OricXe - Column for 3/2

On being dead

Blurry. Fucking blurry. A gaunt, mysterious face peered down at me. His face was close enough for me to recoil from the unpleasant odour emanating from his nose. His mouth smelled like a dead cow on a hot summer’s day.

“Are you all right?’ he asked in a hoarse voice that reminds one of chewing ginger cookies, “I guess that you must be confused after I told you that you’re not living any more.”

“What? Thouless is that you. What happened? Why are you so skinny? Where are we and why the fuck do you think I’m dead?”

“Well son, when a person becomes aware of his or her passing they are moved to limbo. From you’ll make the final trip to either heaven or hell. Whichever I don’t know.”

“OK, say I believe you. Why are you skinny all off a sudden, why the fuck is everything so fucking blurry, why the fuck am I using fuck a lot and why the fuck is my sentence so fucking long? What the fuck’s going on here?”

“Son, you’re just confused. Here’s your spectacles. Go on, put them on. Everything should then be clearer to you.”

With the addition of the glasses everything was in focus. Thouless was wearing a long black robe that didn’t cover his skeletal feet. He was skinned. Not a gram of skin, or muscle for that matter, was visible. He was all bone. Even his hands. I wonder what his face must have looked like since I couldn’t make it out with his hood casting shadows everywhere.

“So you’re an evil-looking guy with a black robe? So what?”

“You have no idea who the grim reaper is?” Thouless begged.

“Am I supposed to?”

“The grim reaper is a person without an identity. I work for neither the forces of good or evil.

I am simply the one who guides people from this life, or the one that they thought they had, into the next. If there’s anything you want to say you better say it now as we have less than five minutes left before you have to proceed.”

“Why are you only doing this now? I’ve lived as a dead person for a long time now.”

“As I told you before when a person becomes aware of their passing they have to move on. I asked you whether you were dead to test your knowledge of the situation you found yourself in. That and I don’t like you and don’t want to see you again.”

“You found out about me and your wife didn’t you?”

“How the fuck could you. I would kill you if I could, but since I can’t, I’ll let you pass on. You have to go now.”

After I put on my clothes, because as Thouless put it, “You can’t go to heaven or hell naked, these people have rules.” He pointed to a black door and said that I should go through. Why he pointed was beyond me. That was the only door in the room.

This place is nice. I’m not in a final place yet. I guess it’s another sort of limbo. I’ve waited for a long time and I’m but four places from my interviews. That’s where God and Satan interview me to decide which destination is fit for me.

Columns by OricXe