When one door closes God opens a window. That’s what at least three people told Kyra when she lost her waitressing job at McGurdy's. Lost, hell, I was fucking fired, she thought. It had been a good job too at a high end restaurant that catered to big spenders. Thus the tips were generous and Kyra was making enough money — along with her student loans — to carry a full load at NYU. Now what?
She was 23 and solely dependent on herself. Mom had died when she was 13 and her father was in prison for money laundering, his career in accounting replaced by a stretch in Attica. Yeah he’d graduated to the big time when he smacked a guard with a pipe. Kyra’s dad had always been a gentle, if large and imposing, man. But after cooking the books for mobsters and getting heavily into cocaine — crack no less — it had all gone down hill. He was nothing to Kyra anymore.
One door was closed because she had supposedly gotten “mouthy” with a customer, a regular at that, Mrs. Clovis. It was some old bat who’d had too many cocktails before even arriving at the restaurant and had gone from insulting her dinner companions to making wise cracks about Kyra’s body. “You look like a regular slut, dear, with boobs like that and a come-fuck-me figure. And that face, no you don’t have trouble drawing the boys, cute ones I bet too.” Everyone else at the table was in their cups so let the old battle-axe have at Kyra. She stood it as long as she could in stoic silence, but when Mrs. Clovis grabbed Kyra’s breast and said “lemme just see if these headlights are real,” Kyra’d had enough.
“You awful bitch, keep your disgusting hands off me,” she’d said. Not even very loud. But the old witch had heard it and that was enough. Mrs. Clovis had pull and she used with the head waiter kicking up a fuss about how she’d take her business elsewhere if “this little tootsie” wasn’t fired. Kyra was shocked when management took the old boozehound’s side.
Could anyone guarantee a window would open? Money was tight as it was what with having her own studio apartment in Manhattan. If Kyra couldn’t find a job quickly she’d likely be looking for a new apartment soon, one she’d likely have to share. The prospects were dim. Just a few weeks before Kyra thought that she wouldn’t need her apartment because she’d be moving in with her boyfriend, Lance. That fucker. “My old girl friend has moved back to New York and we’ve started seeing each other and long story short we’re getting back together.” He said it all so matter of factly too like it was no big deal just one of those things. Like the past six months were no biggie. What an a-hole. “Better to find out before you’d gotten too involved,” friends said. Well guess what, they'd been pretty goddamned involved.
This is not the shit I should be worried about right now, Kyra thought as she rode the subway home. Forgetting men for awhile was a must, she'd have to concentrate on finding another job. Though she couldn’t imagine it would pay as well as McGurdy’s. That job had been a lucky break because her friend Greta had worked there and had clued Kyra in just before she left. She had also sold the owner on Kyra.
Friends like Greta she had. Money was gonna start running out and soon. It had been over two weeks since she got canned and the only types of jobs she’d had a chance at were shit minimum wage jobs at fast food places. Kyra had no skills to speak of. The only work she’d done besides waitressing was as a Summer camp counselor. She’d hardly even done any babysitting. Her current studies at NYU in Interdisciplinary Theater Arts were not going to be of much help until she graduated. If then.
Emerging from the subway station Kyra did her usual subtle look around. It was after dark and she’d been in New York long enough to know that you had to always be aware of your surroundings but that you should never appear to be lost, scared or confused. The nights were getting colder, Kyra thought, it would sure help to get a fucking job before it got really cold.
“Who is this? Where are you?” Kyra was far more scared than curious.
“It’s God, Kyra. Do you want to talk?”
What the hell is going on, she wondered. Kyra looked in her bathroom, the kitchen and then back into her small living room/bedroom. She checked her closet. She opened the front door. Nothing.
“Who is this? Where are you?”
“God and I’m everywhere.”
I must be dreaming, she thought.
“No, you’re not dreaming,” the voice said.
Five minutes later she came to and slumped in a chair wondering if it had all been a dream or if she was going insane.
“You’re fine, Kyra. Now let’s talk.”
“Okay, seriously now, who are you and what do you want?”
“I told you, this is God talking, I’d like to see if I can help. I do this from time to time.”
Gradually Kyra was accepting the fact that God really was talking to her. “Why me? I’m an atheist.”
“I don’t suspect you will be anymore,” the voice said with a soft chuckle.
“Why…me?” Kyra asked meekly.
“Why not you!” the voice boomed.
“Is there something so special about me?”
“There is something special about all my creations.”
“I’ve gotta be honest, I’m not sure how I feel about this.” Later Kyra would be struck by how quickly and unquestioningly she'd accepted that she was talking to the almighty.
“Well I should you think you’d be glad to talk to your creator.”
“I still don’t get why you’re not talking to a pious person, a believer.”
“Oh those people I tend to talk to through mental telepathy. For someone such as yourself I kind of need to show up.”
“Uh cool, I guess. I was like picked at random?”
“There is no random, Kyra, except in the sense that all is random.”
“Oh don’t get all metaphysical on me. And hey, why can’t I see you?”
“See me? See God? Sorry but that’s for the after life only. I can take a form if it’s really important to you.”
“Yeah cause talking to a disembodied voice is a little weird.”
Instantaneously there was a rabbit on Kyra’s floor.
“Seriously? A rabbit?”
The voice coming from the rabbit said, “what’s wrong with a rabbit?”
“Come on, to symbolize the all mighty? A rabbit?”
“Would a dog or a lion or whale really be any better? Is this worth quibbling over?”
“Point taken. Okay so what are we supposed to talk about”
“Well isn’t it rather obvious? You’re in a bit of a jam what with losing your job, through no fault of your own, I might add.”
“Hey first I gotta ask you, is all that stuff in the bible true?”
“The bible? That’s about 90% fiction. I can’t believe people take that seriously. And in my name, no less. Really chaps my hide.”
“Not even the Jesus stuff?”
“That’s about all that has any fact in it, but even there there’s a lot of exaggeration. Water into wine, as if. But let’s get back to the matter at hand.”
“Why your current situation, of course.”
“Okay so can you just hook me up with another job?”
“I don’t really do that sort of thing.”
“Wait, what? You don’t get people jobs, or heal sick people or….”
“No, and I don’t help one team beat another in sports.”
“Then what exactly do you do?”
“First of all I created this, the whole shebang.”
“And now you just sit back and watch the shit storm you’ve created?”
“I’ve had a lot more success with what I’ve done in other universes. But humans have done some pretty good things. I’ve been particularly impressed with your medical and technological advances. Some of the arts are really magnificent. Then again a lot of what passes for entertainment is pretty pathetic.”
“So you don’t have any effect on what happens here?”
“In a sense no.”
“Is that because you already know what’s going to happen?”
“No, there’s no such thing as predestination. You determine your own fates.”
“All right if you’re not going to do anything for me, why are you here?”
“To listen. Maybe give a little feedback.”
“Let me see if I understand correctly. I’m supposed to tell you what’s going on with me even though you already know and then you might give me some feedback. Excuse me if I’m not overwhelmed.”
“Maybe if I wasn’t in the form of a rabbit.”
“Can you take a human form?”
And with that God as a rabbit transformed instantly into God the human. Specifically a professionally dressed woman who looked to be in her mid 30s. She had classic figure, high cheek bones and beautiful brown eyes. God as a woman was about 5’6” and wore only a hint of make up.
“You’re a woman!”
“I thought this would make you more comfortable,” God replied in a voice that befitted “her” appearance.
“Generally speaking what gender are you?”
“All of them. And trust me there are a lot, much more than the two main ones you mostly ascribe to on this planet.”
“All right, well this is weird. I’m not sure what I’m supposed to be doing.”
“Just talk about your situation. Lay out what’s happened, what your options are and how you’re feeling.”
“I’ll see if I can help you come to some understanding maybe even some decisions about how you can better respond to your circumstance.”
"And why exactly are you doing this? Not that I'm ungrateful."
"Kyra, dear, I've gotten nothing but time on my hands, very now and again I like to interact with one of my creations."
So Kyra talked and talked and talked. She didn’t just relate the past few weeks but much of her life, particularly regarding her parents and her now defunct relationship with Lance. At times she cried, but quickly composed herself and continued. God listened intently occasionally offering observations and asking questions to illicit more information or help steer Kyra in certain directions.
After five hours Kyra stopped talking. She felt there was nothing more to say and she was emotionally spent. God pressed the young woman with one last question. “So Kyra, what are you going to do? Have you decided anything?”
“I’m going into therapy, I’ve got a lot to work out. And I’m not going to get discouraged by this job search. I’ll get something good soon and if — God forbid, I mean, you forbid — I don’t, I’ll just suck it up and find a cheaper place. Mostly I’m going to stop worrying and just do it.”
“Good,” said God with a smile. “I should leave you to get ready for bed, it’s late.”
“Am I forbidden from telling anyone about your visit?”
“No, no, feel free just remember how people are going to regard you if you say you talked to God who took the form of a rabbit and then a woman.”
“I see your point.”
“Some people talk about my visits. But the kind of folks I tend to like to talk to aren't believed because they're not in a religious crowd.”
“I really got a lot out of this. Thanks.”
“You’re welcome,” God said. And vanished.
Four days later Kyra got a call from the restaurant that had fired her. It seems that Mrs. Clovis had gone into AA and as one of its steps she had been making amends including going to the restaurant and telling the owner about how rude she’d been to the young waitress and asking if she could be given her job back. Kyra went back to work the next day. She couldn't decide if God had played a role in either Mrs. Clovis' getting sober or a position being open at McGurdy's,
Kyra went into therapy and found it was pretty much like talking to God, only for shorter periods of time. Life suddenly felt manageable and even fun. Kyra neither began praying or going to church but she did get in the habit of sometimes looking up at the sky and mouthing the words, “thank you.”
As for the future Kyra hoped that she could someday live out in the country so that she could have a rabbit.