This is a story that was suggested to me by someone with schizophrenia who I really love. He is wonderful.
Once upon a time there was a bug so powerful it could camouflage itself perfectly. That is no small feat. Because even though most bugs don’t run into humans very often, when they do it can end with a “splat” as they’re smacked or wacked or smote or smitten by their supposedly more intelligent and definitely bigger co-habitants of planet Earth. So perfect camouflage was a very useful quality.
Only when the bug actually decided to crawl on a human’s skin would he or she — the human — become aware of its presence, and sometimes it was pretty disconcerting. This bug liked to crawl really fast over politicians’ faces while they were giving speeches so that the speaker had to try to swat it without being able to see it. They sometimes lost credibility in the process as they were expected to lie with a straight face, and swatting the invisible bug made it difficult. Powerbug, as we’ll call it, enjoyed this immensely and had discredited leaders around the globe with his tactic.
Once the English prime minister had chased it all over his neck, face, and arms without being able to land a good swat, slapping himself silly in the process, while members of parliament looked on in wonder, speechless for a few brief moments, until the opposition started laughing and jeering, taunting him with cries of, “He’s mad! What your wife always wanted to do! That’s where those policies will take you…” until they hauled the poor man away as he was pulling down his pants to try to get at Powerbug who had slipped under his belt and was gleefully circling his ball sack at about 60 revolutions per minute, racing down his leg to invisible freedom once the prime minister had been put in a straight-jacket and carried away.
Imagine that. It made the nightly news for sure.
Another incredible quality Powerbug had was the ability to inhabit the mind of other living things by stinging them sweetly. It did this first to animals, enjoying the orgasmic moments as they copulated and comparing notes between species. But it soon found that the human’s sense of Power gave it more intense, sustained pleasure than even an elephant orgasm, so it went around inhabiting the minds of dictators around the world. It turned out that this exercise proved a bit discomforting after a short while as no self-respecting bug would do what human dictators routinely did to other human beings.
Having heard of a man named God, Powerbug decided to inhabit his mind. Many believed that God was even more powerful than the worst dictator on Earth and at the same time benevolent, though always demanding respect. This was hard to understand. What if someone didn’t respect God, how would he or she be treated? Powerbug had seen how dictators treated people who didn’t respect them and it wasn’t pretty. Once Idi Amin placed a starving rat on a disrespectful prisoner’s belly inside an upside down cast iron frying pan, then lit a fire on the top of the pan. When the rat got hot, it ate its way out through the man’s belly, which was more than a bit uncomfortable. Having inhabited Idi Amin’s mind for a few days shortly thereafter, Powerbug was shocked at the depravity in the mind of this Ugandan despot as he took pleasure in the scene of the rat eating his way out through the man’s body. How would the man called God have treated that disrespectful prisoner so that he was brought into line while still being benevolent?
If God was all-powerful and benevolent at the same time, he must have a secret, and Powerbug was determined to find out what it was. God was in a place called Heaven, and it was a long way away. As a matter of fact, it would take forty years of flying to get to Heaven, but so determined was Powerbug to learn God’s secret that it undertook the trip.
It couldn’t fly as fast as a jet and didn’t have any frequent flyer miles, so in order to conserve energy, Powerbug stowed away on the angel shuttle which had some real nice people on it. During the forty or so years it took to make the voyage, Powerbug inhabited the minds of a few of these angels and was very pleasantly surprised. Although the angels weren’t all-powerful, they were certainly benevolent, or put in simpler terms, nice guys (and gals). While they sometimes finished last, they really didn’t care, they even communicated goodwill to those who finished ahead of them.
Upon arriving at the gates of Heaven, when it became time to exit the shuttle, there was quite a holdup. Each angel would say to the others,
“Go ahead, you first please.” To which the other angels would reply one after another,
“No, I’ll go after you. Please.” Sometimes they went a little over the top with the goodwill thing, but it really didn’t hurt anybody, it was just a bit annoying. Finally, Powerbug had to slip under their belts in invisible mode and goose their ass out the door one by one. Good thing I was here, it thought, or we might never have gotten off this goddamn angel shuttle.
Upon disembarking, Powerbug had the advantage not only of being able to camouflage itself when needed, making it effectively invisible, but also the skill of flying which none of the angels had. So it passed up all the angels and flew directly into the gates of Heaven to look for the one called God.
As a precautionary measure, Powerbug decided to stay camouflaged upon passing through the gates. It had seen what total power did to dictators on Earth. How God could be benevolent as well as all-powerful was the mystery it had travelled so far to uncover, but it was best to be cautious.
Buzzing around Heaven, Powerbug finally came face to face with God. It was overcome with emotion as this was the moment it had been waiting for on the forty-year voyage from Earth to Heaven.
As it approached God in camouflage mode, our friend Powerbug was preparing his sweet stinger to explore the mind of God, but it noticed that God could see it, that its camouflage wasn’t working on God. He really was all-powerful. Then all of a sudden:
“SPLAT!” God laughed as he smote it with his sandal!
“I hate bugs,” said God.