I made a visit to Heaven the other day. I ran into Kurt Cobain. I would not have predicted that he would be the first dead soul I would meet, but there he was, grungy as ever. “What’s it like here?” I asked.
“My heaven is a concert where I’m the rock star.”
I looked at him suspiciously.“You could have done that down there, you know. We all loved you.”
“You guys don’t know what love is. I didn’t know what love was until I came here. I killed myself because I didn’t know what love was.” He was playing with his guitar as he said this.
“What is love?” I asked.
“That’s the problem, right there. You guys keep doing this thing where you think your symbols, your words mean something. Your words are only pointing to a meaning, they are not the thing itself. Love is not the word love. It’s a feeling that cannot be captured with a few letters.” It seemed like he was singing that to me. Those words.
“What is it then?” I was puzzled.
“It’s not just a feeling, it encompasses all that is, it is an energy, it cannot be put into words. You are love, can you find a word that encompasses all that you are? Love is like that, it is complex and real.”
I felt something, like nothing I had ever felt before. I mean I’ve loved on earth, I’ve been in love, I love all the time. But this was different. The love in life seems like small love. This was big love. This was the Olympics of love.
I turned around and Kurt was gone. And there was my grandfather, dressed immaculately as usual. There was his brilliant smile and perfect turban. “I was waiting for you,” he said and held me. He always spoke better English than I did, he spoke British English. He held me so close I thought I would merge into his being. “You know you were always my favorite granddaughter,” he said and tears formed in my eyes. No don’t say that. Stop saying that. “You are the one,” he continued. “The one I had hope for.”
“I’m just me though…what kind of hope? For what?”
“That you would come here on your own.” He stroked his beard.
“I’m here, what shall I do?”
“Everyone in your world is so obsessed with doing. Just be. For a moment just be.” He stared at me. He looked through me, at me in a way no one has ever looked at me before. He saw me. “You know why I was so sick at the end of my life, and could not get out of bed?”
“I’m so sorry that happened to you,” I said.
“No, you are wrong to be sorry. I was free finally, at the end of my life. I thought I had to do and do and that doing things were a requirement of existing. That my self-worth was based on what I did. It was the only time I sat with myself quietly and realized I am worth something just for existing.”
I turned my head as he disappeared and someone was tapping me on my shoulder. Oh my god, it was her. No is it her? I had dreams about her. “I thought you would never come,” Jackie said to me in a soft voice. My best friend from childhood. The girl who lived across the street was standing across from me.
She looked good, I mean not just for a dead person, she actually looked good. She was always too thin, and her brown hair was so shiny. “I’m sorry…” I blurted out between tears. “I’m sorry I couldn’t be there for you.”
Jackie had come to me when were eighteen and asked if she could stay with me because her step mom had kicked her out. I said no. I had reasons…I won’t go over them now, but I had legitimate reasons she could not stay with me and my family at that time. She said to me back then, “I guess this is when you know who your real friends are.” We never spoke again.
“You never forgave yourself, did you?” she asked. “I forgave you a long time ago.”
“But I didn’t know you would go on to die…” I wanted to ask her how she died in her late twenties. I had visions of her being on drugs or getting AIDS since her mom had died when we were kids of alcoholism.
“You didn’t kill me…” I thought I knew that. But then again, I thought my rejection my words maybe made her kill herself years later, or turn to drugs. “It’s not your fault. You and I were in heaven when we were kids. Childhood can be heaven for some. Hell for others. When I was with you I was happy, even though my mother was slowly deteriorating on to her own death. You were my only heaven.”
“But I never tried to call you again, or find out how you were…” Tears shot down my eyes.
“Forgive yourself. Forgive yourself for everything. Forgive yourself for not being perfect. Forgive yourself for making mistakes.” She smiled, I recognized that smile with her somewhat crooked front tooth.
“But I don’t know why I am such a stupid idiot sometimes…” I just blurted it out.
“When you come here you realize, we are all idiots. We never even gave ourselves a chance to be happy.” Jackie disappeared. And as she said that I felt something. I guess I would classify it as happiness, but it was more like bliss, maybe this is Nirvana. Where was Kurt Cobain when you needed him? I looked around. Then I heard him singing in the sunlight: “All I know is all we are…all I know is all we are…”
And then there he was standing there, with his hair standing up. I had a picture of him in my bedroom. A picture of him saying something about god. “Is that really you?” He is not really the person I would have chosen to meet with, if I actually had the choice. I mean he was an icon. It was actually Einstein. Are you kidding me, that is so cheesy to meet Einstein in heaven. Of all people. I didn’t study math or science enough to really understand what E=mc squared really means.
“I’m not here to give you a physics lesson…” he said rather quietly. “We don’t have time for that.”
“What is time?” I thought he’d be the right guy to ask.
“Everything is happening right now.”
“Yeah I never really got that.”
“When you are in human form it is a concept beyond your comprehension.” As he said that something happened to me. I felt it all, all of it. All of my life in one moment. My life was actually passing before my eyes, I relived it all in one micro-second. It all happened instantaneously. “You are still a child, and adult and a pesky teenager, all at the same time,” Einstein shook his head.
“You are my dad’s hero,” I said and looked at him closely. Why was I meeting him if my dad was the real person he should meet with? My father thought calculus held the meaning of life.
“No, actually you are his hero.” He said it so definitively. My dad, my dad was disappointed in me, wasn’t he? He was disappointed that I didn’t become a doctor or a lawyer, or even a famous author. He was disappointed that I was just a regular person trying to survive by living her dream of writing.
“He would rather sit down with you and a cup of chai, more than he would want to sit with anyone in this universe. If he had a choice, he would pick you.” I didn’t realize that I make my dad chai every morning and we chat. I didn’t realize that was love.
“I was wrong…” Einstein said to me in almost a whisper.
“You are Einstein I doubt you were that wrong about anything.”
“Relativity. There is no relativity here. It’s only in the universe. We are standing in the realm of the absolute. Everything is absolutely what it is here.” I started losing him here. What the hell was he talking about?
“Are we not in the universe?”
“I was wrong about that too, we are outside the universe in a place the universe does not understand. You see I thought it was important for us to get to the moon, but it was more important for us to get here. Tell your dad that. The secret of the universe is there is something better than all the laws that govern you.” And he stood up and flew away.
I realized there was no law of gravity where we were. And I was the most me I will ever be. I was real. I got it, this is the realm of the absolute. I was absolutely me.
And there he was. Oz himself. I didn’t want to look, I didn’t want to be disappointed. Could god disappoint me? Is it even in the realm of possibilities that I could not be impressed by this guy of all guys.
First of all, he wasn’t a guy. I can’t explain this, but she wasn’t a girl either. This energy emitted from her/him that was both male and female. For a moment I didn’t have a gender either, I felt like I was all there was about man and woman, I was all of that wrapped up in one. I have never felt this whole. This loved. This happy.
“You should go back,” this entity didn’t say it, it was something I felt. We spoke in silence. I can’t explain this but he didn’t look like anything, but he was something. I felt him, I didn’t see him. I knew him. I was him.
“I don’t know if I want to go back,” I spoke in the same silent language that she did. This goddess was more profound than I could ever imagine.
“You have things to tell them, show them,” she spoke with the most beautiful non-voice I had ever heard.
“I, I, I don’t want to. I’m tired of them. I’m tired of it all,” I whined.
“It’s not over yet, your journey. But everything will be OK.” It was so calm the way he spoke.
“What am I in jail? Am I doing time? Is this a punishment? This…this life?
“No it is your gift to me,” it said.
“What do you mean. I thought you were the one who gave us all the shit.” I was frustrated. I wanted to stay.
“You are doing this for me, now go finish,” he said in a sweet tone.
“What am I doing for you? I’m suffering down there. Nirvana is not alive down there.”
“You are down there. You are everything.” That’s the only way I can put into words the feeling he was giving me.
“Yes Everything.” With a capital E.
For one moment I was everything. Me and this god person/entity were one.
I was you. I was me. I was that table that you are sitting at. I was everywhere and nowhere.
I came back down here to tell you this. To tell you I don’t know anything. But I know everything and so do you.
I know you. I am you.
*THIS IS A WORK OF FICTION: Any resemblance to any real individual living or dead is not a coincidence. So sue me.