Sin No More

“Oh”, says God. ” I guess I should add that to the list of deadly sins.”

“Y-yes”, I mumbled, “Lord”. As in, The One. The Deity. The Creator, or Preserver or Destroyer of the Universe. He doesn’t care for these epithets, I realized. In fact, She doesn’t care for gender labels, either. But why was God here, in front of me, I wondered. Surely I am not a pure soul who deserves direct contact with the Divine? (Please, anyone who’s seen me in my early 20s knows that!) Maybe I was just in the right place at the right time. But then, why on earth (and in heaven) would God want to visit this hipster café?

“The coffee”, He explains, reading my thoughts. “I’ve heard it tastes divine”, chuckling at His own joke. I resist the urge to roll my eyes. (no thank you, I don’t want to activate the discus or third eye or thunderbolt or whatever). “But why did You reveal yourself to me? I mean, am I …special?”, I blurted out stupidly. “HAHAHAH…. No”, came the hysterical response. “I chose to talk to you because, well, you’re a writer. You create and embellish stories for a living. What you say will only be regarded as a product of your fertile imagination. Who will actually believe you?”

Nothing like a celestial reality check, I thought wryly, looking around. The usual crowd of freelancers with laptops and torn jeans, couples trying to canoodle (while itching to check their phones), start-up enthusiasts with pitch decks and networking dreams, and a smattering of singles like me hoping to meet their Tinder dates here.

“But what are they all doing?” God asked, bemused. “Oh that, they’re taking pictures of their food for their social media.”

“I don’t get it. The food here is delicious, the coffee just the way I intended it, it’s all cooked and served by hardworking people, AND many patrons here are famished. Then why are they going click-click till their meal grows cold or sad?” He sighed.

“For social media, err… Lord. Insta, Twitter, Pinterest, and even LinkedIn sometimes.” I said.

“Even LinkedIN?”

“Yes, God. They can turn into a hot take or a life lesson on how they had to wait for their food, or paid for their own food, or food is fuel for innovation, or how hustle is the only hunger.” I wearily explained.

“Oh”, said God with a stone faced look. “I guess I should add that to the list of deadly sins.” He turned to a waiter who materialized out of thin air, and started issuing instructions. “Reach out to our team. Get the word out. Starting immediately, taking a hundred photos of your food instead of enjoying it is Evil. Verboten. Bad. Ask the creative team to devise suitable punishments. Also, extra hell time if they use it to farm engagement on LinkedIn. Any ideas from you?” He turned to me. “Are you okay with this”?

“Excuse me ma’m, are you okay?” I woke up with a start and looked at the waiter in front of me. “Here’s your coffee, mam. Enjoy your meal”, he smiled, winked at me and pointed to a notice board that said “Photography prohibited. By order of Upper Management”.

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