were scared of what we might do, so you fucked up everyone’s life, and made it harder for us to communicate. Think of all the unnecessary wars that may have caused!”

He pulled the tissue from his nose. “I wasn’t scared!” A squirt of blood went down the front of his jacket. “Be right back.”

When he returned, his nose wasn’t bleeding, and his jacket was clean. He crossed his feet, stuck his arms straight out to the sides, and said, “You are forgiven, my son.”

Between you and me, I have to admit to finding it a little funny, but I didn’t want to encourage him. “Cut that shit out. So you were saying you weren’t REALLY scared of humankind.”

“Yeah, man. I just didn’t want y’all making a mess. After Adam and Eve had buggered up my apple tree, I was keeping everyone on a pretty short leash. So actually, I turned to Malediction, the Manager in charge of the Department of Language and Nose Hairs (he wasn’t very busy back in those days), and I asked him to make sure the humans didn’t get up to this kind of mischief anymore.”

“Christ! And so he chose the solution that would guarantee him some job security?”

“Now that you mention it, his department suddenly did get much busier.”