Let's face it. No one really knows what its like to die, I certainly didn't. The last thing I remember was someone saying, "He's gone." In the next instant I was somewhere else. I can't even explain it really, because the somewhere else was without substance, without definition really. Until images came to mind, places I had once known, been to, or had wondered about. Then suddenly ... there I was!
It felt warm, comforting. I was standing on a hill, there was a breeze against my face, though again, there hadn't been until I'd considered it, then there it was! It was quiet, peaceful, just as I imagined it might be, would be. I looked down at myself, I was old.
"Damn! Arn't we supposed to change back to the best way we ever looked, or should look?" I wondered. And suddenly, I did. At least I wasn't just a thought floating around without substance. Then I grimaced, worried that I would be, but that didn't happen.
"Ok, that's better. Much, much better!" I said feeling a hell of a lot better admittedly. But it was still strange.
I mean, we all have our own ideas of what Heaven is supposed to be like I suppose. But this wasn't like anything I'd ever even heard of or imagined before either. No pearly gates, though they'd have looked really out of place from where I was standing. No white haired guy in a white flowing robe with a great big book with a bright green bookmarker holding the place open where my name would have been listed. None of that. Hell, there wasn't even a bird singing or a butterfly flying. And then ... there was.
"Ok, maybe I'm starting to get the hang of this after all," I thought to myself.
But I was still surprised no one had come to greet me, no one had come to tell me where I was supposed to go, or what I was supposed to do. I even thought about my parents who had died years ago. Nothing. Unlike the sudden appearance of birds, butterflies and bee's (which I quickly decided I didn't want or need and made them go away) there was nothing else. At least no mom, no dad. No uncles, no aunts, no friends (only one or two of which I could actually remember as having died before I did). Bottom line was, no people.
"Well, this sucks!" I said aloud wondering if anyone could actually hear me.
I decided to go for a walk, and then wondered if I could fly. Sure enough, I was floating in the air and moving forward at an incredible speed. Problem was, the ground below me whizzed by faster than I could imagine it until I was standing in the middle of darkness.
"Lets try that one again," I thought. I was back on the hill again, oh yeah; the breeze thing, and the birds and the butterflies were kinda cool too. Except, I really am going to walk this time, at least until such a time as I get the flying/moving thing down a whole lot better.
So I walked. And I walked, and I walked. The only cool thing here was, when I got tired of walking and seeing the same scenery (cause I knew it usually would take several hours if I was to walk out of this valley and actually get anywhere else), all I had to do was think of another place, and I was there. One moment in the mountains, in the next walking through Canyon lands in Moab. At least I thought it was Moab, sure looked like it anyway, though once again there was no people. And that was the other interesting part. I tried thinking about the valley where I'd lived, my home, once again my friends and family. I think ... though don't take my word on this, but I think I was in the valley where my home should be, once was, or would be. I mean who knows, when your dead, maybe when we're there, we're just borrowing the here, which is real, when that reality isn't. Anyway, no houses, no cars, no planes, no people. Nada ... nothing.
I kept thinking that maybe I was on hold or something. Or that I'd failed to see the sign that had said "Out to lunch". I certainly didn't want to stand around in the dark, and I was sort of missing the birds at this point, as I'd forgotten to bring them along with me. So I went back. Back to the mountain, sat down and waited.
Who knows how long I sat there waiting. A year? A day? A century or two? Who the hell knows. I certainly didn't have a watch, couldn't even produce one. And who was around to tell or give me the correct time, or even what the hell day it was anyway?
So I just sat there and waited. And wondered. And then the last thing in the world I had ever expected to happen happened. I looked up the hill and saw a young woman walking towards me. She looked familiar, and even at this distance I could envision her face, see her smile, and she even waved.
"Thank God!" I said aloud, half expecting to hear a booming "You're Welcome!" but that didn't happen either. I really hate it when you can't remember a name. I mean I knew I knew her, I just couldn't remember from where, or when. Then it came to me. And was that because I suddenly decided I did know her name? Or because I just decided what her name was. Once again, I didn't know for sure, not really. But as Darlene approached getting ever closer, which is when I suddenly decided to do the half-fly, half hop thing, I was standing next to her.
"Darlene? Is that really you?" She smiled and nodded her head yes.
"Please tell me you can speak," I asked worriedly. "Or are we supposed to be talking with our minds and not our mouths or something like that?" I asked.
She laughed then, which was like music to my ears (and briefly, I swear I could hear the Sound of Music playing in the background).
"I've been looking for you," She said simply.
"Yes, ever since I got here."
"How long has that been?"
"Oh, I don't know, forever maybe? Who knows?"
At the moment, I couldn't very well argue with that. "Well, it's sure as hell nice to finally see someone else, and actually talk to them!" Then I hunched my shoulders worriedly, wondering if the word "Hell" was appropriate, or inappropriate under the circumstances.
"So, you seen anyone else?" I had to ask.
"Nope, just you. But then again, like I said, you're the only one I've been looking for anyway."
I still wondered why. I mean after all, Darlene had been the first girl I had ever kissed, first girl who two years later actually let me touch her boobs, and then the first girl I had ever gone down on in her parents bedroom when they were out for the evening. But what that had to do with us still escaped me. Or any of this for that matter.
"So, now what?" I had to ask.
"I don't know, you tell me," she responded.
Like that helped anything. I guess we could continue to sit here and wait. But I'd done that already. And it was Darlene that said she'd been wandering around for just about ever looking for me, so there had to be something about that that made some sort of sense, which for the moment at least, didn't.
And then I thought about something else.
"Was there a reason why you've been looking for me?" I asked.
"Yeah," she said finally grinning. "Why don't you lie down on the grass and I'll show you."
Now we were getting somewhere. Unless she suddenly turned into some sort of Vampire or something at the last minute.
"You're not a Vampire are you?" I had to ask. Once again she laughed.
"No, and I'm not here to suck your blood either. But I wouldn't mind sucking something else."
"Ok, this HAD to be heaven!" I decided. "No way in, well ... you know, no way IN could this be that."