Liquid Ink

The official website of Gint Aras, Finalist 2016 CWA Book Award

Happy Ending

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I’ve come to a realization. There is a massive group of people living in the United States who believe not only in an afterlife but in one that mimics culminations or resolutions of plots they have learned by watching television. This is noteworthy. There are people in American workplaces who seem to be regular and normal but in fact are completely insane.

Let’s pretend you get hit by a garbage truck later on today, and your body ends up smeared all over the cement of your alley. You’re dead. You won’t feel any shame. Yes, it’s embarrassing, perhaps, to end up inside a garbage truck’s container—you’d have to conclude, were you in that predicament, that you’re garbage. But death is not embarrassing, not to the dead. The dead do not write confessions of shame in fucking McCall’s.

The dead, if there is an afterlife, end up someplace where we cannot find them. That place is identical to the place they were before they were born. If it exists the same way snot or shit exists, we’ll never get to it unless we die and find ourselves in heaven’s sewage system. Think about this: you have more access to shit and snot than you do to the afterlife. That is not an insane point of view. If you believe in shit but not in the afterlife, you can be sure you are quite sane. Reverse it, believe in the afterlife but not in shit and send yourself straight to the nearest bin.

Let’s pretend, just for the sake of philosophical engagement, that the afterlife is euphoric. It’s a constant rush of dopamine, a never-ending orgasm, an absinthe enema, a joint of Super Lemon Haze, and a massage from good Miss Mary, topless, all rolled into one. Fair enough. That’s an amazing thing to long for. However, that’s not what happens at the end of an episode of Friends. The ending of your average episode of CSI is substantially less interesting than a massage from good Miss Mary.

So please, believe in your euphoric bliss if you want. Be insane. It’s your right, after all. But please do not confuse euphoria with the resolution of an average episode of Three’s Company. Just because Jack Tripper and Larry meet hot chicks does not mean that the afterlife exists; even if it did, that afterlife probably would be very different from Jack Tripper’s orgasm.

You should note, however, and do this the next time you take a crap, that Jack Tripper is a fictitious character. Your crap is not, even if it starts talking to you and telling you: “You owe Gint Aras $624.”

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