In case anyone’s interested in making a pilgrimage, God is currently working as a checker at Schnucks grocery store in Carbondale.
I don’t know his full schedule, but he definitely works Tuesday afternoons. He is older, tall, and African-American, which is germane because he has a rich baritone (or bass?) voice with a timbre I’ve only heard in black men’s voices.
This man sounds more like God than Morgan Freeman does. The first time I met him I didn’t realize he was God. I asked him if he was a singer. Naturally, he is.
Yesterday I met him again. As I was taking my receipt he said, “Now don’t mess up that hair.” I thought he was being sarcastic. My hair was dirty. I was tired and sweating. Even my hair was sweating. “It’s already messed up,” I said. “Naw, it looks good,” he said. “Now don’t mess it up, hear.”
If I could have leaned across the checkout counter I might have kissed him. People simply don’t say this kind of thing to me. Ever. It made my day. Absurdly, I heard myself say, “I’ll try not to.”
If only he’d given me my marching orders when my hair was clean, I could have tried to comply. Really, I could have. But…I had to wash my hair eventually. Right? So I did. Now it resembles one of the Monkees’ hairstyles, only not cute. Kind of smooth and spherical.
The next time I go to Schnuck’s I’m going to have to avoid God’s checkout lane. I can’t bear to hear a reprimand in a voice more authoritative than Morgan Freeman’s.