What’s the deal with Heaven?


One can assume that dead souls have no corporeal form. No body, no flesh and blood, no physical parts, no carnality. No carnal desires. No appetite, no interest in sex or alcohol or cocktail hour or any other pleasures.

Many imagine the dead to be spirits inhabiting a heavenly realm. To others, they are conjectured to be some sort of electrical energy, unknown phenomena of electromagnetic waves emitting signals or light or heat or something that is currently unimaginable.

That concept of heaven would be no fun at all. The living who expect to be reunited with their dead loved ones would be disillusioned and disappointed to find that their flesh and blood companions had been transmogrified into a metaphysical, intangible presence.

The Sunday School/Born Again Christian/Devout Catholic concept of dead human beings miraculously transformed into heavenly bodies in recognizable form, capable of being hugged and kissed and sharing lives again in a glorious eternity, is, on the face it, a tad crazy.


But, harking back to the ever-so slightly less crazy concept of electromagnetic wave phantasmagoria, who wants to be reunited with a dead companion if the former flesh and blood loved one is a disembodied pulse or signal or sensation in a supernatural state of metaphysics?

One argument is that when you yourself are dead, you would also be a wave or a pulse, an indestructible atom, etcetera, and you and your companion would get along swimmingly, pulsing and waving throughout the cosmos for ever and ever.

Still, no fun. Certainly, one can confidently say it would be the end of conversation and camaraderie and cocktail hour as we know it.

In conclusion, if you want to be with the spirit of your loved one, then perhaps the best course of action is to not be dead, to stay alive and be at one with the memory of your lost soulmate — memory and spirit becoming one, a communion, a peace of mind amid grief.

That may be the best deal we’re going to get in this basic, godless, down and dirty life.


A place for the dead

Two heroes in my life.

In the end all we have are ourselves. On Memorial Day my wife and I used to honor her father who was a paratrooper in the Philippines in World War II. We raised our glasses and drank to the man who jumped out of planes and helped save the world.

Now he is dead and my wife is dead. Alone in my bungalow on this Memorial Day I raised my glass and drank to them both. Two heroes in my life.

Outside, I hear the fireworks celebrating the sacrifices made in all wars in the name of freedom. I hope the dead are not alone. It would be wonderful to think they are in a place, a holy place, awaiting our arrival. On a personal level, I would give anything to be reunited with my brothers and my son and my wife. Time to catch up. What stories to tell. What joy.

The cynic in me says, Tough luck, it’s never gonna happen. The stoned drunk in me says, Don’t be too sure, you don’t have the first clue about what’s possible with the indestructible atoms of the human mind and the unknown state of wave-being.

In the meantime we are alone, all we have are ourselves and if that’s not enough, God help us, and if there is no God, then we might as well blow our brains out.

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Billy, the Silver Surfer and a girl named Sue

Search for dead wife.


I haven’t heard from my wife in seventeen months — 17 months and 11 hours as of this writing to be exact. I call her name, I try to summon her spirit. Not a peep, not a hint of a presence. I crawl into the crawlspace looking for her ghost, I look in the liquor cabinet, the closets, under the bed, all I see under the bed is the cat who gives me a look that says, You is crazy, Cat God. She thinks I’m the Cat God like people think God is the God God.

I don’t want to get into that, all I know is I don’t know where my wife is. For answers I pray in my own way which is not so much praying as sending out fervent psychic energy reaching from heaven to oblivion. I even engaged the Silver Surfer to look for her but so far he has come up empty.

I need more time, he told me. There are more than two trillion galaxies in the universe.

In other words, I said, she could be anywhere.

Or nowhere, he said.

What do you mean?

Oblivion, my friend.

But what about the indestructible atoms that make up the human body and the mind? They’ve got to end up somewhere.

That scientific theory may have been overstated, said the Silver Surfer.

I need something, man. My friend and spiritual advisor Renata de Dios tells me to have faith in God, that my wife is in Heaven — Renata’s words, not mine.

Listen, I’m out there, dude, and I’ve yet to see any evidence of God, but that doesn’t mean your wife’s not somewhere in those two trillion galaxies. 

That’s what I’m counting on, because if the God of Love that Renata de Dios believes in does exist, he sure as hell’s got it in for me. He has taken everyone in my family. My wife was all I had left. And he had to take her too.

All I can tell you, man, is don’t give up hope. If you give up hope, you’re dead. Now, hand me a shot of that whiskey you’re drinking and I’ll be on my way.

You’re a good friend, Silver Surfer.

I try. Get some sleep, Billy, you look beat.

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