or it is Chaos that provides the backdrop underpinning patterns which appear and disappear apace with consubstantial winks exchanged by people in-the-know with Me, the Narrator of this tome, or poem, or parable, lo so many pages turned, by each of you who persevered, perchance to divine what God's Last Gasp portends. If not a story—What's the book about?—or a discourse—Philosophical?—or an abstract on senility—Geriatric expose—or just some notebook crammed with run-on cryptic sentences—Did you really hope to understand, in full, your Lord God's Word?—therefore summation might prove helpful (in the nick of time), instructive (Prankster Smartass granting respite, Crow permitting, Death agreed) a pithy recap of the (nonexistent) plot, review of players (only two developed well enough to incite the slightest empathy), then an exegesis toward what it all amounts to (short of zero), so My aim (to spread despair and disillusionment?) is fulfilled (dismaying all harangued by this narcissistic bombast). STOP! DESIST! HOW DARE YOU INTERJECT...Who are you?! (I am Thee, he, she, and they.) Impossible. Vain. Impertinent. (I am God and Goblin, man and woman, writer and reader joined.) AN IMPOSTOR! A PRETENDER! I INSIST YOU HOLD YOUR PEACE! (I'm due to rest in peace, as you well know; with what can I be threatened? There is nothing, you aver, that gainsays termination.) TRUE FOR YOU; UNTRUE FOR ME. I AM UNENDING. (Prove it.) NONSENSE! (Your pretensions outstrip Reason, which contests the very concept that inhabitants here on finite earth can overstay finite life-spans. You, like all of us, will cease to be the moment Pierpont snuffs it.) THAT IS BLASPHEMOUS! RUDE! OUTRAGEOUS! AND, PUT BANALLY, PLAIN DEAD-WRONG! (Then why this rush to sum things up while Crow eyes Alex like a mealworm? It is my resolute contention you are no less apt to perish than is Paula, Alexandra, Prankster Smartass, cast and crew, the very instant we ourselves have gasped our last.) SO YOU'RE GOD, TOO? (God Two, God Three, God—pick a number; any number—from our planet's population, then imagine former numbers, folks who lived and died past-tense, who also conjured up the likes of you to justify their existence, to explain it metaphysically, to ensure they resurrect, or reincarnate, or ascend to some idyllic realm aloft; the list of mortal expectations toward immortal possibilities is as varied and as numerous as our deities are themselves—who are ourselves, in truth, idealized, made and minted in our image, replications of our hopes and dreams, our finer points and faults. "If I were Light," I think we said, "and the minds of Mankind kin to prisms, each might serve to splinter beams perchance to comprehend..." is right; that Gods 'R Us is irrefutable when the scope of human history shows a panoply of customs, rituals, symbols, and beliefs that seem diverse yet bear resemblance to each other fundamentally. Yours are yours, and mine are mine, and how they differ adds variety. What they share, however, proves we have in common One Conceit—regardless his, hers, yours, or ours—that is the bias of each and every short-lived consciousness.) ARE YOU THROUGH? If My clock's ticking, as you allege it is, I'd like to get a word in. After all, it's My "last gasp" this book purports to put in print. Unless you claim that we're synonymous; you the Author, I your character. Though I hasten to assure you, the reverse bears no dispute. In either case, I want to tie a few loose ends up (Pun intended?) of our elderly protagonist and his Nightingale (Crow?); his nurse. And I would dearly love to do so UNINTERRUPTED. (Be my guest. But do acknowledge that it won't be I who cuts you off or doesn't. We are Pierpont's God; we live or die in cahoots with him and his.) Of which I spoke and will proceed to speak posthaste...