Monday, May 30, 2011

The Vast Indifference Of Heaven

I always try and arrive at a destination at least fifteen minutes ahead of whatever time is listed on the invitation, screen, or e-mail. This gives me time to poke around enough to be sure of my surroundings. I don't like the idea of getting somewhere and finding that the front door is locked, only to discover, after several minutes of lurking about that the side entrance has been propped open and there's a big sign that says, "Please use this door."
This is how I feel about the afterlife. There is an old Irish blessing that wishes that you should arrive in Heaven half an hour before the Devil knows you're dead. That's pretty generous, considering my timeline. I expect that if I really am going to spend eternity somewhere that I will have time to become familiar with my surroundings. But that doesn't keep me from wanting to peek ahead, just a little bit. Like practicing the route to the bus station. If I know where it is, then I can rest easy in the days before my scheduled departure. Paradise, Purgatory, or and of the various levels of Damnation are no different to me, perhaps because it seems like the whole game feels rigged.
As I have written here before, I don't have very high expectations of my acceptance beyond the Pearly Gates. I expect that any sort of God or God Committee will be far too busy to go over my application personally. There are far too many innocent bystanders to sort out, and I am just hoping to catch up with a few souls who left ahead of me. And when that party is over, as David Byrne suggests, it will start again. "It will not be any different, it will be exactly the same." I'm in no rush to get to that party just now, but I hope I can find it when it's time.

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