We sit at the bar together, him and I. For once, I’m in the rather unusual position of being the one listen to someone’s rambling; typically I’m the rambler. I have to concede that he’s far better at it then I. When I ramble, people’s eyes glaze over. When he does it, somehow it’s still the most interesting thing in the world.
“…idea what’s wrong with them.” he says, stirring his fuzzy navel. “If you desire a drink that actually tastes like something you’d want to drink, you’re some milk drinking child. On the other hand, if you drink something that doubles as paint thinner? You’re a man and not, for some reason, a fucking idiot.” he sipped. “This needs something. Tender? Put some cinnamon schnapps in there if you please.” He flashed the young lady a winning smile and almost in spite of herself, she turned away with a light blush to her cheeks.
“So, where do I fit in to all this?” I ask him. He doesn’t look up.
“Smart man like you doesn’t have that figured out yet? I’m a little surprised.” he said, in a very neutral voice; I can’t tell whether he’s being complimentary or just mocking me. I decide on “both”, and leave it at that. The tender came over and poured the shot into his drink. He smiled at her again, and she looked away again. He chuckled lightly.
“I do. I think I do at least.” I say, voice somewhat uncertain. I’m drinking soda, and I’m surprised at the lack of flack I get for that. “I’m not more or less a part of things than anyone else. However….that’s not how it works with you, is it?”
His lips turn up into a sly smile, slowly, “Why, whatever do you mean?”
I smirk. “You know exactly what I mean, Lord; you don’t operate on fate or destiny. Predestination isn’t something you really care for. It’s what you can be. What you can make.”
“Very good. So now let me ask you something.” he turns to me, and fixes his eyes on mine. “What do you think it all means?”
I pause. I think. “I think….” I hesitate.
“I think that we were both, at once, the goal and the tool.” I say at last.
He takes a swig “Oh ho! Look at you. Having delusions of grandeur! How clever!” again, I can’t tell if he’s mocking me. I decide that he isn’t; this is a test of my convictions.
“No; it’s just the way it is.” I say, simply, “Without me, she never would have met him…not the true him; she never would have survived. Without her surviving? Their hall doesn’t exist. Her writings about you don’t exist. All of that goes away…”
He smiles, waiting.
“Without her? I would have never learned how to focus myself the way that I have. I want to throttle her…but she catalyzed a lot of good changes. She did some of them in the most horrid way, but it was the only way some of it could have been done.” I pause. “I actually did mean it when I thanked her for everything…even the miserable and hurtful stuff. Without that miserable and hurtful stuff, I probably wouldn’t be married.”
“Happily married,” he points out, “Don’t forget that part. Married is ridiculously easy; happily married is a bit trickier.”
I nod slightly, but I’m not listening. “There is just one thing I don’t get.” I say, thinking over things. “She oathed to restore your good name through her actions…but she’s besmirched it more then ever; people are insulting your name due to the stuff she has done….isn’t that…”
He cuts me off. “Hey, never said I agree with everything she does. She’s a reflection of me, but that doesn’t make her the same as me. She’s going through a bad turn; it’ll pass. She’ll have to answer for some of it; than there are other things that were all part of the plan.” he finishes his drink, “Besides, whose mind did you really think she was going to change? Some of that apparent chaos will lead to good things…and some of it already has.”
I nod at this, and think over things. “I…still don’t know what to do though. Where do I go from here?”
He smirks at me, lightly, as he stands up. He puts a hand on my shoulder and chuckles. “You stand up. You do what you’re going to do. Don’t apologize. Don’t play it down. Be. Someone tries to stop you? Show them what the hard truth looks like…but only if you commit to all of it. No half gestures.”
I pause. “I should release part four…the real part four…shouldn’t I?”
He smiles as he walks off. “Only if it’s what you truly want to do. Not because you’re angry. Not because you’re hurt. Not because you said you would. Not because she originally said you could. Simple enough for ya?”
I look down at my soda with a smile. “Yeah, I think so.”
In the end, people may wonder why I continue to pray to him. Why I continue in his veneration. Why I don’t see the flyting on the wall, as it were. It comes down to something simple.
I started writing this as a commentary on issues within the heathen community. Those issues are, quite frankly, no longer the point. At the end of the day, my prayers are answered. My offerings have been accepted.
When I’ve needed him, he’s been there. It’s just that simple.