Dear God,

We — Bartleby Willard and Amble Whistletown — humbly submit our


We have failed and we will continue to fail
We know this
We therefore respectfully request that you take due not of the writing on the wall, and accept this, our humble


Why pretend?
Why mime the actions of real writers and real editors?
Why ape the thoughtful brows and careful eyes of men wise enough to help?
Why pretend?

It would be one thing if we were writing timeless essays for a workable, sustainable freedom under human law.
Then no matter which way the chips fell, we’d be yet fighting the good fight and worthy of this our daily bread.
But that’s not happening.
Honestly, nothing much is happening.
Amble is wasting time in alcohol and tainted loves.
I am wasting time in the introductions to essays I’m afraid to begin for real.
And everything swirls down the drain so regularly that we feel more like washroom attendants than writers and editors.
And so, God, let us hand your infinite hands — amazingly fresh and clean considering all the infinite dreck you wipe off all us infinitely grimy mortals — some towels (sturdy and soft enough to feel kind of like real towels, yet cheap and biodegradable [so the packages claim] enough to be thrown away after each use). And let us, infinite eternal and ineffable Lover of All, sweep this golden floor.

As if!
As if we were even fit
to work for lazily tossed tips in your divine water closet!
As if we’d even proven ourselves any kind of good and loyal servants to the Love that chooses everyone!

No, none of that.
Here, God in the Highest,
here is our


Not that we suppose it matters.
We never received a special dispensation, and we’ll go right on receiving the same infinite wages you pay everyone — regardless of the kind of job they’re doing here on this conveyor belt that carries us all into and out of life without so much as a how-do-you-do-? .

We wanted to help.
We saw well enough to see that trouble was coming.
We saw the storm clouds, felt blizzard approaching, smelled the whiteout and subfreezing temperatures; and we also saw how we all seemed to be outfitted in shorts, T-shirts, flip-flops, bold complaints boasts and oaths made possible and practical by a certain heavy sleepy certainty of eternal safety here in a time and place without bombs or political prisons, a sleepy-headed certainty that everything would always be as it had been.

We wanted to help.
But we didn’t have the discipline to even find out if we could think of ways to act that might help.
That’s why we are handing in our


We feel like recipients of a scholarship who used all the money on drinks and nice clothes in the hopes of impressing women and even just like passerbys who might be a tiny bit impressed with us because we look so cool and in control and funny and edgy.

Edgy! Edgy like a lie.
Edgy like a joke.
Edgy like a good little pawn who is free to preen and pomp and thunder and ironize just so long as we keep to our little square, from which we will soon be lifted, sent to another little square; where, if we survive this move, we are again free to find ingenious ways to pretend we’re doing something.

Ah, but we forget that,
or we tried to ignore the fact that
God doesn’t accept resignations.
God accepts all our bitching and complaining and giving up and flopping on the ground with a great display of fluffing dust and thud and groan,

but God never signs resignations,
God always laughs them off,
God always kisses our boo boos and tells us it’ll be okay and now
we should
try again

But how?
Because this time we just don’t know how to even begin?
Life feels like molasses and we feel so sleepy and heavy, we think we are
sinking down into the
thick gooey sweet sticky slightly tangy
to all our questions
the answer is
hopeless it is hopeless let yourself lose let everyone lose let the evil win
maybe you and everyone won’t lose, maybe the evil won’t win
in any case
you are
de trop
you don’t matter
you are not involved in this equation

What is true, God?
What should we do here and now?
What would be any good?

If you will not accept our
oh so humble


could you maybe
give us just one little tiny


Author: B Willard
Editor: A Whistletown
Copyright: AM Watson

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