What’s That?

“What’s that?”

“Well, yes, I know I said I was an atheist, but I don’t actually think of myself that way.”

“Well, I just don’t. Not believing something doesn’t really define anything significant about me. When I think of people that imagine a supernatural, extra-planar being living somewhere indefinable with no evidence of any sort to support their fantastic claims, my first thought isn’t, ‘What does that say about me?’ More like, ‘Oh you poor thing. That would be cute if you were a child, but as an adult it’s just sad.’ Even you don’t believe in every supernatural story you’ve ever heard: Santa Claus, The Great Pumpkin, The Tooth Fairy. Name all the gods from all the other religions but yours and we both agree quite happily that they don’t exist.”

“Yes, well, OK I’ll give you the Tooth Fairy.”

“Because I’ve been in conversations like this before and I’ve found that to someone afflicted with your particular kind of insanity it is very hard to grasp how anyone might not want to pretend these things are real. So, for brevity’s sake, it’s simpler just to say I’m an atheist. It’s technically true, I suppose. I just don’t put much weight on it because the whole discussion seems so petty and ridiculous to me. To be thorough, I would have to call myself an atheist, anti-santa clausist, non-great pumpkinist, tooth fairy denier… and it’s really quite silly to say any of it.”

“Sure, I can hold.”

…well, you came and you gave without taking, but I sent you away, oh Mandy…

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