I improvised this story today on Twitter, one tweet at a time. It comes from a place of need. All tweets appear here in chronological order from top to bottom and have been proofread for respectful capitalization only.
Lord, I need a lift. I need to get from here to there. You’re the expert, but if I may suggest a route, hang a left and aim for the glowing.
“Hang on to your shit,” spake the Lord, and floored it.
In reverse. Pinned by velocity to the back of the passenger seat like a sixth-grade science project, I could just make out my past flying by.
As Fall Branch receded into the future, I saw the places I’ve been. At this divine speed they appeared as wet Polaroids not fully developed.
Azusa. Pasadena. North Hollywood. St. Paul. Mounds View. St. Paul again. Yonkers. Roswell. New Haven. Geneva. Minneapolis. London. Paris.
We passed green foothills in white caps, threaded through S-curves wiggling between sheer cliffs, blasted out into great expanses of desert.
And then we were riding on water. His taxi skipped across the Atlantic like a checkered yellow stone.
The Lord never asked me whether I was comfortable.
“Thirsty?” the Lord did ask unto me. “Yes,” I replied, upon which He handed me an Evian bottle full of brilliant ruby wine. I downed it.
Yea, the Lord got me completely wasted. He pulled over. I fell out of the cab onto a cobbled street. The cab had turned black. “Nice trick.”
London. West End. The Hammersmith Apollo loomed high above my head. The marquee read “BLAST!” Blast, I’m late for my entrance, I mumbled.
“Don’t worry,” spake the Lord, “You’re fired. Get in.” I looked at Him, looked at the marquee, looked at the black cab and climbed in. Sigh.
The Lord buried His sandaled foot in the floorboards and off we flew, still in reverse. “Paris, right?” I asked, fumbling with the seatbelt.
I stood on the beach of Brittany at sunset. The blue swingset. The oyster bar. My friend Sanaphay, stoned and puking up oysters. Bliss.
The Lord shoveled me into the cab again, took the wheel, and punched it back to Minneapolis. University of Minnesota. “I’m tired, Lord.”
High school: Marching band, theater, English class, cross-country skiing, crushes, Live, Dave Matthews, lockers, cars and bicycles.
Middle school: Shame, darting eyes, righteous indignation, the stench of skepticism wafting from Mead notebooks. Picking fights with giants.
Elementary school: Mr. Galinsky, a class music video, the Bookworm program, a rosy girl of long black hair named Chastity. And Katie.
Baseball cards. G.I. Joe. Transformers. Mr. Rogers. Barbara Mandrell on PBS.
A wooden fence and a little blond boy named William in red shorts. Me.
An Easter Basket of green plastic grass and chocolate eggs. The reassuring smell of cigarette smoke on Mom’s pea coat.
Everything goes black. “Lord, I can’t follow You here.”
“Then you aren’t ready to go all the way, ” spake the Lord. “I’ll pick you up in 87 years. You owe Me six hundred large.” Put it on my tab.
The Lord sighed. “Thanks for riding with Us.” I helped Him with His robes, slammed the door and gave the roof a pat. He threw it in reverse.