S. for save my sorry ass

A year ago I set out on the road to God. Renata de Dios was my guide. She was a messenger from God. There was a storm. We lost track of one another. I turned back. I went back to my house, the ghost-ridden lowly bungalow.

When I was on the road to God I imagined meeting S. again. In some sort of after-life. The inexpressible joy of that. How blessèd it would be to believe that. This is what Renata de Dios believes. This is what she hoped I would believe. But my mind shut down. The message was not getting through. Brain invaders had cut the receptors like phone wires.

So, I was alone again. At night, in a purple haze, I called out to S. in the dead room, formerly known as the living room: Can you hear me, honey? I’ve been trying to contact you. But the lines of communication must be down. Maybe the storm knocked the power out. I want to talk to you. There are so many things I want to tell you. I want to apologize for one. Some of the things I said…

I know what she’d say to that: You know what you call that, William? Thirty years of marriage. 

So why am I still beating myself up? I’m guilt-ridden by nature. That’s probably why I can’t get through to God. My mind is blocked by a lifetime of storm damage.

That’s why I needed S. S. for save my sorry ass, S. for save my miserable soul, S. for sanity, S. for spaghetti with delicious meatballs she used to make with her mother’s secret recipe.

But this is not about meatballs. I forget what this is about. Something about phone lines being down. Did we have a storm? I heard the roaring wind fly by the window. The lights went out. I couldn’t see in the darkness. I couldn’t see the road to God. 

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Life after death

Spiritual Quest

Sometimes I miss so many people it would take a galleon of angels to bring them back.

Since that’s never going to happen I find myself thinking of ways to go to them. Not in any real sense of course but I have found from experience that if one becomes sufficiently imbued (as in high as a kite) there is little if any difference between the real, the surreal and the unreal.

Several months ago a former colleague of my wife from our Miami Beach days called me out of the blue when she heard my wife had died and told me that what my godless lost soul needed was God. This old friend has an unshakable belief in God and offered to be my spiritual guide, so to speak, and take my hand on the “road to God.”

It sounded like a good idea. In the long span of my life I have never been this alone. Death has taken my wife and my son and two brothers. A few remaining relatives are scattered far and abroad and contact is infrequent. The few friends I had disappeared one by one. 

Open mind, closed heart

So with an open mind I set out toward the road to God. 

As the quest proceeded, I realized that although my mind was open to “believing,” my heart was not and I knew I could only find God through my heart not just in my mind. The discovery had to be heart-felt, not just cerebral.

But even while sparks of positive energy were being triggered in my brain, my heart was not responding. I didn’t know why and I didn’t know how to remove the roadblock. Nor did my godly guide. She became discouraged.

“I can’t help you anymore,” she said. This surprised me. I expected more of a Jesus-type commitment to my cause. In any case my quest ended on a dark cul-de-sac to nowhere.

Not enough Xanax in America

So here I be in my lowly dark bungalow, just me and the cat, reading a lot, drinking too much, watching movies on television, sleeping late and writing stuff like this.

Sometimes I write about society’s ills but when the stories involve the lies and hypocrisy of politicians it becomes so sickening there’s not enough Xanax in America to numb my revulsion.

So I’m back at the old pop stand writing 500-word memoirs, mostly about people I’ve lost and most of all about my wife. The memories, both great and grisly, the joy and the regrets, unresolved matters that I still need to talk to her about, that is to say, with her invisible presence.

And so in that sense I’m not alone, and as long as I have some brain cells still functioning the memories will grow like wildflowers.

Sunflower in middle

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The road to God

Lost in a godless wllderness.

Everyone, every body on this grain of sand in our infinite Universe is at the mercy of a microscopic mystery bug that kills tens of thousands and potentially millions of people.

Everyone on earth, from tradesmen to nurses to movie stars, can become infected. Death is on everyone’s mind. We need courage and a boundless spirit of togetherness and humanity to survive this.

People of a certain age who live alone are the most vulnerable. They face not only the virus but the despair and stress of being alone. They fear being stricken with no one to help them, or even know they are gravely ill. They could be lying on the floor of their house for days before someone might decide to check on them.

This is a desperately lonely dilemma for them. They need someone to look after them, or at least be aware of their existence and look in on them at times like this. But that may never happen. People have their own lives and deaths to worry about.

A man in his seventies recently lost his wife and over the years has lost his son and two brothers. He has no family left. He is one of those people who could collapse with no one in the house to call for help, or anyone, in fact, who might think to check in on him from time to time because he has no friends in his isolated world.


Then, not long ago, a friend of his deceased wife from thirty years ago contacted him with her condolences and they have kept in touch. She says she is a messenger from God. Her very name, Renata de Dios, means “Born again of God.” She came out of the past to help this man of little to no faith.

His wife, being raised Catholic was a believer, and when he held her hand in Intensive Care as she lay dying, that was a consolation to him. And throughout the past thirteen months since her death he has prayed, in his own faltering way, for a sign from her or from her God that she is “somewhere” now and not lost forever in an oblivion of emptiness. But he has never received the slightest sensation of any communion with her or felt even a hint of her presence in his lowly bungalow.

Renata de Dios persevered. During their many telephone conversation she has tried to direct him to the “road to God.” He doesn’t rebuff her or her faith but he doesn’t automatically embrace it. He tells her it’s not like a light switch you can suddenly turn on. You have to feel it in your heart. You have to believe it.

Once, a few weeks back, he actually set out on the road to God, only to lose his way and wander off into another wilderness of despair.

The guy seems like a hopeless case, but Renata de Dios keeps trying. What have you got to lose? she said. Give it another shot, I’m here for you, I’ll guide you.

Some things in life you can’t do alone. You need a guide. He dials Renata’s number. She answers right away. She’s there for him.

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