"Why did you.. come out here looking for me?.
"I know, they say this beach is sacred. Where you first... I don't mean to.."
"It is okay. You went to great lengths to get here."
"Your security wasn't looking for a guy in a wheelchair with a nurse."
"My dog gets restless." The red ad white Siberian Husky is pulling on her chain, cannot understand why they are not already out in the lake.
"I have just one question?"
"Anything... you know. Ask?"
"I raped women. Since, grade school almost. I almost got arrested. . . I was about seventeen. I thought they would catch me this time. I laid in the bed and I concentrated on Satan, trying to tell the dark angel that he could have my soul, if only he left me free to rape women in this life. I felt like Satan came to me. "
"How do you mean... Satan came to you?"
"At first I didn't notice anything. I didn't really think about it much after that. Then... well, I could not get arrested. The strangest coincidences, every time, it was something, and I would be free again. I rejoiced at first... felt, charmed... but you know, I didn't really know I was giving up my soul, when I was like seventeen? I said that, but... it's different having it happen to you. Life becomes.. serious. Forever. Damned, sometimes..."
"I am sorry."
"Can you do anything? Does God step in and forgive... people who have... raped, killed, stolen... what? Where is the line?"
"I'm not here to judge people, just behaviors."
"God. Not me. I would make everyone pay penance, then live innocent lives for a few reincarnations. I would forgive... that's been my job during most of the human lives I have lived through, preaching to those at war that they had to forgive, and move on..."
"Am I damned?"
"How do you live now?"
"Well..." The old man pauses and then smiles broad. "My life is charmed, so I do what I want."
"You enjoy yourself, don't you?"
"What if I call the cops when you leave?"
"Satan will stop it. There is no evidence anywhere."
"Do you think Satan can stop me? Is that why you came here, to finally have someone who could get you busted, maybe pay a little penance, get back your soul?"
"Yea, I would do a few years, in a prison hospital ward, play tennis. Just tell me what I have to give..."
"I am not a priest in a confessional who can just absolve you... This is between you and law enforcement in this life, and you and God in the next one." He can see the disappointment on the man's face. Then a it of anger as he asks, "Everyone walks away from you disappointed, don't they? It's all we read about."
"I made clear my position on this before I would agree to come out in public. You have to come to me to find out what you need, not to ask for something else you want."
"I want a miracle. You are... the one... we loved when we were our best selves."
"I know. The maddening thing to me has always been, you know... that I can perform miracles but, uh... they are not worth the collateral. Hey, if you care... do penance. Give up the Viagra and the coke and prostitutes and the ... ah, reading your mind is... so you like dog fighting. You really did talk to Satan. I'll tell you what I told Bush-lite when he was president -- go to a monastery and do good works and penance, something extremely God inspired... because your immortal soul is in a world of trouble... an eternity of trouble actually....."
"You really think we are just left here? Stranded souls? What you wrote, before?"
"Well, you, know, that is the vision I was given. How literal you can take it is . . . well, we will see what happens."
"Why 144 thousand? Why so fucking few?"
"I don't know how much that number means. I just know I saw the souls flying off at incredible speeds, off through universes in split seconds, heading toward God... you know, the circle, milk chocolate brown and crackling with lightening... and then smaller circles of mute blues, purples greens... surrounding.... so immense. I am sorry.... Got a little lost."
"There could be more, than?"
"Hey, you go do good works and get your case ready for my father's court... better some defense, than none at all. Personally, I would... no one deserves to be left behind. The logic of God is too immense to hold in this human mind. All I can do is ask for mercy, for everyone... and then I pray for acceptance of what has transpired that day... you know, the bad shit at least... My dog is getting impatient. Bless you, buddy."
Jesus and Ruby-Dog walk across the sand to the water front.... gentle waves come in and push up onto the sand, break... and recede. The Husky runs at top speed into the water, splashing in... Jesus tries to meditate on the waves, find some Zen moment inside without thought. The dog is having none of it, runs up to him with a stick, drops it his feet, looks up at him with her blue eyes and barks. He laughs and then growls at the dog, and on cue she growls right back. He picks up the stick and throws it out into the lake. Ruby-Dog plows through the water, grabs the stick and runs back at him....