Forty-Something Years in Ninaland

The Voice



This is a work of fiction:

The phone rang, Toni picked it up, “Hello.” There was silence.”Hello!” he said again. He hated crank calls. It was the middle of the night, god damn it! No one called him this late.

“Hello there…” the voice said in a very upbeat manner. It was three o’clock in the morning, Toni thought this better be important. He thought about how President Trump would now be answering phone calls at three a.m. He thought about all of the ugly, insane tweets Trump had sent in the middle of the night and how Twitter eventually banned him. Twitter went bankrupt shortly after. They say it was a conspiracy.

“Who is this?” Toni asked as he lifted his head off the pillow.

“God,” the voice said.

“Jesus!” Toni sighed.

“No, God.”

“Are you a student of mine…how did you get my number? I will call the police.”

“You hate the police, you would never call them,” the voice remarked.

“I hate you, you would never call me,” he shook his head, but couldn’t find the impulse to hang up the phone for some reason. “Look I want to help you, you are obviously disturbed.” Toni shook his head.

“I’m not disturbed, you are the one who called and hung up on Marina last week,” the voice commented.

“Whoa, are you listening to my phone calls? Wait a second now I really am going to call the police.” He looked at his iPhone with the turquoise case. He always worried people would think he was gay because he chose that color instead of black. He was always worried people thought he was gay because he constantly stood up for the LGBT community. He stared at his phone’s ID section and it just said: Unknown.

“Wait, don’t hang up! Would you like to hear what God would say, if I was god?”

“No, I want you to hear what I would say…if you are god,” he said angrily.

“Go ahead, I’m listening.”

“First of all, fuck you. What are you doing? What is this even about? Suffering? Look at the way things are, if this is some kind of game, some kind of experiment, it failed. Whatever hypothesis you had was wrong.” He wasn’t a scientist he was a Music instructor at a local college.

“It is an experiment. Love will win.”

“Really? You sound like one of the people who thought Hilary Clinton would win. You were wrong, so wrong. Love might get the popular vote, but it never wins.”

“Even I voted for Hillary Clinton. But I was more of a Bernie fan…” the voice laughed.

“Do you vote, I never thought of god as a voter,” he commented and stretched his legs out. He thought about how he also had voted for Bernie in the primaries and now believed Bernie could have one against Trump. Bygones.

“Think of the world like a video game, virtual reality. But the virtual reality is so good you don’t know you are in it. It’s the ultimate game,” the voice explained.

“I don’t play video games. And I don’t want to play this game,” Toni replied. He pulled up his navy blue comforter.

“What if I told you there was something in it for you?”

“Are you seriously looking at my phone records or something? I never told anyone about Marina.” He shook his head in disbelief.

“Just hear me out, you want to listen to me.”

“No, you hear me out fool!” Toni almost yelled.

“I’m listening, sir,” the voice almost whispered.

“Never thought god would call me sir. Look this place, this world, is really bad for a lot of people. OK and one more thing, I’m not gay so I’m not really interested in having some kind of affair. If you are stalking me, I will turn you into the authorities. They can find your number you know. They know everything, they are probably listening to this very phone call.” He would later watch when they hung Snowden a few years after Trump tried him for treason. They brought public hangings back. He would later think how barbaric they had become.

“Is that all you want to say to god?” the voice asked.

“OK, I’ll play, only because…because I don’t know what’s wrong with me. You want to talk, let’s talk. No one is good anymore, no one was any good. There are very few good people. Why is that if you are so good?”

“Do you think you are good?” the voice asked.

“I don’t know, I guess you would be the judge of that.”

“I don’t judge you, you have it all wrong. You are judging yourself. Your own soul judges you as a human.”

“Well, the word on the street is that you do judge. In fact, I don’t know if you have any other activities.” Toni scratched his head.

“I’m very busy you know, observing.”

“That’s it, you just watch us like T.V.?” Toni stared at his own TV, a plasma TV he spent a fortune on but never watched.

“It’s not exactly that passive. I’m playing you. I’m pretending to be you,” the voice explained.

“Why would you want to be me? I don’t even want to be me.” Toni laughed at himself.

“Not just you, but everyone. I am pretending like I am everyone. I feel everything everyone feels. I am everyone.”

“That must suck…” Toni smiled, this idiot was kind of interesting. “What do you want from me?” he asked.

“Your attention.”

“Why, why me? I promise you, I’m not gay and I’m not interested in experimenting.”

“Why did you become an atheist?”

“Because of shit like this. Because religion is like this phone call, it doesn’t make any sense.” Toni looked over at an African mask he had been given as a gift from a friend who went there on a mission project.

“OK, let’s pretend, just for a second pretend this is real.” The voice sounded like it was smiling.

“Alright, why did you do this? All this? Trump and racists and why do you hate women so much and gay people for that matter? I’m not gay, I’m just saying.”

“I don’t hate women, I’m a woman. And a man.”

“Why do you have a man’s voice?” Toni asked.

Years later, he would regret this question. Later when his city was bombed. When he was put in a concentration camp for liberal teachers.

“I am using your voice, you don’t even recognize it. You are talking to yourself right now,” the voice explained. Toni did think the voice sounded familiar, but no way was it his own voice.

“Whatever, all do is genocide and Cancer and Aids. You don’t care about us. If you were a real god, if you really were god, if you were a real god you wouldn’t let this happen.”

“I don’t interfere with my own game, those in the game are playing it with free will, I will never take that away from them.”

“Well I have the freedom to do anything I want, including hang up on you,” Toni said and hung up the phone.

Years later when he moved to France for political asylum he would wonder if he really had any free will. If the ‘freedom’ of America is what destroyed it. Many days, many moments, he thought about that voice, regretted that he just hung up on it. He wondered who it was. On most days he thought it was just another person, a crank caller, messing with his mind. However, every now and then he wondered if it was, or might have been the voice of god. He wondered if there was, and might have been a god. He wondered if god really had his voice.


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