The Ofi Press Magazine

International Poetry and Literature from Mexico City

X, Chapter 1: Alex

By Benjamin Matvey, USA (Published in Issue 14)



  Quite a long time ago, God exploded.  Not by accident, of course.  It was a decision born of boredom, loneliness, and hope.

            Before there had been no time, no depth, no space: there was only one infinite point in the universe and that point was God.  Within that infinite point, God had played and grown with limitless power over His realm, bringing perfect and perfectly contradictory ideals, tragedies, and comedies into and out of existence with the speed of a thought.  When He realized what “alone” was, He broke himself in two, then three, then a dozen, then a billion billion pieces—independent selves to talk to, to play with, to love.  But ultimately they were all really just Him.  All of them knew what the other was thinking at every moment, and their conclusions—being equally perfect—always agreed.  There could be no surprises, no love unlike the narcissistic (though sometimes satisfying) self-love among these billion billion subparts of God.  

            After a billion billion years inside a lonely, infinite point without time, God grew tired and sad.  He wished to extinguish himself, snuff all that was from existence. But when the moment finally came, when He welcomed letting His billion billion selves go, He realized there was another option—an option in-between suffocating godliness and divine suicide.

            He squished himself back into one being, and created graceful laws to govern a new cosmos.  He made dozens of new dimensions in every direction around Him, and time, which, unlike every other dimension, ran in only one direction.  And thus, no longer bound, His infinite might exploded through all the dimensions and forward through time, and into all the tiny curled up spaces with ever-increasing velocity.

            His bursting body was made of three things: Magic, which cascaded in violet waves in all directions, energy, and matter which, according to His rules, longed to organize into complicated forms.

            He hoped there would be life—self-regarding, pondering, and bewildered life—that would emerge from these many rules He had laid down, but He did not command it be so.  If he showed no restraint they would be no more unique, no more individual, no more interesting than the billion billion copies of Himself.

            And He would watch out for this life that He hoped would be, hinting advice through the smallest of signs and through their emotions—the most God-like of all things.

            We live in his ever-expanding body.  One day a long, long time from now He will dissipate completely, magic and matter will be so thinly spread out that they will vanish like a puff of orthodox incense, and He will finally be at rest in cool and relaxing oblivion.  Somewhere in the process, we happened, and He was happy. All He wants is that we actually see His creation around us, that we love any part of it, that we know that part of its beauty is that it will most certainly end, and, that by simply living our lives with minds of our own, that we surprise Him.

            Or at least that is the way Dad explained it one night after finishing the Emergency Vodka he hid behind the ice trays on his last night in the old apartment in Providence. 



Benjamin Matvey's fiction has been published in Wilderness House Literary Review, Intellectual Refuge, Stickman Review, The Externalist, Generation X Journal, Sunday Salon, and in the anthology Philly Fiction 2. His short story “Big Secrets” was named Cynic Magazine’s “Best of 2008." Two of his stories have been performed in Philadelphia’s prestigious “Writing Aloud” series. His play—Brie! The Musical Dissertation, co-written with Anneliese Euler—was produced in Philadelphia thanks to a development grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts. His screenplay, No Regrets, has been optioned by Amy Lo, producer of the award-winning film Planet B-Boy. He also serializing my first novel, X, on the fiction website Fictionaut. Check it out: