Fall 2009 / Issues / Poetry 2009 / Volume 40

God, Dan — Paul Hostosvsky

I was a junior and Dan was a senior

drug addict in the school of arts and sciences. Neil

Young was a prolific songwriter with no

allegiances, except for the music. I had never

done cocaine before, so while he was cutting it

on the square mirror on top of the dresser, I put on

a record, and asked him what kind of shape

I would be in for class at two o’clock. He said

it was an aphrodisiac, so go figure. He was

cutting class himself and meeting his girlfriend

at one-thirty, because all it made him want to do

was fuck. I didn’t have a girlfriend. I had a comparative

religion class at two o’clock, and now I was thinking

twice about getting high before God and

man. But Dan was in a hurry, and he handed me

the rolled-up twenty which I knew enough to

stick inside my nose and aim at the nearest

cloud-row reflected in the square lake on top

of the dresser–and sniff vigorously. The Dan

was saying something about making love

as he left the room, and Neil was saying something

about needing someone to love him the whole

day through, and I was alone with God and no one

to talk to about God, when the coke kicked in.

Thank God for Dan, who came back looking

for his twenty. “I don’t think God created the world,”

I said to him as he scooped up the bill and licked

the top of the dresser with his tongue, as an afterthought.

“In fact, I doubt He even knows we’re here.”

“Thank God for that,” said Dan, “because all I want

to do in the world is snort cocaine and rub my cock.”

I loved his honesty. I told him I would try to weave it

into my paper on Abraham. “You need to get laid, man,”

said Dan. “Old man, take a look at my life,” said Neil,

as I sat down at a typewriter and began: “‘Here am I,’

said Abraham to God.” “I’m out of here,” said Dan.

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