Miss Intensity Meets The Holy Ghost

It was January 11, 1988 (because I thought

I want to remember this, even though I didn't tell a soul, they'd think I was like those crazy

UFO people in The National Enquirer), and I was wandering around the edge of one of my winning-the-lottery dreams,

(the one where I would get the money to fix my teeth and get the calluses off my heels, some

Elizabeth Taylor-violet lenses and a Thallium stress test because my heart beats too fast and I'd postpone my trip to Paris for six months so I could have plastic surgery at a spa in California where they serve this arugula salad for lunch) when I heard that voice, the most fascinating voice I ever heard, call my name and I recognized Him — I did — and I thought

Wow a mission, now my life will have purpose and we talked and talked (as if we were at the greatest party and on the verge of a torrid last-for-ever affair, oblivious of everybody in the room) and talked about me writing — He said

"good poetry: sestinas, pantoums, barzelettas, decent free verse not going to workshops unless you want to," (the kind of party where I'd wear my black taffeta with spaghetti straps, Chantilly lace like a little apron and my high heels with the tiny rhinestone hearts and I'd have lost thirty pounds to test if I'm old enough yet to stop ending up in the beds of strangers the way I always do when I'm thin, and where I'm afraid I'll be murdered some night) and I thought He probably wants me to be a feminist and wear Denim skirts and Docksiders and turtleneck shirts with little strawberries on them and teach poetry at a women's prison or a cancer ward or Hungary, where it's colder than Cleveland (I could wear my muskrat cape and boots), but He said

"No, Darlin', just anything to make you happy,"

and "I love you —no matter what" and I said

"I feel a little funny" (mind you, this was after

He had taken me in his arms and flown me around Venus,

Mars, and across the Milky Way and back — after I begged him, and He said "Not you too" —and I sang my scat Swing Low Sweet Chariot and Stars Fell on Alabama) and He said "It's not wrong to feel a little funny," and I, forgetting everything I had learned in English 303 about the omniscient point of view and suddenly thinking this is the Holy Ghost, Girl! averted my eyes and said "Well, it's a cross between a warm Jacuzzi with those good Lily of the Valley bath salts and the dippiest roller coaster ever," (I swear this is true) and His voice smiling in the dark said, "So?"

— Katherine Murphy

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