By: Alonzo Rangel
Hometown: Fort Worth, TX
They told me to pray to him in adoration. As a poor man, I wondered how much about my famished frame and pissed on possessions I could attribute to someone else with elation for their help. Shaking the thought out of my head, I pondered whether the beauty I had to admire was in someone else’s life, so I looked around me.
They told me to go to him in petition after I came back and told them that the world was just like any other comet in the solar system: a blazing mass. Hurling towards a fate of space dust and inconvenient obsidian boulders that’ll pelt the other planets as a reminder of our nuisance. So I did. I asked him to turn the fate of the planet around. I told him about the bewildering stuff that he might not be able to keep staring at. I couldn’t blame anyone if they chose to turn away. The whole thing was just one giant car wreck. One case of blunt force trauma after another. Understanding that direct intervention isn’t his game, I asked that he find someone to act on his behalf. Surely he wanted to see this charade of civilization find a resolve just as much as I did, and surely there was someone who he could anoint as a leader on the journey towards stability.
Irritated with me, they told me to fall on my knees and plea in contrition after I slandered the leader my petition provoked. And I truly was sorry. I apologized for wishing the world into a destiny such as this one. Indeed I did ask for someone to conserve what was left of our being, but what I did not expect was to receive a self-proclaimed hard-boiled detective, whose idea of saving our being was embracing the fire, the shattered bones, the air poisoned with smog and drying blood. I expected a figure of heaven present but got a ghoul who’s set on reanimating those of the wrongful heavens of past. I did this to everyone. I, in all of my impoverished, brown insignificance, summoned a creature of apocalyptic proportions through my prayer. So, on my knees, I wept in apology for speeding the unprecedented rush towards our own irrelevance by reaching out to he who granted my desires.
This time they had to hold me in submission by pushing down on my shoulders and stepping on my Achilles’ tendons. They told me to pour my soul into thanksgiving, as this was my last chance to reconcile what I had with him after all I had done. I looked at those keeping me from standing up and walking away. They themselves had caved cheekbones and mangy green glows, but clean around their necks were the symbols of he who they held almighty. I looked to my left and right, where involuntary rituals such as mine were occurring. Examining the altar in front of me, I noticed for the first time that it was splintered and nailed back in place here and there, the struggles of those before me evident.
Finally closing my eyes and doing what was requested of me, I gave my thanks. I exclaimed in glee. Glad that he who they worshipped, the man I gave my blessing, the people that he rallied — and I — were of different deities.