my mother is convinced that the reason my grandmother hasn't crossed yet is because neither god nor the devil are willing to put up with her for all eternity. according to my mother, the argument going on sounds something like this:
"YOU HAVE TO TAKE HER," thunders THE LORD.
"like hell..." sniffs satan. he inspects his fingernails, buffs them against his black silk lapel. from the garden of paradise, he plucks a single pale pink rose, which withers instantly the moment he puts it in his buttoniere.
"AHEM," replies GREAT GOD ALMIGHTY. "SHE'S CLEARLY ON YOUR TEAM. SHE'S MEAN, SHE'S SELFISH. THAT POOR GRAND-DAUGHTER OF HERS WAS BY HER SIDE FOR HOURS TELLING HER HOW MUCH SHE LOVED THE OLD WITCH AND DID THE POOR KID EVER HEAR ONCE BACK - I LOVE YOU, TOO? NOT ONCE! WE DONT HAVE TYPES LIKE THAT HERE - THAT'S WHY WE CALL IT HEAVEN. SHE BELONGS TO YOU - YOU HAVE TO TAKE HER."
"so what - she prays to YOU." satan raises one brow, refolds his pocket handkerchief with a flourish. a day in HEAVEN is a breath of fresh air. he raises his scaly armpits, flaps his pock-marked wings. these arguments with the DIVINE PRESENCE always leave him feeling so.... fresh.
"THAT DOES NOT IMPLY WE SANCTION HER ACTIONS."
"but what have you done to disavow her of the notion that you do? EVER?"
for one eternal MOMENT, the breath of ALL HEAVEN suspends, while YAHWAH debates whether or not to obliterate this Great Prentender's ass for all eternity with one well -placed cosmic bolt. an angelic chorus swells, a mighty plea for mercy for The Fallen Brother, and reluctantly, the wrath of the LORD OF HOSTS subsides. "WE DO NOT PUNISH THE TRANSGRESSORS."
"but YOU use them," whispers satan as he slithers back to hell.....