„Who are you?“
„I am what I am, I’m Popeye the sailor man.“
Hellstrøm is nonplussed. „Wh… what?!“
„I’m sorry, wasn’t that the right answer?“
„Don’t you know?“
„Yes, I know.“ God giggles, then knits his brow in thought. „At least, I think I know.“
„Wait a minute… you’re just fucking around with me, right? Who are you? What are you?“
„I’m, uhh… it’s impossible to pronounce in your tongue.“
„What do you mean, you mean, like, you’re an alien or something, with a name impossible to pronounce?“
„No… uhh, yes.“
Hellstrøm decides to approach the matter from another angle.
„Where did you come from?“
Hellstrøm’s mouth writhes wordlessly.
„Wrong answer again? I’m sorry. It’s just…“ God’s voice peters off.
„It’s difficult to keep all this stuff apart…“
„What stuff, what do you mean?“
„Everything…? To keep everything apart?“
„But, but… who are you?!“
„I can just tell: wrong answer again, right?“
Hellstrøm curses under his breath and wonders how he can get out of this conversation gracefully. After all, it wouldn’t do to offend God, would it now? On the other hand, something in him wants to get to the root of the matter.
„You can’t keep everything apart… what do you mean by that exactly?“
Once again Hellstrøm’s mouth writhes wordlessly.
„Anything? Is that the right answer? Nothing seems to satisfy you though! That is to say, in a manner of speaking… nothing.“
„I have the feeling you are leading me in circles here, God.“
„Circles? Circles are fun. One, two, three… it’s the threes that get me. Or the sevens. I’m not sure. All those little numbers… put ’em together, and they’re big. Made so many I’ve lost track. But I am not leading you, Hellstrøm, I am you.“
„So, you’re Hellstrøm?“ Hellstrøm feels utterly silly in posing the question.
„Yes… uhh, no. Yes.“
„It’s the wrong fucking answer again, God. Now just stop bullshitting me and, and…“
„All the numbers,“ God grumbles, „it’s enough to drive you batty. I know them all, I am all the numbers, it’s no wonder I can’t concentrate. Too many variables. Possibilities. It’s gotten out of hand, but I can’t stop it anymore. And to think I started with zero…“
„So… so you’re saying…“
„No!“ God thundered, „Yes! Maybe! Take your fucking pick! There is no answer to your questions, and every answer is correct!“
When Hellstrøm had finished cowering, he went home and listened to some music and smoked a joint, reminding himself of Voltaire’s words on doubt and certainty.
„Who are you?“