“So what exactly are you saying?” Dasad asked, stirring the wasabi. “That Star Wars should be added to the New Testament? Some sort of sequel to Revelation?”
Murph gurgled some imperceptible response from his miso soup, inciting a sudden fit of coughing and drooling. Dasad sighed and returned his attention to the green lump dissolving in his soy sauce. Murphey had invited Dasad over the house for pizza and games earlier that week. Dasad had accepted the invitation but neglected the hour-old pizza already ripped to shreds by the fraternal horde, Murphey’s younger brothers and sisters. Sensing some internal struggle between hunger and disgust within his friend, Murph had suggested carry-out at the local sushi place. Lenten Fridays restricted most fast food without scales and fins — excluding Taco Bell whose mushy meat remains to this day a zoological enigma. Carting their repast home, Murph had suggested some minor alterations to 2010’s Holy Week.
“No, not at all,” he explained wiping his mouth. “That’s blasphemy. I simply believe that the Church needs to rethink its codex. Perhaps include some more modern parables to the canon. A doctrine not scribed by monks or century-old gray beards. Something new and fresh.”
“Yeah, but Star Wars?”
“Why not?” Murph argued, fumbling with his chopsticks and skewering a spicy tuna. “It’s got good. It’s got evil. People love the subtle imagery and morals . . .”
“I sense a lightning strike. Besides Jedi . . . -ism isn’t a religion. It’s made-up, fictional with wookies and Yodas and . . . and muppets. Like Scientology but not as gay.”
“Thus, the parable. It’s all symbolic anyway. The point is that it’s new and fresh and brimming over with obtuse jargon, the milk and honey of all serious theology.”
“Lucas has a beard,” Dasad added pointedly dipping a yellow tail roll into his wasabi
“A coincidence. He’s not dead yet, right? Or born before the first millennium. Thus, it works.”
“So what’s next? The gospel according to A.L.F.?” Dasad laughed, carefully balancing a piece of nagiri onto his spicy tuna. “Paul’s love letters to Lucy? Dude, the old stuff isn’t bad, just neglected. Do you really think people are going to take the Word of God seriously if it’s sung by Mighty Mouse?”
“Well . . .”
“By all that’s holy, you’re actually thinking about it . . . So much for the first three Commandments this year.”
Silence fell about the table. Murph’s mother and father sat in the other room. Shouts from the conservative news station echoed into the kitchen. The rest of the siblings had left the house for 4-H meetings, submerging most of the house a rare moment of subdued quiet. Dasad dipped a roll into his soy sauce and considered whether to take anything his friend said seriously, or to quickly change the subject.
He had decided to cleverly interrupt with a reminder of next month’s Dragonboat race when Murph spoke again.
“Do you . . . do you really think He cares?” Murph asked, face down rolling the sushi about his place.
“Him,” Murph said, directing his index finger upward. “About the whole cursing thing. Blasphemy and whatnot.”
“Oh . . .” Dasad shrugged. “Well . . .”
“An all powerful, omnipotent being concerning himself with the few foul word of creatures so small and pathetic he could dissolve them from earth and memory with the bat of an eyelash. Boom! One blink and Murphey never existed. Ever.”
Murph traced soy-soaked rice along the edge of his plate.
“I cursed Him out once,” he said quietly, nearly to himself.
“Oh, long ago, high school I think. My folks weren’t home and the kids were all asleep upstairs. Turned off the TV, shut the door to the basement, and just let ‘im have it. All of it. Dropped the F-bomb and all the four-letter words I could remember. It wasn’t much but every dirty disgusting thought or feeling just bubbled out like sludge in a clogged drain . . .
“I’m not even sure why. Just wanted to see what would happen. If he’d say anything. Send a wildfire to California. Or make me lose my homework the next day. Or stub my toe. Something like that. Waited ten minutes and then, well . . .”
“No stubbed toe or mysterious rash. No disasters. I even checked the cable news for floods or mudslides in Chili. Even the city . . . I mean, Baltimore and all . . . There were murders, but nothing above the usual quotas. Even the weather the next few weeks was perfect. Seventy degrees in January!”
“So what happened?” Dasad asked. Murph shrugged.
“Well . . . I felt rather pathetic about it once the rush passed. Real empty, ya know? Like no wonder He doesn’t say anything if all I’m doing is cursing Him out. He has all this stuff to deal with. Whining, complaining, pleading, begging: billions of stupid people like me demanding of Him to fix their sad little lives. Like the IT guy for the whole freakin’ planet. That’s Hell, right there. So . . . I went to bed feeling pretty guilty, said a few extra Hail Marys and fell asleep.”
“Huh . . .” Dasad said.
Slowly, Murph piled up the plates and deposited them into the kitchen sink. Dasad just watched, silently imagining his friend like a neglected child locked away in the basement cursing away at his God. It felt rather sad, but the thought of Murph cursing alone brought a smile to Dasad’s face. That he would have paid to see.
“So where do you want to insert this new text, this Gospel according to Lucas?” he asked gathering up the uneaten sushi.
“New Testament. Luke and Han wedged in between Luke and John. Feels rather poetic, ya’know.”
“Just leave room for the Dukes of Hazard.”
“Okay, now that’s disrespectful . . .” Murph smiled, scrapping the last of the ginger into the sink and down the drain.