It is back.
No, not an it that you’re supposed to readily identify. It.
I can somehow tell by the knock that it’s It. When I open the door, I see that It is still played by Kathy Bates. But something is very different. She’s dressed, but I can’t tell what she’s dressed in. It’s as if I keep forgetting what it looks like, even as I’m looking at it. She’s… very indistinct, somehow. She is staring at my face, looking surprised.
“Hi. Can I come in?” Her voice is a bit distorted, which fits the rest of the picture.
“I guess so.” I step back to let her enter, then pull the door shut. “Have a seat.”
The room in which I’ve been “on retreat” since the cafe meeting has light purple walls and dark purple carpeting. There’s a cot, two chairs, and a small table. On the table is Bruce’s Bible (still approximately hymnal-sized) and a new-looking copy of the Book of Common Prayer. Noticing them now reminds me of why It may have looked surprised. I’m played by William H. Macey. Under the BOCP is a paperback copy of Freud’s The Ego and the Id.
It has settled in one of the chairs. “So, have you and Bruce melded or something? Or is this just for my benefit?”
“As far as I can tell, it’s a for-now thing. It doesn’t feel permanent. But I know it’s not just for your benefit.”
It nods, but then stays silent. Yeah, that’s part of the indistinctness. It is not a she today, but also not a he. It is an It.
I let the silence deepen for a moment as I slowly settle into the other chair. The surprised look is gone now. When it’s clear that It is not going to speak again until I do, I speak softly. “What’s up?”
Now It is avoiding my eyes. “I’m supposed to tell you something, but it’s not coming to me yet.” Its gaze drifts to the Bible on the table, and remains there.
The silence is heavy. This is part of the waiting, right? That thought works for a minute or two, but then I think: The waiting. Am I waiting on God? No, I’m waiting on my own stubbornly sexual embodiment.
Now It turns its head and looks me in the eye. The voice comes out differently, lower and harsher. “Who are you to say… I mean think that isn’t a part of waiting on God?!”
“You know about waiting on God?”
Not as harsh, but still pitched low: “Waiting is, in a sense, the main thing that I know. And if you think for a second, you’ll remember that I am always with you in this embodied life, a sort of companion of God in that regard.” She gestures at the Bible. “The way you used to read that book had you thinking that I’m the very presence of Satan in your life. Now you know that this cannot be true.” [Pause] “Even though it can sort of be true, in a way.”
Silence again. I don’t think I need to respond yet.
It bows its head, as if in prayer.
It is prayer. I find myself shivering slightly.
At length, It looks up at me again and points at my chest. The pitch is more normal, but still with the slight distortion. “You’ve got that shard in there, but you’re not ever going to be done owning it here below, no matter how many versions of Christianity you…” [Pause] “…you date. No matter how many you date.” Then comes the crooked smile, and Its face becomes more distinct, momentarily. “No matter how many of them you crawl into bed with.”
I notice that my jaw has tightened, and consciously loosen it. “Is this what you are supposed to tell me?”
“I think that’s most of it. There may be a bit more.” It bows its head again. Is what she says coming directly from God?
She smiles again. “It’s too damned hard to tell, isn’t it?” Back to praying.
I resume waiting. On It and on God.
But it’s not long until she looks up again. “This is the last time I appear by way of this actor. From here on, someone or something different. I don’t know where, when, who, or what.”
I just nod.
“You get someone different too. ‘You’ meaning our ‘I’, not just Bruce. The ego. No more stupid vampire-slayer vibe. Again, I don’t know who. Oh, and be careful of Siggy! As much as I appreciate the P.R. I get from him, you and I both know his help is limited.”
Again, I just nod.
It stands up. “That’s it for now.” It walks to the door quickly and opens it, then looks back at me with the crooked smile. “See you in your fantasies.” It walks out and closes the door with a thump. I hear no footsteps, and know that if I opened the door again, there would be nothing there.
I look at the Bible on the table again.
Another amazing doubling:
The Bible is both noticeably smaller and noticeably larger.