The Man Who Ran for God (pt. 13)

IV. My Mouth Will Tell of Your Righteous Acts

THE GOD WE DESERVE IS JUST A MAN

by Mary Jetson

When I ask Gideon Dodd, 42, why he wants to be God, his eyes glaze over in that way many would assume means he’s staring straight through them, cooking up some diplomatic, sound bite-ready answer.

But after wandering the plains of the Serengeti with him for nearly a full day without sleep, food, or water, this reporter knows the good reverend. That empty look isn’t the sign of an artful political dodge, or of mistrust in the media. Dodd is searching inward, dissecting his very soul.

He hasn’t, in fact, given any thought to this quandary before.

And it’s in this ten-second pregnant pause that the writer decides she’s going to vote for Gideon Dodd, because there’s an honesty, a truth in that self-reflection. Dodd is impetuous. He’s bull-headed. He has a terrible sense of self-worth and more neuroses than you could ever count. He has irritable bowel syndrome and a fear of flying.

He is, in a word, human. Continue reading “The Man Who Ran for God (pt. 13)”

The Man Who Ran for God (pt. 10)

VII. Therefore My Harp Is Tuned to Mourning

“Who died?”

In America, five years before Gideon Dodd would don the very same outfit to honor his deceased wife, he straightened a black tie and practiced a somber punim in the mirror of his grandiose dressing room. A woman at the mahogany door spoke to him as though she didn’t see he was wearing headphones. But she saw.

Most would not have even registered the brief flicker of Dodd’s eyes up, left, and back down to the silky wad in his fumbling hands. But Maria Gutierrez was more observant than most. She knew he saw her. She knew he recognized her. Continue reading “The Man Who Ran for God (pt. 10)”

The Man Who Ran for God (pt. 9)

III. Weep Bitterly for Her Who Goes Away

Six days after Gideon Dodd’s sermon about Truth — and about his wife Tamera’s infamous interview with Maria Gutierrez (not yet Stenson) — he returned home late from an elders’ meeting.

He was hungry. He was thinking about playing catch with his boy, maybe, after dinner. (Not that James had yet caught anything, or thrown much.)

Humming a hymn, he opened the door on an empty house. In houses as big as Gideon Dodd’s, emptiness like that can almost be a punch in the gut.

There was a note. Continue reading “The Man Who Ran for God (pt. 9)”

The Man Who Ran for God (pt. 7)

III. …But with Many Advisers They Succeed

“What was that horseshit? ‘Bad muchacho?’ Did you hear yourself out there?”

Inside the Doddville bus, Kratz leaned against a crafting table, shaking in his mauve Adidas windbreaker. With the back of a hand he knocked a squeeze-tube of adhesive paste into an unreachable crevasse under the console.

“That’s expensive,” Dodd said.

Kratz’s reddening face appeared over his shoulder from the nose up. “Why didn’t you use my cards?” he said.

Dodd’s shoulders sank. “I did use your cards.”

“Not all of them.” Continue reading “The Man Who Ran for God (pt. 7)”

The Man Who Ran for God (pt. 6)

SELAH: II

            “Get down from there, Boogie.”

Somewhere in Utah a budgie perches upon a shower curtain rod, shrouded in the vapor clouds swirling above a bathtub full of water, lavender, and sixty-eight year-old, white male flesh.

            The man in the tub repeats himself, stern and authoritative:

            “C’mon down, Boogie-Man. Sit on Pappy’s shoulder?”

            The budgie does not budge.

            “Fine. Be that way.” Continue reading “The Man Who Ran for God (pt. 6)”