an extract from Salman Rushdie’s, Satanic Verses
You got your life back. That’s the point.
During his illness he had spent every minute of consciousness calling upon God, every second of every minute. Ya Allah whose servant lies bleeding do not abandon me now after watching oven me so long. Ya Allah show me some sign, some small mark of your favour, that I may find in myself the strength to cure my ills. O God most beneficent most merciful, be with me in this my time of need, my most grievous need.
Then it occurred to him that he was being punished, and for a time that made it possible to suffer the pain, but after a time he got angry. Enough, God, his unspoken words demanded, why must I die when I have not killed, are you vengeance or are you love? The anger with God carried him through another day, but then it faded, and in its place there came a terrible emptiness, an isolation, as he realized he was talking to _thin air_, that there was nobody there at all, and then he felt more foolish than ever in his life, and he began to plead into the emptiness, ya Allah, just be there, damn it, just be. But he felt nothing, nothing nothing, and then one day he found that he no longer needed there to be anything to feel. On that day of metamorphosis the illness changed and his recovery began. And to prove to himself the non-existence of God, he now stood in the dining-hall of the city’s most famous hotel, with pigs falling out of his face.
He looked up from his plate to find a woman watching him. Her hair was so fair that it was almost white, and her skin possessed the colour and translucency of mountain ice. She laughed at him and turned away.
“Don’t you get it?” he shouted after her, spewing sausage fragments from the corners of his mouth. “No thunderbolt. That’s the point.”
She came back to stand in front of him. “You’re alive,” she told him. “You got your life back. *That’s* the point.”
–Salman Rushdie, “The Satanic Verses”