Buon giorno Friends & Readers,
I’ve been traveling in Italy for the past two weeks, hopefully gathering new stories for the blog. So if I’ve been slow in responding to comments or emails, please forgive the oversight, and blame it on my sister. (The lovely producer of Any Given Monday who has been posting my installments while I’m away.) I hope to return soon with many new story ideas to carry us through the rest of the year. In the meantime, please enjoy the 3rd installment of Diluvium.
Excerpt from where we left off:
I also would like it acknowledged that at the point in my life, I was six hundred years old. Now granted, people lived longer in those days (that is to say, people who weren’t suddenly wiped out by unexpected deluges of water from angry deities) but still, six hundred is getting up there. I was just getting ready to retire and start developing a keener interest in my grandkids, and maybe take up whist, when God came up with the idea for this whole Flood thing.
“Noah,” says God, after we’ve been sitting there for a while, and the silence is getting just too awkward. “The people have been sinning.”
“Yes,” I agreed, not realizing that this had anything to do with me or my retirement plans. “So I’ve observed.” It wasn’t exactly what I’d call an insightful observation. At the time, there were about eleven casinos for every church, and enough brothels to employ all the young men and women who looked even remotely attractive in dim lighting, for the next six hundred years or so. People started drinking around one o’clock in the afternoon, and they didn’t stop until about noon the following day, which was great for those of us in the wine industry who didn’t drink up everything we produced (that is to say, me.) It was an economic boom time. You do the math. God, I wish I had taken out flood insurance.
“I intend to destroy them,” God says. Well, that caught my attention.
“By ‘them,’” I said cautiously, “do you mean just the people who’ve been sinning, or all the people?”
“All the people,” says God. “From one end of the earth to the other, from top to bottom, and from every continent. Also all the animals, and plants.”
Well, that seemed a little unfair. Yes, there was a lot of immorality in the world, but surely the plants weren’t to blame. I mentioned this.
“Have you ever heard of the opium poppy?” said God. “Or the cannabis bush? Or the coca-”
“Yes,” I said hastily. “Good point. Very astute observation.” (You don’t want to encourage God when He gets started listing things, because it can take a while. He invented everything in the Universe, after all, so He knows all their names, and the lists can get LONG. Let the plants fend for themselves, was my feeling.)
There was one thing that was concerning me, however, so I brought it up.
“Going back to those people who HAVEN’T been sinning-” I began, but here God interrupted.
“There aren’t any who haven’t been sinning,” said God. “Only you.”
I blinked. I won’t say the notion had never occurred to me. But it comes as kind of a shock to have it confirmed by the Supreme Creator of the Universe, and in the end, it’s actually kind of a lonesome feeling. You start to wonder what it’s like for all those Sinners, hanging out and partying together, and then you realize that if you threw a party for all the Non-Sinners, you would be the only one there, and then you just start to feel a bit dismal.
“They have been lusting and coveting and fornicating,” God continues. “All of them.”
“Well, surely you don’t mean all,” I said. “Because my wife-”
“All,” God repeated.
“I have prepared a disaster to wipe them out,” God mentions casually. “However, you and your wife shall be spared.”
(Here I thought God was being just slightly hasty. I felt He ought to go into a bit more detail on just HOW, exactly, my wife had been sinning, and answer one or two questions I had about the precise definition of “fornicating,” and then we could discuss who should and should not be saved. But the next thing God said distracted me from mentioning it.)
“You and your wife shall be spared,” God repeated, “and together, you shall repopulate the Earth.”
“What, all of it?” I said.
“Yes,” said God. “All.” The Guy can be very solemn about these things. Um, did I mention that I’m 600 years old? And my wife is no spring chicken either. Also, even if you’re Good yourself, there’s no guarantee that your offspring are going to be Good. It’s a lot of work trying to bring them up properly, and of course we had my wife’s (apparently sinful genes) to contend with. So that right there is a tremendous amount of responsibility, and this, you understand, is before He even mentioned building an Ark. ♦
(To be continued…)