GOD IN THE MACHINE
A short story by
Copyright 2011 Thea Atkinson
Cover Design: Thea Atkinson
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The last time I told someone I was Jesus, she spit in my face. Of course, the person who landed the loogie was my roommate Celia and she spits at anyone who gets too close to her. Part of her schizophrenia, I suppose. Thinks everyone's her dear long-dead father who touched her in her secret places when she was a kid. Says that now she's crazy, she don't have to put up with that shit no more. Doesn't have to put up with any kind of shit anymore. Can't say as I blame her, but she's wrong; we put up with tons of it here. They check on us through the night. Put a diaper on me once, even. Talk about shit. I filled the cursed thing for them, the bastards. Think I'm a baby or something?
Anyway. I don't tell folks I'm Jesus anymore. Makes them nervous. I suppose they can't look at a woman with two missing front teeth and see divinity. Can't see the holiness of a dozen dirt-stained wrinkles. Too bad. If they can't see it in me, how the hell will they recognize it anywhere else? Especially since I'm the real thing. God Incarnate.
Celia calls me Go Car It, which I think to her means to have relations. Go Car It, she says to the male nurse when he comes around with a vial of pills to make her sleep. Go Car It , I guess, cause he's the kind of fellow who'd slip his finger up his nose before he handled your medicine. There's no understanding those types of folks. They just do gross things like that. Never give it a second thought. So, Go Car It, she says to him when he comes this time, tray balancing on his flat-edged fingers as if he were a distinguished waiter, and I laugh, lying on my bed next to hers, hands wrapped in pillowcases I've stolen from laundry. He has no idea she’s telling him to go fuck himself. He just knows she's crazy and assumes she's talking to some person he can’t see.