I found myself walking on a beach and I was walking with Jesus.
Even though I am not a religious man, simply being in His presence gave me a sense of inner joy and peace I had longed for but never really known up til then. And when he turned some water into wine I thought what a fucking dude. Party on.
But after the wine ran out I started getting irritated by his sanctimonious attitude and insistence on slowing us both down by dragging his bloody cross behind him instead of just leaving it somewhere and hoping it didn’t get stolen.
Jesus wasn’t having any of it though and started playing the martyr, making out we all have a cross to bear and trying to act all humble but doing this in a transparently holier than thou way that was sickening.
Across the skies flashed images of my life and for each scene I noticed two sets of footprints- one belonging to me and one belonging to Jesus. And then this huge great furrow from him dragging the cross.
“Care to turn any more water into wine?” I said.
“Everyone always asks me to do that and it’s really boring,” he snapped. “I’m not some bloody one-hit wonder. I’m constantly developing new material.”
At this he launched into what sounded like a stand-up routine but without any jokes. He said it was a parable and if I didn’t want to listen I could just go to hell.
When he finally got to the end, it was so weak and contrived I couldn’t even raise a smile. Instead I pretended to be thinking about something and started to subtly walk faster, taking longer and longer strides that I knew Jesus couldn’t possibly keep up with.
“Have you heard the one about the loaves and the fishes?” he called out behind me as I broke into a jog. “You’ll like this one- ”
Jesus was out of earshot and getting further and further behind me.
The skies were getting really trippy by now. Dark clouds were gathering. I was alone.
I looked down to see only one set of tracks leading back to where I had come from and they weren’t even recognisably human. Jesus was nowhere to be seen. Which was a relief, really.
Then as the first drops of rain started to fall I began to feel afraid in a way that was convenient for the narrative.
The fear that gripped me was precisely the horror of being lost in a senseless universe whose only fate is the eventual heat death of everything and then endless, silent darkness.
Perhaps I’d been spiked.
It was Bad Tripsville, Arizona.
“God,” I cried out, falling to my knees and hyperventilating. “Why in my hour of need- and probably after I’ve been given drugs without my knowledge- have you forsaken me?”
And then God spoke to me. I was that off my tits.
I asked Him about the footprints in the sand: why had I had to walk alone along the beach, without Him there to guide and protect me?
And God said “Yeah, that was when you were tripping balls. You were actually floating along for a while.”
“So, you were with me all the time?”
And God said, “Yes. I was.”
“And all that time you were watching over me and making sure I was all right?”
“Not exactly,” said God. “In fact we were planning to mug you after you blacked out from the drugged wine. Jesus must have screwed up the dosage again.”
Hearing these words, it seemed like the scales fell from my eyes; but it could have just been flakey skin.
The drug was wearing off and I realised that I wasn’t talking to God at all.
It was just a dog, going backwards.