The next life (as told in spite of my own Catholic virtues):
"Hello, hello, s there anyone out there? Hello. Is this really the end of the world? Hello?"
This sucks. I never said goodbye to the people I don't like. How could I have forgotten about Dec. 21 in this year of our Mayan lord? Is this hell?
The world blows up and I'm on the phone, with, of all people, an insurance agent, renegotiating a rate. I have a smile on my face as I walk through the rubble of hell, thinking "I saved $48 on my car insurance because of good behavior."
Well, while I'm down here, I may as well address some of the people I've had issue with and then I can forgive them, for they know not what they did.
Now where is that 13-year-old who dumped me for an older man in 1970?
I'm not going to just look her up. I'm going to demand an answer: "Why did you break my fragile heart, you unfeeling little tramp?"
"He was 15 and still years away from my maturity and wisdom. You were both so shallow to think that football star and cool chicks meant something in real life. There, I said it. I wanted to call him out too and never did. Where is he? I know he's down here somewhere."
There was that guy at the deli who hired me because my dad needed a favor. He treated me like a piece of lunch meat for $1.25 an hour. I hated that first responsibility I was forced into, and I wished bad things on that man. But I needed the job to pay for the liquor we stole from my friend's wedding. (My dad and mom were not happy about the bottle of Jack gone missing.)
That deli manager did not treat us fairly, but we all made up for his behavior. Did you know that there are 26 slices of white bread delivered in those plastic bags? Not at this deli. Two slices were always missing. (Oh, I'm spewing too much information. Maybe I don't need to run into him.)
How about that witch of an associate professor who kicked me out of class when I got caught cheating on her stupid test? It's one thing to get caught cheating, but did she really need to embarrass me in front of all those community college students? Off all things, a typing class. I still hate her for that. That woman has to be here in hell. Hello, Ms. Crabbyapple, where are you?
I know one guy I need to talk to. Let me look around. "Hey Tommy, where is you? About you putting sugar in my gas tank because I went out with your girlfriend. It wasn't a date. She wanted to talk about what a jerk you were. You owe me an apology. Show your face, you little creep. Come on man, that wasn't necessary."
Neither one of us ever saw her again and I wound up with cylinder damage in my 1967 Mercury Monterey. He deserves to rot in hell for that little escapade. (Oh, forgiveness, sorry.)
One example after another pops into my mind and I can't find anybody to vent to. Surely, the Mayans haven't designated this place just for me. This has to be a nightmare. "Hello? Anybody out there?"
I wake up in a cold sweat. I realize I was making excuses for everything bad that ever happened to me and even some of the bad things I was "coerced" to be part of.
I said a prayer to the pagan gods: "Oh thou holy miniature stone statuettes, I promise never to doubt your genius again, even though your calendar turned out to be stupid. Further, I humbly thank you for showing me a little vision of my own sorry life. Now, thou holy ones, get out of my way as I needith to sermonize with some who need forgiveness before the next prophecy rolls around. Amen."
Greg Ziccardi can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.