This is a world that is not and never was. But it should be-
so I have created it. And now it is. I spun a city, a modern urban sprawling mess. There is crime and grime and skinny stray dogs, and prostitutes
I have created hoboes for my street corners and children for the schools, and I have even made superheroes and their villains to inhabit skyscrapers.
There are billionaires in penthouses and beautiful hotels.
I have made gardens.
And somewhere in my city of lost horizons and broken dreams a woman weeps
I created her to weep. I created a husband just to kill him on the wedding day.
It was more dramatic that way, and now she weeps and curses God. She was Catholic- her name was Suzane- and now her husband is dead and she has become an atheist.
Am I her god?
Am I a bad god, is this how this works? But I gave them gardens full of scarlet flowers, and friendly art-filled coffee shops, such as I would like to have in my city. Even she, my Suzane-who-does-not-believe-in-me, she goes and drinks espresso and stares out at the world through red-rimmed eyes.
I could have taken her espresso, made her life really tragic.
I gave them libraries and maple trees. There are restaurants and swimming pools and a mayor who wears eyeliner. There is a prison, but only a tiny one.
The sunsets are lovely in my city, if you can get high enough to see them. There are no stars, but if you stand on the roof of the Zemux building
(they are one of the pharmaceutical corporations), you can see the lights of the city spread out in all directions, like glittering diamonds and topaz spread out on jeweler's black velvet.
At night there is neon, and broken glass glittering in the light.
I write these things, my city, my cherished beloved city. And I would not want to live there because I have also written vampires and sickness and explosions, to make things interesting. There are dangerous things in the shadows and in the stairwells and don't go anywhere at night if you don't have proper preparation. The walls of the alleys are graffiti'd and have loose bricks, and there I have put garbage and skulky stray dogs.
I am sorry, my citizens. I am sorry for what makes you interesting. I am sorry for the man who slips unpleasantly through the night and for the way he kisses the blade before he cuts a throat.
Evil- true evil-
is necessary in stories, sometimes.
And you are interesting- yes you, Marian White, in your tan coat and sensible heels. You are a doctor- no, a lawyer- no, a CSI. Yes, that fits.
And tomorrow you will come home, and you will have to deal with a murder on your doorstep. It will be your gardener clutching a bouquet of dahlias, red and white, and I'm not sure why he's dead yet
It might be because someone needs to
I am not a very good god, and this is why. I could write a story in a city where everything is shiny and nothing bad ever happens and everyone recycles and gets chocolate cake after dinner, but no one would read it.
Conflict is what makes stories taste good. If I wrote a story like that, there would have to be one person whose life is miserable, and she wonders why she's the only one who ever gets fat off the chocolate cake.
Well, sweetheart, it is not because God hates you. It is because I need to have some kind of interest in my story.
I wonder if God deals with my story this way, and if I am just a reflection of God's penchant for writing short little stories.
I beg my God not to make my life perfect-
I would not take away your book sales-
but to write in a little more chocolate cake and a little less fat.
I pray to you, my Writer God, because I imagine you as myself.