{note: I couldn’t figure out how to make screenplay format work on this blog, but since this is a first draft anyway, I thought I’d go ahead and just improvise.}

FADE IN:

INT. GOD’S APARTMENT. DAY.

[A knock on the door, and GOD answers it. He is surprisingly young. Knocking on the door is JOE, 20ish.]

JOE
Hi, I’m here about the futon?

GOD
Oh, sure come in. Like I said in the ad, it’s nothing special, but it’s pretty good for the price.

[A studio apartment, typical bachelor pad: overstocked liquor cabinet, understocked refrigerator.]

JOE
Why are you getting rid of it?

GOD
I don’t know. It was just like taking up space. Can I get you something to drink? Water, wine? Have some wine. I’ll get you a glass.

[He goes into the kitchen and runs the tap. He comes back with a glass of water and hands it to Joe, who is testing out the futon.]

JOE
(taking a sip)
Thanks, that’s some good wine.

GOD
Oh wait, I forgot.

[He takes the glass back, passes His hand over it, and it turns into red wine. He hands it back to Joe, who is stunned.]

JOE
My God, what’d you just do?

[God shrugs.]

GOD
You prefer white?

[He waves His hand and the wine turns white. Joe is shocked.]

JOE
Stop that, Jesus Christ!

GOD
No, he’s dead.

[God pours a little drop of wine on the floor for His fallen homey.]

JOE
I don’t believe in you.

GOD
Communist?

JOE
No, I just…

GOD
I always liked Communists. They leave me alone.

JOE
You’re God.

GOD
Didn’t you read the ad? “Futon for sale, call blah-blah-blah, ask for God.”

JOE
It’s New York, I don’t ask questions.

[God moves over to the futon.]

GOD
It doesn’t really work anymore. Usually I just pull out the mattress and lay it on the floor. It’s okay, though. It’s a good way to convince a girl to get in bed with you.

JOE
My God, you’re God! And you’re a pig.

GOD
I wouldn’t say “pig.” God is love.

JOE
Why do you live here?

[God walks over to the window.]

GOD
Look at this place. Best city in the world. I’ve been here since 1947. I came by to check out the UN, ended up liking it. I got a little apartment in Brooklyn, I just planned on staying for a year or so, but then I had an egg cream at Junior’s, and I bought a TV, then a Barcalounger and a toaster oven and a Cadillac. I voted for Eisenhower. Twice. Moved to Manhattan in the ’80s. America rocks. You know I used to just kind of float around, see what was going on around the world, but now I’m pretty much anchored here. I moved to New York from Tegucigalpa. I’d been here before, in the 1820s, to see what was the big deal, but I wasn’t too impressed. Nowadays, though –forget Jerusalem. Too many tourists.

[God suddenly gets very excited and runs across the room.]

GOD
Check this out.

[He takes out his phone and starts searching for something on it.]

GOD
Hold on, this will explain everything.

[It takes a while for him to find what he’s looking for.]

GOD
This is really awesome.

[He finally hands the phone to Joe. It’s showing the “Trololo” video.]

GOD
(laughing almost to tears)
Oh man, life is good!

[Joe, stunned, returns the phone.]

JOE
I have like a million questions to ask you.
(mind racing)
What’s the one true faith?

GOD
You mean who gets into Heaven? Lately I just kind of pick at random. It’s like a really cool mixer up there, you know, I like to keep the party going. Nuns usually aren’t allowed in, but I’ll make an exception when Whoopi Goldberg goes.

JOE
Why are we here?

GOD
I was going to put you guys underwater, but I picked the fish instead. Just as well, I forgot to leave you guys space for gills.

JOE
Where were you at Auschwitz and Srebrenica?

[God is suddenly defensive.]

GOD
This isn’t easy, what I do.
(relaxing)
Did you like the futon?

JOE
Oh yeah. You take checks?

GOD
(dismissive)
No.

CUT TO:

INT. JOE’S APARTMENT. NIGHT.

[Joe lies in bed beside KAREN. He is wide awake. She is trying to be asleep. Every few seconds she opens her eyes to see if he is awake, and then quickly shuts them again. She sighs in frustration after the third or fourth time, then finally just sits up.]

KAREN
Do you mind?

JOE
What?

KAREN
Go to sleep. It creeps me out when you stay up like that.

JOE
Karen, I can’t.

KAREN
Joe, you did not speak to God today.

JOE
I did though.

KAREN
Crazy people speak to God. You are merely weird.
(long pause)
I’ll leave you if you say it again.

JOE
Whoa, baby, that’s just the weight of your sins talking.

[She collapses onto him, tired and frustrated.]

KAREN
Just go to sleep, Joe. I have to work in the morning.

[He considers this and then closes his eyes.]

CUT TO:

EXT. CITY STREET. NEXT DAY.

[Joe storms down the street.]

INT. GOD’S APARTMENT.

[Joe bangs on the door and a moment later it opens a crack. God sticks His head out. He is obviously not wearing a shirt, and speaks in a low whisper.]

GOD
What do you want?

JOE
I’m sorry, but I really need to talk to you. You see, I wasn’t raised believing in you. My father worked in a factory making–

GOD
This really isn’t a good time, you know?

JOE
What kind of a supreme deity are you?

WOMAN’S VOICE
(off screen)
Honey?

[Joe stops to think.]

JOE
Is that the Vir–

GOD
(cutting him off)
Not since Woodstock. Tell you what, hold on.

[He closes the door and opens it a moment. He slides a small scrap of paper through the crack in the door.]

GOD
Call this number. I subcontract this sort of spiritual journey stuff.

[Joe takes the paper.]

JOE
Is this an angel hotline?

GOD
They’re a little weird, kinda hard to understand, but whatever. If you get one that doesn’t speak English, just hang up and try again. I gotta go. You can let yourself out. How’s the futon? Comfortable, huh?

JOE
Oh yeah, it’s great.

[God gives a thumb’s up and closes the door. Joe looks at the scrap of paper, ponders it for a bit, and then takes out his cell phone.]

CUT TO:

EXT. A GARDEN.

[An ANGEL answers a ringing phone.]

ANGEL
Hey Joe.

INTERCUT – JOE AND THE ANGEL

JOE
Hey, I have a question. I, uh, I just met God, and now I’m like totally confused.

ANGEL
Oh, sweet child o’ mine.

JOE
You see, when I was a kid, my dad worked at this factory making Eucharist wafers. He cranked out the body of Christ at the rate of a half a million wafers a week until he died in a forklift accident.

ANGEL
Just remember, that death is not the end.

JOE
My mom was a Bosnian Muslim whose family stopped practicing when Marshall Tito said it was okay for them to do so. My whole life…we always had spare Eucharist wafers lying around the house. You know, like the rejected ones. My brothers and I ate them with peanut butter. Or we’d let them get stale and use them on school projects. Or as coasters. I mean, I’m so confused. What do you think?

ANGEL
Life is a mystery: everyone must stand alone.

JOE
Then what’s the point of God? Isn’t he supposed to make people not lonely?

ANGEL
When the truth is found to be lies, and all the joy within you dies, don’t you want somebody to love? Don’t you need somebody to love?

JOE
I suppose so. But don’t you see that this turns my whole life upside-down? I mean, you’re an angel, I don’t think you really understand what it’s like to suddenly find, you know…like, after all this searching for meaning. Am I making any sense?

ANGEL
I have climbed highest mountains, I have run through the fields, only to be with you. But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.

JOE
Wow. Now I don’t feel so bad. Do I have to repent? Not like I’ve been awful or anything. But I jerk off a lot. And I think that’s a sin, right?

ANGEL
When I look back upon my life it’s always with a sense of shame: I’ve always been the one to blame for everything I’ve longed to do, no matter when or where or who, has one thing in common, too: it’s a, it’s a, it’s a, it’s a sin.

JOE
But my girlfriend is like a devout atheist. Should I try to convert her, too, or just let her burn in Hell for an eternity?

ANGEL
Burn baby burn.

JOE
Okay. I feel a lot better now. I mean, I still have a lot of questions, but I think I’m on the right path. I’ll give you a call if anything else pops up in my head. Is this billed as long distance?

ANGEL
Carry on my wayward son.

EXT. THE GARDEN. DAY.

[Actually a city park. Angel puts the phone back down on the bench as her FRIEND comes up.]

FRIEND
Who was that?

ANGEL
I dunno. It’s not my phone. Wanna eat?

[They get up to go eat.]

CUT TO:

EXT. THE CITY. DAY AND NIGHT.

[Joe wanders through the city in a rapturous daze. Around him the world seems so much sweeter. Children laughing, dazzling sunsets, a dog licking himself in a dog run. He runs up the steps of his house.]

INT. JOE’S APARTMENT.

[He flings open the door and runs with open arms.]

JOE
Karen! I love you! I love life!

[Karen is packing her stuff frantically. Joe is puzzled.]

JOE
What are you doing?

KAREN
I’m leaving you.

JOE
Is this about God?

KAREN
(shifty)
Um…yeah.

JOE
I can explain, He’s real, and He’s got the whole world in his hands. I’ll introduce you.

[Karen stops packing.]

KAREN
I already met him. I went to his place to find out what he’d done to you.

JOE
And?

KAREN
I had a heavenly experience.

JOE
Yeah?

KAREN
He was wonderful.

JOE
He was… You didn’t.

KAREN
My God He was wonderful.

[She stops to think about it, a faint smile on her lips. Then she starts packing again in a rush.]

KAREN
Anyway I’m moving in with him.

JOE
He’s just using you for sex.

KAREN
So are you. At least he’s good. Holy.

[She leaves. Joe plops down on the futon and sighs.]

JOE
Well God damn.

THE END.

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