"Keeping yourself busy? But the world's tearing itself apart, people are killing people. Haven't you heard about the Congo? Vietnam! The Nazis! I mean, how long have you been here?"
"Oh, about two thousand years, give or take," he said. "This was a smithy once."
"Two thousand years?"
"You know, ever since my last big idea flopped. When was the last time you had the oil changed?"
"Two months ago. But no time for that now, we have to get out of here. We've got to get you back pulling the strings before everything goes straight to Hell, if you'll pardon my expression."
"No," he said, "I think I'd rather just stay here and keep my hands busy. I've got a lot of clients counting on me: Vincent's taxi, the postal service. I'm open twenty four hours you know."
"Don't you have an assistant who can take care of that stuff?" I was starting to feel exasperated.
"No, like I said, I like to keep myself busy."
I started to object but he raised a finger.
"I'm happy here," he said, "I'm happy so long as I'm too busy to get to thinking. I get to thinking and I get to noticing all the things that are wrong. And then I get to thinking up ways to fix them. And that doesn't make anyone happy. Least of all me."
"Doesn't make anyone happy? It would certainly make them happier than genocide! You made all this," I swept my hand to encompass the world, "surely you can fix it."
"I made it, yes." He paused before continuing. "Early on I was always poking and tweaking. If I noticed a problem I'd rush in and shake everything up. But eventually you have to just admit that your child has finally grown up, even if it isn't the man you wanted it to be. How would Cuba feel if Marx showed up and tried to set them straight? And no fourteen year old boy wants his dad showing up at school to beat up the bully."
"What a cop out," I said, "so you're just going to sit here and watch everything fall apart because you think we're big enough to solve our own problems."
God wiped some grease off of his forehead and sighed. "No-one ever understands. The time for choice passed long ago. Don't you see that the world's just too big to be fixed? It can never be fixed because it can never be broken. It's just the way it is."
I wanted to say more, but instead just nodded. I had a feeling that, even though I didn't understand, he had spoken a truth. Still, I felt kind of cheated.
"What about my car?" I asked.
He closed the hood, spit on his sleeve and polished the headlights.
"Good as new."