900 days


Nine hundred days plus. I couldn’t believe it. I had to punch in the numbers on the calculator several times before I figured I was right. It always came out the same — 923 to be exact. Two and a half years.

Two and a half years ago the wail of the death screamer stopped in the driveway. Medics rushed in with all their gear. Voices of urgency. I stood on the other side of the bed. The gurney was wheeled in.

Cut to hospital room, ICU, two o’clock in the afternoon. The steady beeping of the life support machine. Her hand still warm in mine. Reality ebbing away. Time slowly stopping. And then all at once. The hand turned cold. The monitor flatlined. I heard the words, “We did all we could.” I was in the room and I was not in the room.

Back in the death house, the real inexorably became the surreal, days dissolved into darkness, the nightmare came back with the light of day. Day after day. Nine hundred days. As far as I can see, that will never change.

Millions of people in the world believe in an afterlife, be it heaven or reincarnation. Actually about half the world’s population, close to four billion people. Amazing number. Nonbelievers say dream on, we’re all going to oblivion.


If you end up in heaven you’re stuck there forever. Like being on a cruise ship of fools that never docks. What if you want to get off? Get away from the relatives and acquaintances you couldn’t stand in life. Heavensayers believe all will be bliss and everyone will love everyone. Forever and ever. That sounds kind of sickening. Like piling twenty-seven teaspoons of sugar in your coffee, or watching ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ over and over and over. Give me reincarnation over that — at least you have the element of surprise.

On the other hand, oblivion could be cool, a whole lot of peace and quiet. The only regret would be that Oblivionites would have no memory, no recollections of the good times.

Be that as it may, wherever we’re going, we’re all going to the same place.

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The secret life of insects

Death is not the issue the issue is the erasure of all awareness and memory like stepping on an insect squish squash he was taking a bath must have been a Saturday night the insect doesnt suddenly wake up in insect heaven surrounded by other insects reminiscing about their crawling life chewing the fat so to speak which would be problematic since many insects eat other so you got this situation where one insect says to another how did you end up here Bugsy to which Bugsy replies you ate me you slimeball which of course insect one doesnt recall well whatever he says here we are or are we here because according to the mug writing this rubbish theres no insect heaven to which a chorus of insects pipes up what the fux he know did he ever crawl in our slime or see a ladybug make love or a praying mantis fold its arms in prayer oh no no no all he can say is insects are snuffed out all awareness and memories erased as it is with humans an outcome that is harder on the survivors than the deceased referring to humans now never having seen an insect funeral he says so stupidly or any signs of bereavement in the insect world what a jerk my my my all he can say is death is harder on survivors since the deceased have ceased to exist as noted in the word itself and now know naught living on only in the minds and memories of the living the dead are dead to all that went before lives erased as though they never existed the bitter anticlimax of lives while lived may have been joyful and wonderful and awful and woeful but in the end it doesnt amount to a hill of dung beetles dung because death cancels everything poof squish whatever death is the ultimate cancel culture hahahaha its so funny no existence no awareness before birth then a short life hey lookit even eighty years is the blink of a cosmic eye and then squish squash taking a bath blah blah blah sensation cessation all stop no awareness no memories hahaha if you dont think thats funny then dont bother watching the Three Stooges tonight.

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The Big O

Oblivion is a place. No one knows where it is, which is strange because so many people go there. They go there not knowing where it is. But there’s no element of surprise when they get there because they don’t know they’re there. Or more accurately, they never arrive. They disappear along the way, or rather, they disappear the very moment they depart. It’s a huge mystery. Even for the likes of Agatha Christie or Raymond Chandler. They would be stumped.

I have a certain semi-proprietorship over that nowhere of non-existence. Most people do, survivors who have said goodbye to family members and friends as they departed for a destination at which they may never arrive. We are all shareholders in the Great Holding Company of Nowhere.

Now, I said that many people go there. Many but not all, because I have it on unproven but historically consistent authority that a good deal many others go somewhere. The actual where is open to debate, as it has been for thousands of years and as it will be for the remainder of human existence.


There is one pre-requisite for the people who end up going somewhere — going, not arriving — and that is faith. If you have faith that you are going somewhere, if you really believe you are going somewhere, chances are that you do go there, or to be precise, you set out on that road. Whether you actually arrive is another matter. And once again, neither an Agatha Christie nor a Raymond Chandler know the ending.

But — and I think this is the point, or at least the point of no return — arriving is not the issue. What’s important, what really matters is that travelers who board the Death Express, carrying a good sturdy suitcase of faith, set out on the journey with courage and peace of mind and actually look forward to the trip.

What, if anything happens along the way does not concern them. They are confident and brave travelers. I really don’t think it crosses their minds that the Death Express may be hijacked and forced to go to Oblivion.

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