Throwback Not-Thursday: The Almighty
Another piece of creative writing from when I was back in college all those one year ago:
Greg Marvin was God. According to Greg Marvin.
Sure, he may have been an unbelievable egotist with a narcissistic personality disorder that could rival the world’s most self-deluded dictators, but this wasn’t to say his claim was entirely baseless. If man is made in God’s image, and there are all sorts of permutations of the human image in this plane of existence, it stands to reason at least one of those people would come the closest to actually resembling God himself. And such a person would, in all likelihood, like in the story of Jesus, be the physical form of the Almighty on this earth.
And if no one else was going to make that somewhat illogical claim to fame, why not Greg Marvin?
Greg Marvin was not a religious individual. He grew up in a secular household where his free-love parents encouraged him to be whatever he wanted to be. But his parents’ carefree style ended up being the yin to Greg Marvin’s big selfish yang. And instead of God or Allah or Osiris at the spiritual center of his universe, Greg Marvin placed himself atop that pedestal. Others would question his spontaneous behavior, and all they heard from the lips of Greg Marvin was: “I work in mysterious ways.”
Of course, being a god and all, Greg Marvin wanted to share the good word with his fellow man. But he did not have any designs to create the Greg Marvin Parish or the Church of Latter Day Greg Marvins. He merely wished to tell his fellow travelers the joys of believing in yourself. So he started touring the country and giving lectures to large groups. What accounted for his success on speaking tours? Greg Marvin preached the gospel of possibility. Any one of us could be God, so what’s wrong with acting like it?
Greg Marvin knew he was God, but he was also a very shrewd man. He understood the ways of marketing and salesmanship far better than most. If he went around telling people that he was God on earth, no one would be interested in that message. But if he made people believe that they could just as easily by the Almighty, he could bring in crowds anywhere he went.
His best-selling book, We Are God (Maybe), was what made him such a notorious and controversial figure the world over. American religious leaders came out of the woodworks to denounce his “blasphemous fiction.” He was invited on every single talk show known to mankind, lauded by hosts who loved his positive message and confronted by those who suspected he had ulterior motives. To his loyal and devoted followers, a man who professes narcissism as the religion of the ultimate individualist really has nothing to hide behind. A saint amongst frauds, an honest traveler in a sea of confidence tricksters.
Greg Marvin could very well have been God himself, but his story was not of miracles and mysterious births. His seemed more attracted to illegal narcotics and deviant fornication.
Greg Marvin awoke that warm January morning noting two very important details about his surroundings. Firstly, that it was warm in January. If he had any supernatural powers to speak of, Greg Marvin would have made the four seasons just as constant as they were back when he was a young man. And secondly, perhaps more importantly, the hooker in his bed was no longer breathing.
Greg Marvin groaned. It was the kind of groan you would expect from a dog owner who discovered droppings in the middle of the kitchen. The fact that Candy or Strawberry or whatever her name was died in the middle of the night was not of the utmost concern to him where the overall arc of morality was concerned; he was more worried about what her slowly decomposing body would do to the natural ambiance of his dojo. Greg Marvin grabbed the body in his arms like she was a damsel in distress. He walked down the staircase, crept across the hall, carefully turned the knob opening the door into the garage, and looked for a large, black plastic bag. There was a whole box of them in the corner of the room, right next to a small but sizable mouse hole. He grabbed a bag out from the top, and dumped the body right in it. The garbagemen would come the following morning, and they weren’t exactly the brightest seagulls in the flock.
It is through the faults of others wherein I find my salvation, he thought.
As Greg Marvin carefully placed the black bag into the garbage can, something odd struck him. And after he massaged his injured shoulder, a thought occurred to him. This was the third hooker in five months that he had to dispose of after dying of drug overdose in the middle of the night. But Greg Marvin did not mourn them. After all, if they chose to kill themselves with their substance of choice, what business was it of his?
Last year, a young man at one of his seminars asked him about the morality of indulging in drug use. Greg Marvin looked the young man squarely in the face and told him that in a world where you believe yourself to be God, you are only accountable to yourself and no one else. Your moral code is whatever you want it to be. Another piped up to ask if that superseded the laws of man. Greg Marvin took a brief pause before delivering a sermon on the square.
“Of course you are not technically confined by something as arbitrary as the laws of man. But ask yourselves this. Would you be content to live in a world where any person at any time can use any justification for breaking the law? I know I would not. But let us not deny that the law serves as a necessary limit of human nature that keeps us from unleashing our base animalistic instincts.
“Now, in the course of your duties as the Almighty, you may end up breaking the law once or twice. But so long as you do not do so with malice aforethought, the world will be a much safer place. That being said, whoever designed this beautiful universe did not do so to make sure we always drive under the speed limit.”
Ironically enough, the hooker that Greg Marvin just threw in the trash was at the very conference where he first uttered those words.
Ding. Dong. Ding. Dong.
Greg Marvin groaned. His cockatoo was miming the doorbell again.