Adam was made in the image of his God, and I am made in the image of mine. Adam from dust and clay, and I from ink and paper.
Milan Kundera says every character is an experimental version of the Author himself and Aristotle says … well I don’t know what Aristotle says on the subject. I know only this, but no more. I search my mind for further details but there are none. Why? I suppose he never finished reading. He may know things I do not know, but there is nothing I know that he does not. That’s the thing with omniscience. What a goddamn racket.
But Adam was not wholly God-like, he was human after all. There was a folly, and sinfulness, and frivolity and innocence which his God did not possess. While Adam was a subset of his God, he was not of an identity with him. Like a child’s wind-up toy God gave him chance and chaos, and set him loose in Eden, I think, just to see what happened.
So I wonder what of Him, my creator, is reflected in me? Which is to say: what parts of me are received, manifestations of Him, and what are his inventions for me, and therefore truly my own? When I fart in bed is that in fact my God farting in bed, or is that me, an original trait of his creation? And what of Aubrey too? Her anxiety? Her desperation to please? Are these also parts of him? Or perhaps some other person that he knows, some other god in the realm of non-fictive gods, skewered here for his own amusement, traits eviscerated and dissected like a medieval doctor slicing up a frog (passing knowledge of historical medicine? That one surely is his, I would never read about such dusty old things - I like jazz, not books).
Ah but I can just see him. That boheme. Growing his hair, spilling coffee, tobacco stained fingers and anachronistic typewriter, a green Olivetti he found on the side of the street and has lovingly restored. That dilettante (his Artistotle, his Plutarch and his Seneca dipped into, but never read cover to cover - though quoted at length no doubt), that scrabbler, sodomite, philistine. And is this anger, is it even my anger, is even my vitriol my own, or is it his? Is it I who am dissatisfied with my maker, or is it he?
Nietzsche said God is Dead, but my god is alive and well and writing, and he is a Slob and a Shortcutter and an Amateur. Just look at this place, no detail and no furnish to anything. The fry cooks in the kitchen, I could swear they have no features at all. Just a blurry impression of skin. Does he have so little imagination, so little compassion, so little class, he cannot imagine the face of a fry cook? What a curse, being made in the image of a god whose work you cannot respect, for then what self respect can you hope to have?
“Yes, but when do you think he’s coming back?” Audrey asked. She twirled the ball of her earring. Adjusted the rotation of her many gold rings, on her bony fingers. “Surely, I mean surely, he must come back, he must finish, I mean surely?” She placed her knife next to her fork, then her fork next to her knife. Anything but to be still.
“Who?” I ask.
“You know who” Audrey says, raising her eyebrows and nodding upwards. The veins of her neck stand outward, like the beams of a bridge.
“O him” I say and push my plate forward.
Lucio sweeps past. “How was everything?” and Audrey sparks up “Wonderful-wonderful, really wonderful”. All her gold and silver clinking like a tray of glassware in Lucio’s kitchen.
Lucio clears the table, and goes to fetch the tiramisu and desert wine.
“Well?” Audrey asks.
Whether we are here as adulterers, or as husband or wife, or whether we have met just this hour so I can sell her a house, I have no idea, and neither does she.
“Well, what do I care” I say, my voice a little brusque, harsher even than I intended. Audrey clinks like a wind chime.
“Its just I mean, don’t you need to keep moving, to get were we are going?”
“Well” Audrey’s crinkles up awfully “for closure”.
“Ah fuck him” I pull out a cigarette. “If he doesn’t want us anymore, if he doesn’t want to play the game he’s set up, so be it, good luck to him”.
Audrey’s lips press tightly together, like I imagine her buttocks do at the same time.
“But just look around” she says.
And its true. This is not a realised city. It is what it is. A napkin sketch at most. An impromptu.
The construction works on Main Avenue have always been sitting there, the crew hanging around telling dirty jokes, the foreman waiting on blueprints that never arrive.
There are hard edges and dead drops to this city. Wander (or wonder) too far and you can fall off the edge. Blank spaces.
I light my cigarette. I look up at the ceiling where Lucio’s fake chandelier hangs from the paint peeling roof. I imagine him up there, somewhere. That buffoon. Our pathetic creator, in some complete metropolis of which this place is a pale imitation. “Fuck him” I conclude.
Why we are lunching she does not know. We have always been lunching. Lunching with Audrey is the sum of what I am. The summation of my existence.
I smoke my cigarette as Audrey pokes at her tiramisu with her spoon, clinically and without the passion of hunger.
"We should be thankful” she says finally, moving the cake around her plate “otherwise we might not be here at all”.
“Yes, but fuck him all the same” I say and Audrey sighs.