Monday, July 11, 2011

The Starbucks Girl Gave Me My Tea with a Smile

The next morning he was discovered dead in his bed, and the coroner's verdict was — "Death by the visitation of God."
                    — Edgar Allen Poe, "The Imp of the Perverse"
Which might explain what Freud meant when he said that we all want to die. God is Love, after all—a forest naiad tending the fountain of youth. Dying for love retains its lyrical dignity, even in this least lyrical of epochs. So put that on a Starbucks t-shirt: Love is death by the visitation of God. "She can wear it with her Dickey's and Converse. "'Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished."

Or God is the Law, his most successful uniform no longer the priest's frock but the cop's carapace of polyethylene and polyester. A .357 Magnum has replaced the scythe, which replaced the Olympian lightning bolt; the boom is different—smaller, less theatrical—but the outcome no less dire.

Always around love and the law one senses the scent of the divine. But we don't need a scent to know when God has paid a visit. The corpses are proof enough.

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