Excerpt from Chapter 14, PICASSO’S NOT HOME

. . .    I’m not surprised when Jesus climbs through the new windowscreen  that night, snagging His robe, scratching His arms. “Here’s the deal,” He says. “You’ve got to cut me some slack. I’m doing the best I can.”

SOG [Son of God] drags His fingers through His hair. I read an article in Dr. Giraffe’s office about people who have long, thin fingers. Artistic and sensitive, the writer called them.

Outside, Mrs. Merton’s automatic sprinkler system starts up, which it does for an hour every night, even when it’s cold and rainy, because she doesn’t know how to turn it off.

“Everyone bad-mouths me,” Jesus says, patting His chest. The sound echoes through Him like Mom thumping a watermelon at Piggly Wiggly. “I don’t know the answers to everything.”

“But aren’t you supposed to?”

“It’s the tail, isn’t it? And the bark?” SOG shakes His head. “Natures in you up to your eyeballs, Lily. It’s a gift.”

“No it isn’t.”

We look at each other for a minute. Then He sighs, and climbs out my window again, squirming and grunting like He’s pulling on a wet swimsuit . . . .