Calling God

by Nick Ragusa

“Information.”

“Yes, I’m trying to reach someone very important.”

“Okay, where are you calling from?”

“Idaho. My name is Ralph Lewis. I need to speak with God.”

“Who?”

“You know, God, the Almighty, Lord of Heaven, whatever you want to call him.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about. Are you talking about the God?”

“Of course I am. I need you to connect me with Him. I have to ask Him a question.”

“Okkkaayyy...” The operator thinks he’s psychotic or drunk, or perhaps both. “I’m sorry, sir, but...”

“You can call me Ralph.”

“Okay, Ralph. I’m sorry but I can’t get Him on the phone. Maybe you should hang up now and go to bed.”

The clock on top of Ralph’s TV flashes 3:34 a.m. “No, listen, I’m not joking around, here. I’m dead serious. I need to speak to God and you’re going to get him on the phone for me, understand?”

The operator sighs. Great, another one of those. “All right, Ralph, let me see what I can do. Stay on the line.” The operator’s voice is replaced with soft elevator music.

A minute later a man’s voice comes on the line. “Alpha Centauri Psychology Center, this is Omar, how can I help you?”

Alpha Centauri Psychology Center? “I need to speak to God,” Ralph says.

“Excuse me?”

“You know, Master of the World, the All-Knowing. I have an important question to ask Him. Are you a doctor?”

“Psychotherapist.”

Ralph sighs. “Look, not to be disrespectful, but I don’t need to talk to a shrink. I’m not crazy. I just want to get God on the phone so I can talk to Him for a few minutes.”

You have to talk to someone, all right, Omar thinks. “Okay, Ralph, stay on the line. Let me see what I can do.” His voice is replaced with that annoying elevator music.

Ralph goes into the kitchen to get a beer. When he sits back down in front of the TV another male voice speaks on the other end. “Hello?”

“Is this God?” Ralph asks, excited.

“No, I am but a servant of God.”

“A priest?”

“Yes. I am Father Ar-Gael Dilaggio of the P’lature-del-Andromeda.”

“Andromeda? As in the galaxy Andromeda?”

“Yes. I received word that you wanted to speak with God directly, over the phone, at this very hour. This, you must know, my son, is impossible.”

“But Father, wasn’t it the great astronaut Edwin Rochere who said ‘That which is impossible I do every day’?”

“Something to that effect, yes.”

“I believe that. God is out there, Father, waiting for me to make contact with Him.”

“Why must you speak with Him?”

“Is this a confessional?”

“If you want it to be.”

“I don’t have anything to confess. I just want to ask Him a question.”

“Just one?”

“Just one.”

“And what might that question be?”

“I can’t tell you. I’m sorry, Father.”

“You need not apologize for wanting to inquire to God only. People do it all the time. But perhaps there are other things you wish to talk about.”

“Like what?”

“Like why you want to ask the Lord your Question in the first place.”

“Because I want to know the Answer. No, I need to know the Answer.”

“And what if the Answer does not satisfy you? What if it hurts you?”

“It won’t. I’ll be content no matter what the Answer is, because then I’ll know, one way or the other. It’s not knowing that’s killing me. Do you get what I’m saying?”

“Yes, I understand.”

“So you’ll get Him on the phone?”

Father Dilaggio thinks it over for a minute. “I can connect you with a friend of mine who may be of more help. His name is Denel Toriz.”

“Good, put me through to him.”

“I wish you luck, Ralph Lewis, and hope that you find what you seek.”

“Thanks, Father.”

“One moment.” Cue the elevator music. Ten minutes later a soft solemn voice says, “Good evening. Is Ralph Lewis there?”

“This is he. Are you Denel Toriz?”

“I am. Father Dilaggio tells me you are trying to reach God.”

“Yes.”

“To ask him a question.”

“Yes.”

“I think I can be of service, then.”

Finally! “Can you get Him on the phone?”

“I can see if He’s in His office. Are you sure you want to do this?”

“I’m sure.”

“All right, then. Let me patch you through.” No elevator music.

Guess God doesn’t do elevator music. Ralph chugs the rest of his beer.

The wait is excruciating. Just when he thinks he can’t wait another second he hears the deepest, grandest, most glorious voice he’s ever heard. “God here.”

“Oh, my God... I mean, hello, how are you today, Sir? Are you really Him?”

“Yes.”

“You’re the Divine, the Absolute, the One?”

“Yes, all of those things and more. And you are Ralph Lewis, yes?”

“I am.”

“What can I do for you, Mr. Lewis?”

Okay, this is it, now or never. “I have a question to ask you, My Lord.”

“Ask away.”

“I want to know... What is the Meaning of Life?” He holds his breath in anticipation of the Answer.

[Author’s challenge: If you were God, how would you answer?]

[Bewildering Stories request: If you are God,
we humbly beseech the favor of a reply, in any form of Your choice.]


Copyright © 2006 by Nick Ragusa

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