You know you’re dead. There’s really no question about that. In fact, you remember it quite clearly. You yanked an old lady out of the street and got hit by an ugly blue Buick. It wasn’t heroics on your part; you did it because you’d had a bad day at work and seeing an old lady get run down really wouldn’t have done you any good.
Not that getting squashed did you any good, but it’s the thought that counts right?
This is nothing like what all those ‘near death’ Shirley Maclain wannabe’s say it is. There was no white light, no warm fuzzy feeling. No, it was all cut and dry, crash boom bang fuck your dead.
Now this you’ve been a devout atheist for years. You remember the exact day you decided that faith was a crock of shit. You were seven years old and at Sunday school. The teacher, a middle aged lumpy woman you called Sister Alice had everyone draw a picture with themselves and Jesus.
Now that was your kind of Sunday school teaching. You loved to draw and a picture of you and the big JC; you were all over it. You bent over your paper and carefully drew Jesus. In your mind Jesus looked like the nice old man who worked at the corner store near your house. You loved that guy; he’d smile and sneak you penny candy while your Mom bought eggs and whatever else. He was one of the first adults outside your immediate family you understood and who treated you like a human being and not just fodder for amusing stories to tell the relatives.
You were so proud when you finished. When it came time to show the teacher, you held up your picture, you and a dusky skinned Afro wearing Jesus under a smiling sun and bright blue sky, she gave you one of those pinch faced looks like she’d just tasted something rancid and was too polite to spit it out but, not polite enough not to make that face. The look on the teacher’s face said it all. Then she went and made it worse.
“Honey, Jesus isn’t a…um colored man. Why don’t you try again?”
At the time you didn’t understand it beyond that she didn’t like your picture and it hurt your feelings. All that love thy neighbor shit was just that. Bullshit.
And now this. You’ve died and gone to heaven. All the worst kind of cheesy things you’ve ever seen about heaven are true. You’re sitting in what looks like a fake meadow set from a douche commercial or something, harp music is in the air, and coming towards you is the epitome of blonde perkiness.
“Welcome to HEAVEN! It is super-fab that you’re here.”
As she squeals the words “super-fab” light up over her head in buttery yellow neon like letters. She’s like a cheerleader on an ecstasy and cocaine binge. And all you want is a drink and a smoke and a little blessed silence.
“Oh sweet Jesus.”
You don’t realize you say that out loud until she comes bounding up to you.
“Oh, I’m sorry he’s got a four o’clock, but I’m sure he’ll be able to fit you in.”
She hugs you and you think you’re going to puke.
Every other word she says is either super or fabulous or super-fabulous.
You’d thought about heaven and hell on occasion. You thought that if there were in fact an afterlife you’d spend eternity getting butt fucked dry by Hitler while having to recite nursery rhymes in German or some shit. But this, this is what you think would happen after fifty too many hits of acid and a little too much 700 Club.
While your new bestest buddy Fluffy or Muffy or whatever she said her names is going on and on about all the super-fab activities you’re going to get to do while you earn your wings all you can think is,
“If only I’d have let that old lady bite it.”
Endnote: I wrote this in probably 2005 as a first foray into second person POV.