Hors d’oeuvre afterlife
With all the discussions I have with my friends, the subject of death virtually never comes up. Why should it? We are all young, alive, ambitious, and filled with naïve hopes and dreams. The idea that one day any of us will be pushing up daisies never enters our minds. Why waste time thinking about our mortality?
Once in a blue moon I think about death. I think about what happens to me — whatever makes my essence. Does my essence simply dissolve when I finally pass away? Perhaps it’s a tad morbid, however, during the course of living out life if someone asks oneself what could happen when you finally depart.
If you go to religion for guidance on mortality, there is a veritable buffet of explanation and parable explaining the process of death. Any religion calms your fear of death by telling you about a benevolent deity or deities that have ultimate stewardship of your soul, most of the time under the pain of punishment if you are an immoral person, and if you are good you get to go to a fantastic heaven or utopia and stay there forever. Be good now while you are alive and you get a Lexus in heaven and a date with a sober Whitney Houston. Be bad now and you get a date with crack head Whitney Houston in a lake of fire.
As a person who has studied other people’s ideas of utopias like Utopia, Looking Backwards, A Brave New World, or The Bible, I find this disturbing. Can someone have pleasure forever? Can someone be happy for all eternity? Think about it for a second, the idea of heaven is a utopia, a fantasy, and usually one person’s fantasy of the sublime is another person’s reality of misery. One person’s heaven is another person’s hell. Not that I think religion is totally awful, my point being is that I just don’t like people who think they have a monopoly on the truth and claim to be more moral or benevolent than I am. The fact that I choose to care about my fellow human being doesn’t need the carrot and stick approach with a redeemable rebate slip into someone else’s fantasy.
I have my own fantasies that are far more entertaining – my own personal utopia.
There is a scientific idea discovered by Antoine Lavoisier called the Conservation of Mass. Simply stated mass within a contained system like a universe or a soda bottle cannot be created nor destroyed, it can only be transformed. Within this framework I believe I will die, but I will probably become something else.
When I die, I think I could become anything. I could be a cup, a dog, a sheet of paper, gasoline, another person, a blade of grass, or a chess piece. Not a totally terrible deal, right?
If there’s something that controls all of this (I doubt it) I have a personal request. I want to die and become a block of cheese. That’s right, pepper jack cheese. I don’t want to be crappy American cheese with its mild flavor (no flavor is not mild flavor), I want to be a savory block of cheese chock full of jalapenos or other flavorful peppers and aged to perfection. I want to be diced uniformly and have a ton of toothpicks in me to make the snacking easier.
My dear friend Joe would be converted into ice cubes- presumably keeping some vanilla flavored rum cold (please make it again Bacardi). As the incredible crooner Frank Sinatra said about parties — the key to a successful party is plenty of ice.
I wish to be served at a grand ole party, a party that lasts three or four days. Music blasting, people laughing, people making out, people looking for an empty private room to do more than making out, someone throwing up in a toilet, a giant barbecue going on in the backyard, and so much more- this party better be epic. Women will come by, look at me, and say oh is this pepper jack cheese. They get giddy and start to eat and digest me and a few hours later they will try not to throw me up because they had no idea how three Jager bombs and a few pieces of cheese in her stomach are a recipe for disaster.
What contract do I need to sign to make this happen?