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Circumstances - 7. Rest

A man wakes up in a very unexpected place.

He’d made it to Heaven. He didn’t believe in Heaven, and now he was here. And he was going to stay for longer than he could possibly ever imagine. And Heaven was a garden though perhaps a more formal one than Adam and Eve had enjoyed. He hadn’t believed in them, either. But he was no better dressed than they’d been, and he was – how could he explain this – aroused.

There was no one to explain why. Just as there’d been no one to explain where he was. One moment, he was water skiing, and the next, he was in this garden. But it didn’t take long to figure out where he was and why. He’d walked the wide green lawns for a while then sat by a stream, letting the water lap his feet. Considering how he gotten to Heaven, he’d have thought he’d had more than enough of water, but it felt comforting.

It was always daytime in Heaven, sunny and warm. He was always content. There were no fish in the stream. There were no bugs or birds. There were no wild animals.

Occasionally, he’d see someone in the distance, or a group of people. Sometimes, he’d wander toward them, but when he got to where they’d been, they’d be gone. Occasionally, he’d see someone with a dog, or a cat, or a horse. There might have been smaller pets, too, but he was too far away to see. And he could never get near.

He thought maybe this was Hell, but he was too happy. He wondered why he was aroused, but he almost always had been, so this was nothing new. But there’d been clothes before. Still, he thought, if you’re aroused and naked with no one to see, what does it matter? Maybe in Heaven everyone was that way.

He’d tried the usual solution, but it didn’t work. Then it never had. But he’d felt the usual pleasure, the high, then he was simply happy again.

He wandered. He slept when he wanted to, but it didn’t seem necessary, and he never knew for how long. He ate fruit, also without urgency, and it didn’t have the usual result. Heaven was spotless. He swam in the streams, skipped stones, and climbed trees. Whenever he felt like it, he made himself high and thought that’s why people might always be aroused.

He was always happy. He was always curious. And he could never tell if he’d been somewhere in Heaven before because it all seemed beautifully the same. He wondered if there was something within him that just wanted this kind of Heaven. If other people got grit.

He decided that some people were in groups because they were happiest that way. He wondered if people wanted you in their group but if you wanted to be somewhere else if there were multiple versions of you in Heaven. He wondered which was the right you, and if one could ever meet the others. He decided this was too complicated to consider, but he did wonder if he really concentrated on meeting someone, if that could happen.

He wondered who he’d want to meet. Someone important in his lifetime? Someone famous before that? Maybe someone who was going to be considered “The Best” in the future. Then he thought if he really did make that person appear and this person arrived naked, would he really want to think of that person that way? And he wondered how people traveling in groups in Heaven got past that part.

He decided to try something simpler. He tried to conjure a childhood pet, a dog who’d been there when he was born and who died when he was seven or eight. He’d mindlessly loved the dog, and he worked very hard at remembering him, imagining him, wanting this dog to be with him. Eventually, the dog was.

And the dog seemed happy. And he’d wondered if he’d tried to conjure an unhappy dog, would the dog suddenly turn happy in Heaven? But why would anyone want an unhappy dog?

And he thought, what if you’d been an unhappy person? What if you’d been a good but unhappy person who’d simply deserved Heaven, and you got there and wanted the dog you’d been miserable with? When it got there, would you both turn happy?

He decided if you could conjure a dog, surely you could conjure happiness, so why couldn’t he conjure away arousal? He tried, then figured, “Wait a minute. I like being aroused. Why would I make that go away?”

He was sure he could, just as he supposed he could make the dog disappear. But he didn’t want to. He was happy wandering through eternity with his dog.

At some point, he wondered what it would be like to have another person with him. He wondered what it would be like to catch up with an old friend. But what would they catch up on? All the things that had happened after he’d died? What then? They couldn’t make new memories. “Remember when we picked up those two women in Heaven?” Or could they? Maybe they could just wander.

He thought of the pleasure of making love again and remembered that’s why he was always aroused. Then he remembered the complications, and just thought, “Nah.” That’s probably why he’d appeared alone in Heaven. He was simply meant to be that way. He was happiest.

But he wondered if the dog wanted company. The dog seemed happy just to have him. His attention. His affection. If the dog wanted a companion in Heaven, he could conjure one himself. In fact, there was a chance that other versions of the dog were running happily in Heaven with other dogs, other people, or just alone. The man didn’t think so, but he really didn’t want to know.

2019 by Richard Eisbrouch
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