“I'm in love,” Satan said to me cheerily. I could tell he was in a good mood. He was whistling as he came up my sidewalk. There was a spring in his step. He carried his mail tucked under his arm.
“I'm in love,” he said again.
“Congratulations,” I said. “Who is she?”
“Angela. I met her at a party the other night. Man, I gotta tell you. Jesus throws a great party. Lots of wine, but you have to bring your own water. And he can do amazing things with one little tin of sardines. But he is a little uptight on some stuff. 'Thou shalt wipeth thine feet before coming inside.' 'Thou shalt not double dip.' He's even got a sign in the bathroom: 'If it's yellow, thou shalt let it mellow; if it's brown, though shalt flush it down.'”
Satan paused momentarily as he started looking through his mail. “Bill,” he announced, then flipped to the next one.
“After he has a few drinks in him,” Satan continued, “he gets a little holier-than-thou. 'Did I ever tell you of the time I walked on water?' 'What do you mean you never been resurrected?' 'Yeah... I've got 12 disciples. How many you got?' It gets old very quickly.
“Then he starts showing off. Parting the punch in the bowl. Walking on the swimming pool. Turning people's water into wine to get them drunk quicker.
“Then he pretends to be the gracious host and starts passing around crackers. 'Here. Have some of my body. These ones are plain body. Try 'em with the hummus. These are my body with garlic and Parmesan. Really good in the veggie dip.'
“He got a little carried away, but then he got his
. His father showed up. You should have seen Jesus then.”
He paused for a moment and laughed.
“How hard must that have been. I mean, the father is the milestone for the son. The son wants to go beyond his father. Can you imagine those Sunday brunches with Jesus and God?
'Look, Dad. I turned my water into grape juice.'
'That's nice, son. Did I ever tell you the time I
created the whole fucking universe? Now eat your camel crispies before they get soggy.'
I mean, how can you become better than that which there is nothing greater?”
He started looking at his mail again. “Hmmf. Another bill.”
“So after God got there, Jesus made himself scarce and spent the rest of the evening tidying up the the mess from the holy spirit. I mean, who lets a bird fly around inside? There was dove-shit everywhere.”
“What about Angela?” I asked as I tried to steer the conversation back to his infatuation.
“Oh, yeah... so God showed up, late as usual. He always has to make a grand entrance. The sky grew dark, a loud booming sound came, and the wind started blowing. Then God's helicopter touched down. He got out along with ten of his entourage and three bodyguards, then headed straight to the bar and grabbed the bottle of vodka. Never saw it out of his hand after that. He also was up to his elbows in the Buffalo chicken wing dip.
“I tried to steer clear of God, what with our differences of philosophies, so to speak. I went over to the snack table and reached out to take the last bruschetta, only to find that someone else had her hand on it. I looked up, and then I saw her. As we locked eyes, deciding who would win the coveted prize, the holy spirit flew over and garnished it, the way only a bird could. We laughed, and ended up spending the rest of the night together. It was incredible. She...”
He paused. “Oh, shit. What the fuck does he want?”
“Who?” I asked.
“Him,” he said, pointing straight up. He pulled a switchblade from his boot, flicked his wrist, and cut the envelope open. He pulled out the letter and showed it to me. I could see the letterhead: “From the desk of God” in a large, calligraphic font.
“God uses the post office?” I asked.
“He's a cheap bastard, really. But to be fair, do you know how much it costs to send a herald angel to deliver a message these days? Whole helluva lot more than a forever stamp.”
He began reading the letter to me.
“'Dear Lucifer,'” he began. “He always calls my by my given name. 'It was really good to see you again at Jesus's.' Blah, blah, blah.” He was quiet for a moment. “Here. Listen to this,” he said, raising his voice. “'I hope you enjoyed your time with Angela. I must inform you, however, that she works for me." His voice slowed and he became quieter. "If you want to see her again, you must mend your ways and return to the light.' blah, blah, blah. Sincerely, G.”
He put the letter down on his lap, then looked out across the yard at nothing. After a few moments of silence, he picked up the letter again and read it to himself this time. I watched his lips move as his eyes scanned the page. When he was done, he folded the letter with care, and returned it to its envelope. He placed the envelope on top of the rest of his mail.
He sat quietly.
“Sorry, man,” I said. “What are you gonna do?”
He inhaled deeply, and held it in. Then let it out in a sigh.
“Eh, fuck it!” he announced. Then got up and left, his step spring-less this time.