Joe Medeiros


A Letter to the Supreme Being

Dear God,

I am writing you this letter
with the same true heart and innocence
that a child has when he or she (or they)
writes a letter to Santa Claus.

I have been good this year.
Except for all the times that I haven’t.
I don’t have to enumerate those
because, as you are
all knowing and all seeing,
well, you saw and you know.

So let’s cut to the chase: What I want.
Simply—some answers.

For most of my life,
I’ve been randomly
jotting down questions
on pieces of paper.

These paper pieces
are not unlike the ones
that the devout stuff into the cracks
of the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem.

But I’ve been stuffing mine,
both willy and nilly,
into the top drawer of my nightstand,
over, under, and around
watches that no longer work,
eyeglasses I no longer use and
restaurant receipts of meals I no longer remember.

Here is a list of questions
(in no particular order)
of some things I want to know:

Why does living basically kill you?
That seems like a design flaw to me.

If you end the universe, will there be a sequel?

Where did you get the idea for the universe?
You couldn’t have read about it in a book.
Did it just pop into your head?
Do you even have a head?
And if you do, do you need
Do you ever get migraines
from so many people talking to you
and asking you for things?

Why do lions
need to kill and eat gazelles to live?
What’s the point of being a gazelle,
if you have to look over your shoulder all the time?

Why does light
have to travel at 186,000 miles a second?
Where’s the fire?

Why do you want
people to worship you?
I know you created everything,
but isn’t that being
a little too full of yourself?
I don’t need my kids to worship me.
Just shoot me a text every now and then.

Why do things that men create
like the Pyramids and the Mona Lisa last
for hundreds or thousands of years,
but my wife needed a new hip
before she was 65?

Why does our optic nerve plunge
through our retina, causing a blind spot
in each of our eyes?
That doesn’t happen in octopuses’ eyes.
What made them God’s gift to the world?

How long is eternity and once there,
will I have to listen to people
complaining about it?

I hope these questions don’t seem
flip or frivolous, but you
made me this way and gave me
free will to express myself as I see fit
and the fingers to type it all out.

I have more questions, which
I’ll send later, taking advantage
of the fact that you’re infinite
and have lots of time. However,
I’m not and I don’t.

I have to leave because
my wife needs me to go to the supermarket.
You no doubt know what that is,
even though you have no wife
or the need to ever get
a container of au jus gravy
and package of cauliflower tortillas.

Thanks for listening. I know that’s your thing.

I don’t expect a reply. I know that’s your thing too.

‘Til next time. You bless you.

(signed) One of Your Many Mortal Creations

Joe Medeiros is the former headwriter of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, a post he held for 17 of the 22 years he worked for Jay and NBC. Joe has been writing poetry for much of his life but most of it has been sitting in a file cabinet turning yellow with age—although he has been published in Onethebus and on The Exquisite Corpse website. Joe has also contributed humor material to books by Jay Leno and Steve Schirripa of The Sopranos. Joe lives in California and is the writer/director of the documentary Mona Lisa Is Missing.