“Why do act like you know me?” Billy says.
“I do know you,” Nash replies. “I’ve been watching out for you for quite some time.”
“Watching out for me? In what way?”
“What if I mentioned your near mishap at the Parkway Bridge around the time you were twenty?” Nash says. “You needed someone watching out for you then.”
“What do you know about the Parkway Bridge?” Billy says.
“I know you weighed a lot more than you appeared,” Nash says. “Fortunately, I was a bit bulkier then.”
“You are not the man who saved me at the bridge,” Billy says. “He was dirty. Much older.”
“Yes, if you’d bothered to have ever looked at him, you’d have recognized him as Crazy Jack,” Nash says.
“Crazy Jack Bedford,” Billy says. “I remember him from town. He used to get picked up for trying to direct traffic on Main Street.”
“Yeah, it was his special mission sent to him from the angels or so he said,” Nash says.
“Jack used to follow me around,” Billy says. “Really gave me the creeps.”
“That was my influence,” Nash says. “You noticed him but never really saw him, did you?”
“I had other things on my mind,” Billy says.
“Yeah, like ending your stupid existence,” Nash says. “I was the one who actually saved you. Jack screamed at me the whole time about defying the angels. Fortunately, his heart gave out a few hours later, so I didn’t have to listen to it for long.”
Several thoughts enter Billy’s head, but he says, “Okay, why did you do it?”
“Because you are needed,” Nash says. “You obviously couldn’t see past your piddly problems, but you have a larger purpose to fulfill and I couldn’t let you check out.”
“What purpose?” Billy asks.
Nash looks away from him. “That’s not for me to say.”
“You don’t know, do you?” Billy says. “This is all just smoke. You’re standing there acting all enlightened and you don’t know anymore than I do.”
“Oh, I know quite a bit more than you do,” Nash says.
“Yeah, sure,” Billy says. “All you do is rant and complain.”
“You have no idea how much more advanced my understanding of the cosmos is than yours,” Nash says. “Not that I’m some perfect genius, but average intelligence for me is still light years ahead of you. And what does it get me? Stuck here, watching over a race of sheep who don’t seem to care that the good people they’ve put their trust into are leading them straight into the slaughterhouse.”
“You’re here to watch over humanity?” Billy asks. “Why?”
“Good question,” Nash says. “The human race isn’t worth saving.”
“Why do you say that?” Billy says.
“You’re idiots,” Nash replies. “You spend the lion’s share of your time devising elaborate theories and beliefs that make your lives miserable then spend the rest of the time waiting for someone to come along to give you permission to ignore all that and act like jackasses. You just don’t get it.”
“Then what’s the answer?” Billy says.
“What did I just say? There is no answer!” Nash yells. “It’s all imaginary, your problems, the supposed solution. You are free to do whatever you want with zero consequences. There’s no one judging you.“
“No, that’s not right,” Billy says. “It’s just too simple.”
“My point exactly,” Nash says. “You beg for someone to tell the truth then refuse to believe it when you hear it. You’re idiots.”
“Ah, but the Bible says,” Billy starts.
“The bible,” Nash says. “A guide for primitive idiots that modern idiots can’t let go of. Do you have any idea how many times the bible contradicts itself? Practically on every page. First, god says, ‘Thou shalt not kill’ and next he says, ‘Go. Kill the Canaanites. Take their land’. It’s ridiculous. If the bible is truly the inspired word of a divine being, the only thing we learn about this entity is that it’s completely and utterly insane.”
“There are those who think that,” Billy says.
“Yes and they’re one step up the evolutionary ladder,” Nash says. “Granted they have their own stupid theories about how things work — seriously, Big Bang? That’s the height of your scientific knowledge? — but at least they’ve turned away from some of the idiocy.”