Omnipotence Has Its Privileges

He couldn’t take it. He wanted to gouge his eye out. He needed to.

He imagined wedging the splintery end of the Starbucks wooden stir stick right underneath his eyeball and jiggling it until it popped out onto the dirty table between them. Surely his loose eye — with its gooey, eyebally entrails, mixing with traces of old Starbucks Pike Place blend and stale vanilla scone crumbs as it rolled across the table — would have the stopping power he needed to shut her up.

But it could be hours, maybe even days, before she noticed the gaping, eyeless hole in his head.

“Hey, fuckface, are you even listening to me?” Lindsay hated it when he “zoned the fuck out” as she called it, but lately all they talked about were his failures. So he took pretty much every opportunity he could to zone the fuck out.

“HELLO??” she screamed.

No, a gouged-out eye simply wouldn’t cut it. He’d need to take more drastic measures, like, say, bursting his eardrum with the stir stick instead. Or, he could just cut off his ear entirely in a nod to Van Gogh — a true genius, that one. But that would only debilitate one ear at a time. He needed to take them both out at once if he wanted complete silen —

“What the FUCK!” she yelled.

“I’m listening,” he said with feigned enthusiasm, smiling weakly. “I’m listening, Linds. Go on.”

“So like I was saying when you were staring out the fucking window all Lionel-Richie-“Hello” style and not listening …. I ASKED for a guy over six-feet tall with dark hair and light eyes, who helps people. And I GOT Geoff. I mean what the fuck? Was that some kind of sick-ass joke?”

“What’s wrong with Geoff? He checks all the boxes. He’s tall, he’s handsome, he’s an ER nurse. And a homeowner — with good credit! You said you wanted someone responsible.”

“Are you fucking kidding me?” A woman at a nearby table stood up in a huff, glaring at Lindsay. She whisked her young toddler away from the foul language so quickly that the Starbucks Babyccino almost tumbled right out of his little hand.

Lindsay was oblivious. Her volume went up. “What’s WRONG with him? He’s a fucking WOMAN, that’s what’s wrong with him!” Lindsay balled up her beverage napkin and threw it at him.

“No, he USED to be a woman. Now he’s a man. It’s all done. Everything’s in working order and then some, if you know what I mean.” He smiled as he added the last bit in a girlfriendy way, hoping it would make her laugh.

“No, I do NOT know what you mean because I’m not fucking a man who used to be a woman. I’m just not.”

The rest of Gen Y was leading the charge on inclusivity, acceptance, and compassion. But not Lindsay; nope, she had her own movement going on. The Punctuate Your Hate with Seemingly Infinite Utterances of the Word ‘Fuck’ Movement. He hoped it wouldn’t catch on.

“Look, you have to be very specific when you ask for what you want. You know that. We’ve been over this — many times.”

“What is this, the fucking DMV? You can’t use logical deduction or some sort of …” Lindsay gestured wildly with her non-latte hand, frustrated. “I don’t know … artificial intelligence or some shit like that to deduce that ‘send me a man’ is not the same thing as ‘send me a man who used to be a woman?’ Are you an idiot? Just do your goddamn job!”

His face burned with rage, but he said nothing.

She stood up, knocking her now-empty latte cup to the floor. “You know what? I’m done. I’m done ‘asking you for things I want.’” She made angry air quotes in front of his face when she said that last bit, her voice dripping with sarcasm. “You’re fucking useless. I can do better on my own!” She stormed away from the table and out the door.

And just like that, The Universe had lost another one.


It was a tough time for The Universe — the toughest he could remember in at least 400,000 years. People used to ask him for signs all the time. They called on him to grant specific wishes. But he’d been steadily losing people since 2011, when The Oprah Winfrey Show went off the air and America lost its daily four o’clock dose of empowerment.

Oprah had been his biggest network of referrals in hundreds of years, and when her show went away, the referrals went with it, drying up almost overnight. When Oprah stopped talking about him and telling people to trust in him and ask him for signs, everyone stopped talking about him. Was The Universe really that forgettable?

Around that same time, Instagram became the social media platform de rigueur. Regular people blossomed into influencers, despite the fact that many of them had no actual talent or skill other than juxtaposing inspirational quotes in pretty fonts over pictures of their avocado toast. Adding insult to injury, some of these dolts had hundreds of thousands — sometimes even millions — of followers. It was unfathomable.

The bottom really dropped out for The Universe once the more well-known self-help gurus began flocking to Instagram. Tony Robbins. Eckhart Tolle. Deepak Chopra. Inexplicably, even Gwyneth Paltrow was a guru now. And though many of these people were back on message — ask The Universe for what you want and it will deliver amazing things to you — their followers didn’t seem to really be absorbing it, mainly because all those gurus were selling things and their messages were getting lost in all the capitalism. Admission to self-help seminars. Coffee-table books. Yoga retreats. Coffee enemas. Did people really want all those things? Spirituality with a side of vagina-scented candle? Why listen to someonetalk about what The Universe holds for you when you could actually talk to the real-live, honest-to-godUniverse and ask him yourself?

The Universe used to haverealfollowers by the billions, but those were simpler times. There was noInstagram. There were noinfluencers — though Jesus did have quite a run. There were no rose quartz jade eggs to strengthen your vaginal muscles.

No, back in the day it was all about one-to-one connection with him or whatever a person’s own version of a higher power was. Centuries ago, The Universe had the foresight to schedule a series of boozy biz-dev-type lunches with some of the major higher power players to establish some ground rules. It was him, Jesus, God, Allah, Buddha, Vishnu, Shakti and a whole heavenly host of patron saints day drinking over platters of overpriced wild boar legs (the buffalo chicken wing equivalent of the 1100s) and jugs of mulled wine.

But it had worked: all the deities and saints had agreed to let him intercept when it made sense or when they were busy with bigger things like Syria, Egypt, Benghazi, human trafficking, Donald Trump’s tweets, etc. The lines got blurred sometimes, but for the most part it was fine and not too territorial. They just worked it out.

But he’d been limping along for almost a decade now, working hard at making real grassroots connections to get his name out there again. He was hitting all the places where self-actualized, high EQ people who still asked for signs from The Universe went: silent meditation retreats, AA meetings; yoga classes; co-op grocery stores; Burning Man; Marin County, California; and Bali. He’d gotten a few leads here and there, but mostly they just fizzled.

So he’d gotten more focused, honing in on places where people who were suddenly desperate and needed immediate help might think to ask for him: closing time at bars. Bench pressing stations at gyms. Job interviews. The back seats of Ubers post-closing time.

In fact, it was the drunken and gropey late nights in those evergreen-scented Uber Priuses that had given him the most promising idea he’d had in millions of years for reaching people: matchmaking. It was genius, really. Because if there was one thing The Universe had learned billions of times over it was that people would always fuck up their relationships.

He vowed to be a matchmaker like no one had ever seen: empathetic, but all-knowing. Honest. Genuine. The real deal.

And that’s how he’d met Lindsay. She’d been one of his first clients. Shortly after taking her on, he’d realized that matchmaking was not easy — even for someone as omnipotent as The Universe. People were particular, which was fine. But people could also be huge dicks. Enter Lindsay and her foul mouth and ridiculous standards and complete lack of respect for people in transition. She was unreasonable, incredibly demanding, and sucked up so much of his time that all his other clients eventually disappeared.

To be fair, it wasn’t entirely Lindsay’s fault that he’d lost clients. The Universe didn’t advertise because, in his opinion, what better credentials were there than being The freakin’ Universe? Why spend money on advertising? But slowly he began to see that his fancy title and billions of years of wisdom wouldn’t help unless he adapted with the times.

The Universe had never deigned to consider how TV, print, and radio could help him. Even now, in these times of apps and bots, he had no digital presence whatsoever: no display ads, no Google keywords, no website, no app, no email, and definitely no social. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter? A colossal waste of time in his opinion. His marketing was word of mouth.

Except it wasn’t working for him anymore.

Even God had turned to out-of-home back in the early 2000s. He wondered if all those billboards along the sides of interstates had worked — he made a mental note to ask Her about them the next time they spoke. (God now identified as she/her/hers, which was something he really wanted to unpack with Her.) Her billboards were pretty funny, too: “If you must curse, use your own name. — God”

Well, God wasn’t the only one who could make people laugh; The Universe was pretty damn funny too, if he said so himself. “Make plans and The Universe laughs” was one of his favorite sayings. And he did laugh — all the time. The arrogance of humankind was pretty hilarious.

But who was laughing now?

The Universe needed a new business model, one that addressed his technological deficit and his cultural ignorance. He needed a plan that included every tech bell and whistle that he’d managed to ignore since Al Gore invented the internet.

Finding answers felt overwhelming. He didn’t even have wifi at his house, for christ sake — he still went to the public library to get online.

It was there in the dusty stacks that he’d googled around the internet to figure out what to do. Over 517 million results revealed the answer: apparently he needed to undergo something called a digital transformation. This seemed a bit grand, considering he had nothing to transform. So he did what he always did when he didn’t know the answer: He asked himself for a sign. He wanted to understand how he could most effectively tackle this transformation and break it into smaller, more manageable chunks.

The sign came quickly. (He always did deliver faster than all the other deities.) His cursor blinked patiently next to the name on his screen.

It couldn’t be. This was his sign?

A wave of nausea overcame him. Of course. Oh God, Allah, Shakti, and him. Of COURSE.

Lindsay Calhoun, Founder, CEO, and Chief Creative Officer of Transformation Media. His Lindsay, who had somehow become the foremost thought leader on digital transformation by age 26 and then left her “boring-as-fuck” job at McKinsey to be a private consultant. Lindsay, who ran her life and her business from a screenful of apps on her iPhone. Lindsay, who encapsulated what she now did for a living in one vomit-worthy tagline: “I turn individuals into influencers.” Lindsay, who was maybe the only person over the age of thirteen who actually understood TikTok.

Lindsay whose nickname for him was Fuckface.



Convincing her to meet up with him again had been easier than he’d thought. Of course, ego stroking and groveling had helped, but cash was king.

“You can’t fucking afford me,” she’d said dismissively.

“I have a trust fund,” he’d responded simply, genuinely guileless.

It was true. He’d been accumulating all forms of currency in that trust fund for four and a half billion years since the earth was formed. He’d used his considerable prowess as The Universe to convert the various forms of currency he’d earned throughout earth’s history (fire, rocks, sticks, horses, plows, land, etc.) into cold, hard, modern cash that he’d deposited into an official bank account when the banking system had been established. (Thank you, Alexander Hamilton.) His account had been growing and accumulating interest ever since 1791. He’d never touched it, not once, because he hadn’t needed to — omnipotence has its privileges, after all. But now he needed it.

“I’m open to a discussion,” Lindsay had said in a surprising display of diplomacy and professionalism. The news that his bank account was larger than the earth’s four and a half billion years had struck quite a chord with her. She had agreed to meet for coffee.

“But we’re not meeting at fucking Starbucks,” she’d said over the phone. “A man of your means should have a more artisanal mindset — it’s better for your brand.”

And then, as an afterthought: “Oh, and also? No one talks on the phone anymore, dipshit. I know you, like, knew Alexander Graham Bell or whatever, but fuck him. From now on, we text. That’s what people do.”

That was two days ago. Now he sat waiting for Lindsay in a cafe, at a white, lacquered table, surrounded by people at other white lacquered tables, all wearing white earbuds and silently tapping away on their silver laptops as wordless, melodic indie music pumped into the air from hidden speakers. He hated to admit it, but he liked it here — it was all so civilized — and he found himself enjoying the turmeric and yak-milk latte Lindsay had recommended.

“Hey loser,” Lindsay’s standard greeting interrupted his thoughts. “You ready to make some shit happen?” Despite her word choice, she sounded uncharacteristically friendly.

She unpacked her laptop and told him the plan for the day: she’d done a brand study on him and would share her findings on how people were engaging with him on social media.

“Let’s start with the bad news first: You have 435,000 hashtags on Instagram,” she said in an unhappy voice.

“Wow, that’s amazing!” The Universe exclaimed at a volume higher than he intended, his voice cracking with excitement. Maybe this wouldn’t be so hard after all. Then: “What’s a hashtag?”

“Oh, for fuck sake! I can’t believe I agreed to this shit show.” But her snarl was quickly replaced by a mix of professionalism and ambition — and was that patience he detected?

“Listen, hashtags are the currency of social media. Every single one is an internet-wide conversation. They’re your measure of relevance. We’ll get to all of that. But for now, you’re about as relevant as a bag of hard dicks at an alt-right rally. But we’ll change all that.”

He sat quietly for a moment, soaking it all in. “Okay, so what are my goals?” he asked. “What’s good? How many conversations should — ”

“Hashtags, you moron,” she interrupted. “Hashtags. You need to start speaking the language and talking the talk. You’re the fuckin’ Universe.”

“Okay, okay. How many hashtags will make me relevant?” he asked.

Lindsay pointed to a slide on her laptop screen. “We have some work to do — but don’t panic, okay? I just want you to see what you’re up against. These numbers are from Instagram.”

He looked at the slide:

Cristiano Ronaldo: 198 million followers; Ariana Grande: 172 million; Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson: 164 million; Kim Kardashian-West: 159 million, Beyonce: 140 million.

The Universe ignored her warning and panicked. “Is this a joke? I can’t compete with these people — they’re entertainers! Athletes! And — ” he paused, frustrated. “They’re Kardashians! What about my peers? That’s who I care about.”

“You’ll care about who I tell you to care about,” she snapped. “But hang on” — patience crept back into her voice as she flipped to the next slide — “I was getting to that. A lot of your, um, contemporaries, don’t have accounts. They only have hashtags because they’re dead. The fact that you’re still living gives us a major competitive advantage because you can establish and monitor social media accounts and actually interact with people. Hashtag alive, bitches.”

She delivered that last thought with glee, but The Universe felt anything but.

God had 41 million hashtags. Allah: 12 million. Buddha: 7.5 million. Jesus Christ: 6.4 million.

The Universe thudded his forehead against the tasteful Swedish tabletop, defeated.

“Come on, it’s not all bad,” Lindsay said, interrupting his self-pity. “I mean, you’re beating the shit out of The Pope and Vishnu. We have good bones to work with. Hey, look at me, asshole.”

She’d said that last bit gently, almost affectionately. “It’s gonna be okay. More than okay, in fact. We’re gonna match your digital presence with the iconic real-life badass that you are. The Universe is about to blow up.”

She frowned. “I mean, socially. The Universe the entity is about to blow up. On social. It’s gonna be amazing!”

Lindsay was genuinely excited. Lindsay! He raised his head from the table. “Okay, so what do I need to do?”

“First things first: You need to pay me. A hundred percent up front, just like we discussed. We’ll look at overall progress at the three, six, and nine-month marks and discuss how to move forward from there.”

Her fees were exorbitant, but she seemed to know what she was doing. Good thing he had that trust fund. He plopped the heavy envelope filled with bills down in front of her.

“WHAT. The actual FUCK. Are you kidding me? An envelope of real money?” She snatched it up and buried it deep in her purse. “I’ll count this later — WHEN WE’RE NOT IN PUBLIC, ASSHOLE — but for fuck sake, you’re paying me to create your social media presence, not off someone. Do I look like The Godfather? Christ all fucking mighty, today’s first social media lesson? Venmo!”

The fact that Lindsay had her own business suddenly made a lot of sense to The Universe.

She paused for a moment, then banged her fist on the table. “Oh my god, The Universe is sending me money on Venmo — holy shit! I asked for it and it just magically appeared in my checking account. This is GOLD! We can use this!”

He gave her a blank stare as she talked for a good five minutes about what she called personas, on places she hadn’t thought of until just now: Venmo, MyFitnessPal, WeightWatchers, Reddit, and of course, Facebook, Twitter, and even LinkedIn. She rambled on about blue check marks and account takeovers and partnerships with influencers and so many things that his head began to spin. Finally, she took a breath.

“Okay, first things first: we need to schedule a photo shoot.” She took him in with a long, scrutinizing stare from head to toe. “Scratch that, first we need to take you shopping. Are those Levi’s from the actual goddamn Gold Rush? Seriously, was 1850 the last time you bought pants?”

The Universe sighed. Time to make another withdrawal.


Cut!” The Universe was sweating like a farm animal. The fifty or so members of the crew that had been watching erupted in celebratory applause, and Jens, the choreographer, emitted a squeal that could call dogs for miles. But the only opinion that mattered to The Universe was hers.

“Wow, Uni, that was sooooooooo AMAZING!” Taylor Swift (126 million followers) gushed as she gave him a radiant smile as she high-fived him then wiped her sweat-glistened décolletage with a towel. They’d just rehearsed a grueling dance sequence for what felt like the six millionth time.Taylor was a perfectionist, but he already knew about her legendary work ethic from his seventeen viewings of Miss Americana. Taylor had asked him to co-star in the video for her forthcoming single that was already getting Grammy buzz. He’d been on the fence about accepting it. In four and a half billion years, The Universe hadn’t regularly exercised, let alone danced — but Lindsay had been mercilessly insistent.

“This is TAYLOR,” Lindsay had yelled her name as if he were deaf. “You want to talk to the world? Pick up the phone when Taylor Swift calls.”

“I thought you said people don’t use the phone anymore,” He’d smiled as he trumpeted her words back to her.

“Well, look who’s finally ARRIVED after billions of years,” She’d said playfully. And then, as she affectionately swatted his shoulder: “What do we always say? What’s the name of the game?”

He’d rolled his eyes in mock disgust, though truthfully he didn’t mind hearing the word she’d drilled into his head over the past 18 months. In fact, he didn’t mind the sound of her voice at all these days; he barely even heard the vocal fry anymore.

He supposed that’s what love did to a person.

Collaboration, baby. It’s all about who you partner with.” Lindsay (4.2 million followers, up from 7,000) had given him a wink before she turned to watch the replay of he and Tay’s dance sequence.

The collaborations had started with Insta-famous people, not real celebrities, mostly mindfulness gurus, fitness experts, and relationship coaches. But with Lindsay’s focus, those quickly gave way to more high-profile connections. He got on the speaker circuit at tech conferences like Salesforce’s Dreamforce conference, which led to guest appearances on a few high-profile podcasts, including Armchair Expert with Dax Shephard. Dax’s wife, Kristen Bell, had a connection at Random House that led to a book deal (thank God and Vishnu for his ghost writer, Annie) that led to his first big break: Gwyneth Paltrow heard him speak at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, one of the stops on his book tour.

“Your energy is so healing and powerful,” she’d said as tears slowly rolled down her dewey, bronzed cheeks. “How can we harness that and share it with the world?”

The answer came quickly: The Universe made a brief appearance in the first episode of The Goop Lab for Netflix, where he comforted and counseled people experimenting with magic mushrooms and psychedelic psychotherapy.

And the rest, as they say, was history. It all happened so fast that the team of marketers, designers, writers, and developers that Lindsay had orchestrated to build out his empire, The Digital Universe™, could barely keep up.

Then the motherlode: Oprah called. She wanted him to tell his story — all four and a half billion years of it.

She carved out a spot in primetime just for him. But there was too much to cover in just one sixty-minute segment, so Oprah proposed Super Soul: The Universe Edition as an ongoing spinoff to her existing podcast.

But there was too much content even for Oprah — and too many audiences left untapped with just audio, according to Lindsay. A Netflix series, The Universe is Listening, would debut in a week. His corresponding hashtag, #TheUniverseIsListening, had already, according to Lindsay, “literally broken the goddamn internet.”

The Universe (428 million followers) secretly checked every day to see how relevant he was. He’d been the #1 hashtag on the internet for almost four months now, besting the 1.7 billion hashtag heavyweight of #love.

The Universe really had arrived. With a different kind of explosion than the first one four and a half billion years ago, but an explosion nonetheless.

With the confident wind of relevance beneath his wings, he knew what he was going to do. Today was the day. It was time.


The wind gently rustled the leaves in the grove behind Oprah’s Santa Barbara ranch. The Universe (they/them/theirs) was filming another primetime special, this time a conversation with them, Oprah, and Michelle Obama.

Lindsay smiled as she placed the papers in front of them. “Can you sign this, babe? It’s the rider for your NBC special with The Rock.” She put her hand on his shoulder and let it linger there lovingly as he read the first few pages.

Fair trade, single-origin coffee: check.

Badoit sparkling water captured at the base of the French Alps bottled exclusively for The Universe and shipped directly to their home: check.

Their favorite 100% Turkish cotton towels from Istanbul.

Whispering Angel rosé for Lindsay.

Bottles and bottles of special electrolyte-infused water for bathing Lebron and Kobe, Lindsay’s new Greyhound pups, to ensure they reached their maximum athletic potential.

And of course, 100 white doves, which The Universe insisted on releasing before any performance, live or taped. That was just the energy they wanted to put back into the world.

They stopped reading after the third page. “Where do I sign?” they asked Lindsay.

“On the page with the tab that says ‘sign here’.” She laughed and then gave his lips a light brush with hers. Her lip gloss tasted like ripe cherries. God, he had fallen hard for her.

“Good luck, babe!” She said as she walked away.

The Universe smiled. With a love like theirs, who needed luck?


The Universe, Oprah, and Michelle Obama had covered all manner of topics in only 45 minutes: hunger, meditation, clean eating, the future of the children, the importance of doing kegels, the ending of Game of Thrones, and now, love, which Oprah wanted to talk to Lindsay about.

“Can we get Lindsay over here? Lindsay, girl — where are you? Don’t be shy. I think the world would like to see the face of The Woman Who Saaaaaaved the Univerrrrrrrrse!” Oprah used her trademark sing-song voice for Lindsay’s new title — a title he suspected Lindsay would love.

Lindsay, who’d been watching off camera, attempted a weak mock protest. But after about seven seconds of begging on Oprah and Michelle Obama’s part, Lindsay walked confidently onto the set. As The Universe knew she would.

Michelle gave The Universe a knowing wink.

Holy shit, this was happening. They were doing this. Their stomach twisted into a nervous, happy knot.

“Girard, get her a chair, would you?” Oprah called to one of her burly bodyguards. “And let’s get her mic-ed too.”

Once Lindsay was ready, Oprah took her hand and said meaningfully, “Lindsay, The Universe has a message for you. The question is: Are you ready to receive it?”

“I am,” Lindsay smiled radiantly.

The Universe took her hand. “Lindsay, this has been the most amazing 18 months of my entire existence. Undergoing this transformation with you has been nothing short of miraculous and magical. You’ve changed me. You’ve made me better. And you’ve made the world better because of it.”

They dropped to one knee. Oprah and Michelle Obama held hands, giddy as a couple of middle-aged girls at one of Oprah’s Vision Tour shows.

The Universe prepared to deliver the line from Notting Hill, their favorite guilty pleasure movie, the one that always made Lindsay cry.

“I’m just a four-and-a-half-billion-year-old person, standing in front of a girl, asking her to love … them.”

The Universe stumbled on the unpracticed pronoun, but continued valiantly.

“Lindsay, will you make me the happiest human in, well …. The Universe? Will you marry me?”

Lindsay smiled and looked into their eyes. Then she took his face in her hands lovingly and addressed him softly.

“You big fucking loser.”

The Universe laughed uncomfortably at her public use of their pet name. It was a private joke — her humor didn’t always translate to the rest of the world. It was so unlike Lindsay to do anything that could jeopardize The Universe’s enormous following and the empire they’d built together.

She continued. “The good news: I asked you for what I wanted and I got it.” She tweaked The Universe’s chin lovingly and smiled.

Then she pulled her bag from underneath her chair — had she carried her bag onto the set with her? The Universe couldn’t remember. She pulled a thick stack of pages from inside.

Was that — wait, the NBC rider? In the middle of their proposal?

With a sweet smile she said, “The even-better news: Now I never have to ask you for jack shit again.” Her smile turned into a snarl.

The Universe was pretty sure this was not a ‘yes.’

“That big multi-billion-dollar trust fund you built from fucking twigs and fire? It’s mine now, you fucking idiot. My days of relying on you for what I want are over. FINALLY!”

They snatched the stack of paper from her hand and rifled through it, reading all the pages that came after the alleged rider — the ones they hadn’t read. It was true. She owned everything now: the fortune, the wisdom, the relationships with deities, the social media presence, the doves, the private label Badoit, and — oh god, no. The Universe had signed away their omnipotence, too. That must be why they suddenly couldn’t remember anything that happened before eighteen months ago. Did that have something to do with why was he calling himself ‘they’ instead of ‘he’?

He looked around. No one was even looking at him; Michelle, Oprah, Girard — they were all looking at Lindsay. The energy in the room had changed; the entire world had changed. They pulled out their phone — goddamnit, his phone; HE pulled out HIS phone — to look at his Instagram account, but it was gone. He searched for #TheUniverse and found 435,000 results.

Fuck. Fuck, fuck, FUUUUUCK.

He asked himself for a sign. He squeezed his eyes shut and waited, but nothing came.

Lindsay gave him a pitying look from across the room and walked toward him. Once they were face to face, she smiled triumphantly.

“I can’t believe this,” he said.

“Believe it, because it’s done. And I’m not gonna fuck it up like you did. I won’t rest on my laurels and waste my power and become stupid and irrelevant. I’m The Universe now.”

She motioned for Girard to usher him out as she turned on her heel and returned to the welcoming embrace of Oprah and Michelle Obama.

And the man formerly known as ‘they’ and also formerly known as The Universe realized that Lindsay’s prophecy had come true after all.

For the second time in four and a half billion years, The Universe had blown up.