There was an amnesty declared, once the government proved that God was real and gave him an honorary position with a cushy salary and a private plane courtesy of the American taxpayers.
In gratitude, God said everyone who had died in the past ten years could come back and have another chance. At first, the late night talk shows had a field day with concerned callers saying they didn't want people like killers and rude relatives to come back. And people who died slowly and painfully shouldn't have to come back and be sick again.
But God said that it wouldn't be an amnesty if it was horrible. Only the best people came back. If you were only a good or mediocre person you could come back but you'd be better.
I managed to have lunch with a guy I knew in high school and after I sat down across from him with my tuna sandwich, chips and Snapple, I suddenly couldn't eat 'cause I was crying.
My friend still had his fucked up punk haircut (I think he cut it himself) with a ponytail and the sides shaved real short. He had a smirk on his face like he always did when he found things funny and I guess tears on tuna fish is funny.
But even when he helped himself to my chips, I couldn't get over the fact that I heard that he was found underneath his bed, his hands curled up on his chest like claws. Turned out the migraines he'd been having for weeks were because of a ruptured blood vessel in his head.
I remembered that one of his other friends choked up at his funeral while putting a lighter on his chest to be buried with him. I didn't want to ask if he was able to bring the lighter back with him when amnesty was declared.
"James," I said, folding the wax paper back over my untouched sandwich. "What was it like, being dead?"
"Why do you want to know?" he asked. He started to light up and I had to tell him there was no smoking in any restaurants in California.
"I would think that it would be obvious why I wanted to know," I said. "I don't want to die. I can't be sure God will keep giving amnesty, you know? When I go down, it might be for good."
James shrugged. "Could be."
"I hope they keep the perks coming for God for as long as they can. I don't mind the higher taxes, considering the benefits."
"So what have you been up to?" he asked me.
"Not much," I said, "but thanks for asking. Time just keeps going by."
"Not always," he said. "I'm gonna go outside and smoke."
His leather jacket creaked as he left his chair. He still looked seventeen. He'd probably still listen to Skinny Puppy.
Damn. Skinny Puppy and Ogre. The world is full of surprises.
1. today is nice
3. happy yesterdays
8. thanks for hosting
4. doing other things
(Proof that I am the only one reading.)