First thing I did when I got home was take a bubble bath. Well, second thing after tucking my Hermes scarf safely in my dresser drawer. I deserved the bubbles after such a harrowing experience, and I could soak as long as I liked since I didn’t have to get up at any certain time tomorrow. I was luxuriating in a milk bubble bath with candles flickering, the late, great Barry White on the CD player. I had a glass of red wine from which I periodically sipped. I closed my eyes as the tension ebbed from my body. I didn’t want to think about anything, and a bubble bath was the only thing that allowed me not to think. Well, that and cleaning, but I was in no mood to clean. A slob by nature, I turned into Donna Reed on crack when I cleaned. If I had been a fifties’ housewife, I would have had to be sedated 24/7 because somebody would always be tracking dirt on MY CLEAN FLOOR.
“We have to stop meeting like this.” I sighed at the sound of God’s voice. He seemed to take a perverse delight visiting me while I was laving. I wondered if there was something salacious in this occurrence. “It’s the only time you’re not occupied with anything else,” God said, sounding amused. “Besides which, it’s the only time you really relax. A relaxed you bodes better for our conversations.”
“Dual monologues,” I interposed, still not opening my eyes. “You say Your thing and I say my thing, but they don’t often intersect.” I paused as I loofahed my elbow. “To what do I owe this pleasure?” I wasn’t the most gracious of hosts, granted, but He wasn’t the most gracious of guests, either, so that made us even.
“Just wanted to see how the evening went,” God said, His voice casual. I finally looked at Him and saw that He had chosen purple this time. It was a good color on Him, but I loath to tell Him so. He seemed to have more good colors than bad, which made sense, I supposed.
“What was so urgent You had to leave?” I countered, closing my eyes again. I didn’t want to become accustomed to the sight of God in all His glory; I just wanted Him to go away.
“Can’t tell you,” God said tersely. “I had to leave Zeke in charge.”
“What exactly does Zeke do?” I asked, my curiosity getting the better of me. Of course, I’d read about the Angel of Death and all his duties, but Zeke didn’t seem to fit the stereotype. He certainly wasn’t as good-looking or compassionate as the Angel of Death on that angel show some time ago—the one with the Irish angel and the African-American angel.
“Trade secret,” God said briskly. I peeked at Him, only to find Him staring at me in return. I closed my eyes again. “I told you to tell Ned’s parents before the shindig, not after.”
“What difference would it have made?” I exclaimed, sitting straight up in the tub and opening my eyes at the same time. When I realized I was flashing my breasts at God, well, I sunk back down in a hurry. This was getting old. There had to be some way to keep the Almighty out of my bathroom.
“Not a chance,” God said cheerfully, humming a tune under his breath. It took me a minute to recognize it as ‘I Like the Way You Move’ by Big Boi of Outkast. Great. God’s a rap fan. Who would have figured? “The difference is that the Changs would have went through with the party and would have time to simmer down.”
“You really are an optimist, aren’t You?” I asked, my tone incredulous. “Telling them before would have been worse because their indignation would have had time to grow. Mr. Chang carries a grudge like nobody I’ve seen before. One time, an acquaintance of his didn’t say hi to him as they crossed paths downtown, and Mr. Chang didn’t speak to him for a year. There is no way in hell that he would have calmed down about Ned being gay, especially if we’d told him with his friends there.”
“At least you got a date out of it,” God said, sounding impossibly smug.
“Did you send Ted to dinner tonight?” I asked suspiciously. I wouldn’t put it past Him to pull a stunt like that.