My next book.
“One of these nights at about twelve o’clock
this whole earth’s gonna reel and rock…
things thay’ll tremble and cry fer pain
for the Lord’s gonna come in his heaven aeroplane.” — Heavenly Aeroplane
A sparse, but enthusiastic crowd sits in the aluminum stands of a high school baseball game. Along the third-base line are two men. Airborne dust deflects the bright afternoon sun, backlighting the players in a shimmering, gold aura. One boy, a sturdy second baseman, bolts backward, making a diving catch in shallow center field. The fans hoot and holler as the players on the field trot in to the dugout and the other team takes the field.
One of the two men, his sun-lined face squinting below his Harley-Davidson ball cap as he claps with a tad too much enthusiasm, says, “That’s my boy who made that catch.”
The other gent nods. “Yes, Todd. I know him. He’s a good kid.” He looks at the father. “You done a good job with him.”
“You got kids here?” the first man asks.
The older, brown-haired man looks around. “Yeah, you could say that.”
His companion waits, but no further explanation is forthcoming. He sits and extends his hand, which his companion takes. “Bob Everson, I sell motorcycles.” He doffs his cap. “Harleys mostly.”
His companion smiles. “Good bikes. I used to own an Indian myself.” He inhales and exhales. There are unspoken regrets in his silence. “I miss that damned bike.”
Everson gives him a half smile. “Well, I might be able to help you with something you’ll love just as much. What do you for a living?”
“Um … I’m sorry, what?”
“God,” the man repeats, using no more emphasis than the first time.
Everson suppresses a smile. “You’re … you’re God?”
“What are you, nuts? God’s my job. The name is Pablo. Pablo Hernandez de Colón.” He yawns and stretches, twisting his neck to and fro while Everson stares. “I’m on vacation.” Pablo stands, shakes Everson’s hand and turns to leave. “I need to take a leak. See ya’ around, Bob.”
Everson stills, equal parts bemused and amused, his hand stuck in a half-launched wave. “Bye,” he says.
(To be continued)