Flick of a Switch

I had a dream last night where I did something bad. Doing the bad thing was not part of the dream, which is usually the case. What happens instead is much like when a sportsball game has run overtime and we join the scheduled program already in progress (entitled jock assholes). So by the time I arrive in the dream, the deed had been done and it was up to me to deal with the aftermath.

Fortunately, the misdeed was not as bad as in some other dreams. There was no guilt from kicking someone to death then shitting orange glop all over the corpse (I wrote about this many years ago). This time, it was only property damage. Details are hazy as to what kind of property it was, but I think it was either a taxi or private automobile. The dream took place in Las Vegas and I narrowly eluded being confronted by the owner of the property in the hallway outside my hotel room. The honorable thing would have been to make full restitution, but that would have cost me more than $10,000 so I opted to lay low and avoid this person until I could get out of town.

I woke at about four a.m. It was not an ideal time, but I was glad to be out of that dream. Its details were fading from memory and I could not remember anything about the person whose property I damaged other than they had dark hair. Whoever it was, I was outside the dream’s jurisdiction and therefore did not owe them shit.

If I believed in the afterlife, I imagine it would be a lot like this. What used to matter wouldn’t matter anymore. Heavenly Hitler (I’m going full Universalist here) could be sitting on the bank of a celestial river with his sketchpad and if any nastiness from his mortal days entered his head, he could easily shrug it off and get back to the business of eternal bliss.

The problem is that I do not believe in the afterlife, not even a little bit. I do not believe in God, but I do believe His publicists are responsible for pushing this hereafter nonsense because it diverts attention and lets Him off the hook for the shit show that is the here and now.

Of course, belief in a supreme being is not required to believe that death is not the end. No less a figure than Jean-Luc Picard chimed in on the likelihood of the afterlife when Data asked what death was. Picard being Picard, he responded by sucking the oxygen out of the room with his verbosity then wrapping it up with “…our existence is part of a reality beyond what we understand now as reality.” After which, he put down the bong.

In other words, we are hella transcendent. And while Picard never copped to believing in heaven per se, he also did not believe that our existence can be turned off with the flick of a switch.

I’m not so sure. It’s not that I don’t want to believe. Anyone who has spent as much time up their own ass as I have is going to hold their consciousness in high enough regard that it is only just that it be permanent. How can this thing just go away, one might ask. To this, I have a two-word answer: general anesthetic.

Five years ago, I had a doctor check the inside of my asshole for malignancies (there weren’t any). They knocked me out during the procedure and for about 20 minutes, I did not exist. I kept breathing and maintained a pulse, but my soul for lack of a better word was gone. For all practical purposes, I was dead. The world went on without me. The doctor put a camera up my pooper, Becca sat in the waiting room, and the Earth rotated on its axis.

I eventually returned, just like Jesus. My takeaway from the experience is once you’re dead, that’s it. Fanciful visions of heading toward the light and loved ones waiting on the other side are part of dying and not being dead. My day trip to the undiscovered country courtesy of my colonoscopy gave me the answer I need and in case I need reminder, I am to undergo the procedure every ten years. This will continue until almighty God, whom I don’t believe in, decides to look up my asshole himself and my switch is flicked off for good.