To abuse the local vernacular: It’s not every day you come across a report by a dead man several days after said dead man was pronounced dead. True, countless billionaires and others less wealthy—but equally influential—had taken the most understandable precaution of writing their own obituaries for specified publication. But until now no one had managed post-mortem to produce details of his or her passing. And that includes the Middle East’s most famous son.
Of course I could be way off course, but to the best of my hardly limited recollection not even the Man from Galilee had laid down a single posthumous line about events immediately preceding or following the handing over of his broken and bloody body to his inconsolate closest relatives.
Related memos, including those referencing his mind-boggling activities a couple days after his gruesome passing, are either apocryphal or “according to” this or that other reputable person thousands of years dead and buried, therefore in no good position to defend their good name. The sort of news normally associated with such as TMZ and the National Enquirer that tend to focus on the most recently shaved area of Britney’s anatomy or on the latest jaw-dropping antics of Honey Boo Boo and Paris. Hilton, that is, not France. More often than not, such searing scoops are “according to reliable sources”—still more proof that there’s really nothing new under the sun, not even news disclaimers!
I had no idea I had died some time after hitting the sheets last Friday evening. But then, that’s hardly surprising. To have been conscious of having passed in his sleep is all the proof a man would need that he had not actually passed; that more likely he had merely passed out, which you would agree, dear worldly reader, is hardly the same thing.
Indeed, I would dare to point out that for a large section of the Rock of Sages population passing out has become, well, something of a national pastime. It sure beats the hell out of sleeping. Once a man has passed out good and proper, it’s near impossible to tell without a stethoscope whether or not he’s alive.
No earthly noise, not the barking of stray dogs, screaming ambulance sirens, insane lovers beating-up on one another, nothing will disturb him. Neither earthquakes nor the urine of vengeful canines in his face!
As incredible as it may sound to first-time visitors to the Rock, many a home has gone up in flames, set ablaze by a bedside kerosene lamp or a lighted candle inadvertently knocked over, and burned to the ground without the smallest discomfort to its occupant.
Of course I have never personally experienced what it’s like to pass out. I’m merely an obsessed observer of activities both human and animal, and I don’t mind telling you, experienced journalist that I am, it has not always been easy discerning human from animal behavior—these days, especially. Imagine my surprise, then, upon being awakened early Saturday morning to the news that Rick Wayne had (gently, gently, now) “passed” during the night—such gospel according to the ever-reliable alien BB blasters with their devilish proclivities.
In my consequent mentally confused condition (the effects of sudden arousal can be altogether unpredictable) I wondered about the possibility that I’d died in my sleep. But then how to explain that I was talking on my IPhone to the STAR’s editor?
Suddenly an explosion in my head released a raging tsunami of jumbled thoughts that made no sense whatsoever, so that it seemed I was neither here nor there nor anywhere in between. If indeed I was alive, how then to explain what I’d been through the last several hours? I decided I must’ve dreamed I’d died and gone to . . . well, suffice it to say I easily recognized my new environment from all I’d read or been taught about its architecture, its many mansions, its celestial sounds, the number of hours spent building it, and so on.
I seemed to recall having no trouble identifying several of the ladies and gentlemen tenants I encountered upon entering the pearly front gates. Some of them had obviously been the models for our most revered church statues and paintings: Mary, Paul, Francis of Assisi, the never identified crook who had been promised immediate entry into paradise following his crucifixion, dear Mother Theresa, and a whole klatch of nubile virgins that appeared ever so eagerly to be looking forward to special company, judging by the way they pranced and danced and sang siren songs in a language I did not quite understand, snippets of which I’d heard during CCN’s coverage of the Bush war on Saddam. You may well ask how was I able to discern the virgins? Good question, but you know how dreams are. Little details vanish from one’s memory banks, waiting for the reappear at the right jolt.
Regrettably, although I searched everywhere, still I could discover neither hide nor hair of certain goody-goody-two-shoe politicians I’d just naturally assumed inhabited the same address as Mother Theresa and Gladys, Elvis’s sainted mom. No one was prepared to reveal their whereabouts, quite understandably. With countless virtuoso virgin harpists in the vicinity, who knew whether the gentlemen I sought had been assigned to protect their pristine quarters from slippery horny newcomers?
I seemed to recall being in deep conversation with a white-robed gentleman with a silver beard that reminded me of the Kentucky Fried Chicken guy, something about the solution to the economic mess currently threatening the Rock of Sages. If memory serves, he talked quite a bit about a certain son of a preacher man . . . although I admit, with all the background harp music, I may have misheard him. Perhaps what he actually said was the “son of a plantation man,” not preacher man.
Regrettably, Nicole’s early morning call put an end to my economy-related tête-à-tête with the Colonel Sanders lookalike. Not that I understood what Nicole was trying to tell me. In my confused state I couldn’t even say for sure that was my prized editor on the phone or whether I imagined her deep concern at being BB blasted with news of my passing without a chance to say a final ta-ta.
But then my earlier experience had seemed so real. What if I had in fact died before my time, that there was more to Nicole’s call than I understood, that the long and the short of it was that I’d been sent back to complete something I’d started? That sort of thing happened all the time in the movies.
Finally, I have to admit resurrection is pretty cool. Dreamed up or real. But I’ll also tell you that, given the choice, I’d much rather stay just where I am for a whole lot longer. In any event, what to make of a place where everyone you bump into is a harp-playing, cherry-freak virgin? In my most humble opinion that’s a place not nearly as exciting as it looks on paper!