I’ve been having troubles praying.
What does one tell an omniscient being? As a child, I tended to use prayers as a verbal diary. But God already saw all of it happen; why waster her (infinite) time by retelling it?
(I prefer the maternal characteristics of God, so mine is a woman. And goddam her rack is divine.)
Other times I just show up with a list of requests/demands. I scrawl down a shopping list and pray it off one by one. Here, God – take your pick between a better job situation, a clearer idea with what I’m doing with my life next month, happiness, maybe a hot ladyfriend?, and a parking spot. (That last one’s not actually such a frivolous request in San Francisco.) Oh wait, let me throw a cure for cancer on the list too. And don’t forget all of Africa and that rape will go away. Not world peace, though, that’s just cliche. OK, genie God, if you’re going to grant one of my wishes, I’d suggest the rape one, but I really hope you ignore that for one more day longer and do the parking one. Or at least the ladyfriend one – we can just drive away together before I park, that’s fine.
I end up feeling too demanding if all I’m praying about is to ask for stuff, so I try to fill in other things. Maybe praise? I hear she’s egotistical and loves that. “Dear God, you’re super swell. Given my monotheistic upbringing, you’re the best god in the whole wide universe!”
Then, of course, I get distracted thinking about how God feels. She’s up there in heaven anyways, where my actions can’t actually make her any happier. Is heaven just constant ecstasy, a thousand simultaneous orgasms? Or is God more like a warm mist of contentment, the satisfaction of knowing things are going exactly according to plan?
My main problem, I think, is how to address God. “Dear” sounds too formal and stuffy, like I’m writing a pen-pal on an a loudly clanking typewriter and might use “forsooth” in my next paragraph. “Hey” is far too familiar, and reminds me that my writing has no range, that I can only do the diction of a middle-class American convincingly. Ditto “wassup.”
Sometimes I ask God how she’d like me to address her, if there’s a preference or maybe a non-offensive standard. I wait in silence for a reply. Does that silent meditation count as prayer? I wonder if yoga is a form of prayer. Then I think about doing yoga with Brie, and how we drank honeyed whiskey which reminded me of amber nectar. I walked home in the rain, and the tiny beads were refreshingly freezing on my forehead.
. . . Oh shit, none of these thoughts are prayers.
“Dear God, help me stay on track. Help me to . . .” Whoa, is that an open parking spot? [Kiss Each Other Clean.]