Sunday, August 29, 2010

Bathroom Monologue: True Stories of John 1, A Dream

Want to hear John read this story? Click the triangle to stream it, or click this text to download the MP3.

It was the morning of August 20, not that I knew it. I was asleep, sitting in a giant open-air cafeteria. God sat at the first table. Several thousand people with very respectable questions sat at the others, having turned the dining tables into a queue to go ask your query.

I think I sat at a table with a featherless velociraptor and his wife, a bottle of ginger ale. She was in a green wine bottle, but he insisted she was ginger ale. I can’t say for certain that I sat with them because I was invisible and the dream was in third person. I may not even have been in it, and only imagined an invisible me there.

The dinosaur and bottle ducked into a bathroom after a few days. It was several years before the queue moved up and I got to sit at God’s table. He was drinking chicken noodle soup from a tea cup. He looked like a man, though I couldn’t figure out just which man because He sat tilted fifteen degrees to the right. Even turning that way made it no more possible to recognize him. In retrospect, I think it was James Woods.

He was a unique conversationalist, lips moving soundlessly. Instead of a voice, words stream over His head like the news ticker in Time Square. Nerves got me. We spent an eon and a half in small talk, on the weather and Crusades. Something about His smile suggested that He liked hearing Himself talk, and more, liked talking about the wrong thing when He knew I didn’t have the guts to ask my query.

Clouds broke overhead and the cafeteria lightened. I did nothing, said nothing that I noticed saying, but God replied, “Alright, you want the meaning of life explained? I’ll tell you.”

He paused for a moment. I didn’t know what we were waiting for.

In my bedroom, the phone rang. It’s a terribly loud ring and any time it wakes me up I get quite a fright. I shot half upright and looked at it.

No, I decided, that probably wasn’t God. So I closed my eyes and lay back down. It rang three times like it always does before the answering machine picks up. It did, and a disconnect signal blared out of the speaker. I had to pick up the phone to quell it.

I could not get back to sleep after that.


  1. I listened. It was even better than reading. Thanks.

  2. Great story and enjoyed listening. This one is perfect in audio.

  3. Thanks for listening, you two. It's good to be able to record again.

  4. I could see james woods as god. It's that sardonic thing he can do with his mouth.

  5. I think it's a rule. If the phone wakes you up, you're always not only in the middle of a dream, but at an important juncture. Good story, and excellent delivery!

  6. Oh John I loved this and I loved hearing your read. What a wonderful voice you have and what a great dream story. There were several moments throughout that made me smile, particularly the James Wood comment.


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