We’re charting a new theology, Pat and I. We’re working out a pantheon of small objects. Household gods, strewn across our counters. Divinity in banality: this is our mantra. For some, the bread is the body, but we prefer to praise the bread maker. Only the latter offers everlasting life. We’re newlyweds, Pat and I. Though we have our ecstasy now, we know it will not last.
Pat put me up to this. The writing, I mean. I’m in the study. She’s sitting in the living room, eyes glued to her laptop. Browsing. A necessary contribution. In our priesthood of two, shopping is a sacrament. We do not budget. We pay as we go, and we refuse to keep track. This is a matter of doctrine. Numbers tend to muddy narrative, and narrative is crucial; we’re in the early days, the days of constant revelation. It’s important to keep a legible record.
New gods arrive each morning. They come in boxes full of packing peanuts. We pull them out and find their places in the pantheon. The minor gods: Milk frother. Water flosser. Car vent dip clip. The major gods: Blender. Comforter. Decanter. The lists go on. But I will not record them. We must resist a full accounting. It is better to think of our gods in the collective: a wide net ready to ensnare us. We hope to find ourselves enmeshed.
Pat slips into my study. She kneads my shoulders as she watches me type. In the past, when I valued solitude, I would have read her body as an intrusion. Yet in the company of our gods I am receptive. I crave entanglement. I long to be part of a jumbled whole.
Confession, she says. That’s good. That’s smart.
In a moment, I will turn around. I will lay a hand on her shoulder. We will face each other, linked, beatific. Then, we will separate. Pat will exit. She will leave the door open.
But the moment has not passed. Not yet. For now, I remain at my desk. Pat looms over me. Her shadow is draped at my feet, supine. The gods wait. We keep still.