There was something about the way he broke his bread, as if there were twelve men around his table and a halo above his head. But there wasn’t any of that stuff — he was just some plain old white guy in a cheap American diner, sitting alone on a Friday night. So he didn’t call the bread his body, and he didn’t pass it all around. He just ate it by himself, reaching back into the basket for roll after roll, wondering, with every bite, if this piece would be his foot, or his arm, or his nose…
The waitress poured fresh coffee into his mug, and offered to bring more bread. He declined, and sensing her exhaustion, asked for the check. The busboy was already turning the chairs over while the waiters were all staring at the clock. The man knew it was time to go.
Walking across the parking lot, the asphalt dissolved into an ocean, and all the cars began to sink like dead whales, slowly, slowly, slowly. But he was not afraid. He proudly walked toward his beat up truck, his feet hovering over the water below. His car was the only one left afloat, so he knew God’s hand was upon him. He could feel His gargantuan fingers curling around him, immeasurable pressure on his body, clenching, squeezing, choking — it was all so painfully pleasant. O Monster Divine! Great Celestial Ogre! Smiling up at the starless sky, the man jumped into his truck, a strange satisfaction swelling up in him. He felt as One.
So he sped away in that clanking metal machine, smile still plastered on his face, giddy. Yellow lines and yellow signs all flashed out at him, happy and shiny and warm. There was something lovely about the world at this late hour, when all the whores were hard at work and all the drunks came out to fight, because God, yes GOD, was in it all.
The man had nowhere to go, really, so he just kept on driving. Past the exit to his work, past the exit to his house, he cruised on until that north-south highway became a two-lane back road, twisting through the countryside, dark and and dangerous. Still hyped up from all the coffee, he was determined to get somewhere, anywhere far. A thought popped into his head — if he could walk on water, just what else could he do? Multiply fish? Heal the sick? Raise the dead? His smile widened, stretching, slowly, from one ear to the other.He felt the pressure of the Hand returned to him, holy fire falling down onto his head, burning holes right through his skull, lighting sparks across his eyes. He felt the power inside his belly swelling up and stretching out, his body growing like elastic, like putty. You are the potter and I am the clay. He was far beyond speeding now, his foot pressing down harder and harder upon the pedal. But it wasn’t his doing, it wasn’t him at all.
There, in the road. A deer. Where it came from, he hadn’t seen, where it was going, he didn’t know, but he knew it was a gift from the Lord, precious, precious thing. It was frozen, in the opposite lane, unable to move, or perhaps unwilling. He wondered if deer could feel such things as sadness, and if they could be diagnosed with words like “chronic depression” or “obsessive-compulsive disorder.” He wondered if they had quacks, and if their quacks worked in fancy offices, and wouldn’t understand what it is to be “sad”because they’re all happy, fat men with happy, fat families in three-car-garage houses and pancakes every Sunday. He wondered if this made the deer even sadder, and if they ever wanted to die — if this was how they ended it all, by standing out in the middle of a country road on a Friday night, waiting for some clanking metal machine to speed on through.
So he held his breath and he swerved.