His hand slowly grasped mine and I tried to pull away.
“Come.” He said in a deep, dark voice.
“I’m not ready, dammit!” I shouted in response.
The feeling of his hand made everything in me quit. He pulled harder and slowly dragged me with him.
“Why?” I barely got the question through my lips when he had already started speaking.
“The time is right.” His response echoed in a higher pitch.
“But.. Why?” I slowly slipped out.
“All in good time, mortal.” He told me.
I was out of energy, no longer capable of speaking, I decided to listen. As he dragged me lifeless feeling body.
“I am the afterlife” he spoke.
“Death?” I thought to myself.
“No, not death. I am neither life or death, I am the in between.” he spoke as if to respond to my question. “When people die, they don’t actually die. While their physical form appears to have ‘died’ their mental being, their soul, lives on.” He continued.
“What’s the point?” I thought hoping he would respond.
“Technically no religion is wrong. However at the same time none of them are right. There is no God, no all powerful. They are right when it comes to what happens after life, though.” To acknowledged my thoughts. “Some people go to ‘heaven’ through death, the final form. Some go back into the world reincarnated, through life. And some sit in a black abyss, through me.” He finished.
“So I’m going to-” I started
“No. You go where I say. I decide. I decide where, and how.” He cut me off seemingly upset. “Where do you want to go?” He asked, in a testing way.
“I would like to go to heaven.” I replied.
“Why?” He added emphasis.
“Because I’ve always been a devoted Christian.” I replied in thought, proudly.
“I don’t care.” He said.
“Than what will you do with me?” I thought
“We’re going to Life. You will be reincarnated.” He finished.
I could no longer think. He stopped abruptly, it was still dark and I couldn’t see anything at all.
“Make him different.” He said in the same dark, deep tone as before.
I couldn’t see the other being, but I heard him move. Without notice I had another hand grabbing me and the original hand let go. I felt the sensation of falling, then..
After what seemed like an eternity, I could see again, only nothing was the same as before, I could no longer remember who or what I used to be but now I know that I am. I quickly discover my infant limbs.
“I’m a baby?” I thought to myself in what felt like an unfamiliar voice. I heard what sounded like footsteps coming up a flight of stairs.
The door nearest the crib I found myself in, opened and in came a woman that I felt attached to instantly. In her caring, but tired voice she murmured, “you hungry, John?” to which my only potential option, since she couldn’t understand me, was to reach out. She picked me up and sat down with me in her lap and unbuttoned her shirt. I got excited for some reason. Association or muscle memory I knew what to do. “This being my first memory will be weird” I thought to myself in that same unfamiliar voice.
Things seemed to speed up and suddenly I knew more about myself and life. I was a 13 year old boy name John Smith. Most would consider me weird and only a few would have the guts to say they’re my friend, for fear of being beat. The year is currently 1988 and I am in the 7th grade. Other than that I’m a little hazy.
Early one morning my mother, woke me up for school. Dreading every moment to come i crept out of bed and got myself ready. Upon arrival I remembered exactly what I was anticipating. The daily beating I’d received since I was 8. My mother knew.. Why didn’t she stop it? The physical torrent was only half of my battle. The names they called me always seemed to hurt just as badly as the punches.
1991, the year I turned 16, I could finally drive. Get out of this shit ass town and away from the shitty people of Oakmont, Iowa. I get into the car as a red truck pulls up in front of my driveway. A group of guys all wearing sports jackets all get out and start walking towards me. I honk, to try and avoid what I know is coming. Despite my efforts to run after the honk, I was caught and dragged out of my house. Two of the guys held me down to the curb and a third grabs and holds my jaw open over the curb. Their ring leader douche bag then proceeds to drop his heavy boot on the back of my head, breaking my jaw, and most of my teeth. The act also cracked my skull open.
This was it.. I could feel my life slowly slipping away.. That’s where my life ended. 16 years old and murdered. I bled out just outside of my house. My mom being a nurse wold have helped if she wasn’t at the hospital.
I suddenly remember everything. Being a Christian, dying, coming to what seemed like the same place as before. I was prepared.
“Welcome back.” The deep, dark voice said.
“You don’t have to drag me this time.” I replied.
“As long as you come, we may talk.” He told me as we started our way what I thought was a tunnel, I wasn’t sure. “Where do you want to go?” He added.
“The black abyss.” I told him, blankly.
“Why?” He asked.
“To avoid the failures of humanity. To not endure any more pain.” I told him.
“Then to the black abyss you may go.” He told me as his presence seemed to fade.
There I was, I couldn’t see, or feel. The black abyss.
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While working today, I fell head-first into a romantic fantasy (a PG one, mind you) involving a woman with whom I’ve recently been infatuated. (By the way, as you can see with the previous sentence and the title, I’m trying to do my best to not end any of my sentences with a preposition!) Naturally, I could not focus at all for a good while, so I took a lunch break–not only to eat, but also for my favorite pastime: overanalyzing my life to death.
Let’s call this particular woman Oakmont. On this lunch break, I was specifically wondering why my dreams only involved her. To solve this problem, I tried to recall my vast history of lovestruck daydreaming in order to find any patterns that stuck out. This got me nowhere for a while: there was too much data I had to deal with, too much complexity. I was fumbling around in my mind and narrowed my thoughts to this dichotomy: (1) Do I enjoy romantic daydreaming and then simply choose a woman (e.g. Oakmont) to think about? or (2) Is there a woman (e.g. Oakmont) who stands out and then inspires the enjoyment in romantic daydreaming?
To answer this question, I tried to remember instances when I had no interest at all to love-dream. And I found an abundance of times when I was not particularly busy and yet was completely indifferent to recreational love-dreaming. So (1) in the dichotomy above was proven false; love-dreaming possesses no inherent value to me–a woman must inspire it.
This realization helped me gain credence in idea (2), so I then began to think about what made a woman stand out to me. Bam. Just like that, I had a lightbulb moment. There were two conditions that had to be met for me to start mentally fawning over someone.
I must find her attractive. [Note: When I say attractive, I considerably take personality into account; I’m not a totally shallow jerk.]
I must have a shot with her.
This sounds super obvious! And in fact, most philosophical realizations tend to be super obvious when made, but this was quite revolutionary when I discovered it because the criteria explained so much. Let me explain.
There’s another female friend of mine: let’s call her Fiskdale. In general, I definitely perceive I have a shot with her, but I’m not attracted to her one bit. So I normally don’t love-dream about her ever. However, for ten seconds when we were hanging out together, I thought she was an exemplar of callitude. And for those ten seconds, I thought about going on a date with her. But immediately after that duration elapsed, something inside me abruptly found her unattractive again and the fantasy ceased.
There’s another woman: let’s call her Penfield. Quite cute and very nice. But she lives all the way on the other side of campus (a spot, it suffices to say, I rarely visit), studies a major completely unrelated to mine, and I see her once a year. I don’t even have a chance of befriending her let alone pursuing a relationship with her, so I don’t bother exerting whatever limited thinking capacity I have on daydreams revolving around her.
But Oakmont. Oakmont is gorgeous, but not too beautiful to be out of my league and (seemingly at least; I don’t know her quite well) overwhelmingly kind. She lives extremely close to me, and I see her twice a week. If I were to invent a metric to calculate a woman’s score based on attractiveness and I-have-a-shot-ness, Oakmont would rank first. And that’s why she captures my imagination so fully. She’s the prettiest woman with whom I have a shot.
A quick Wikipedia check would verify that my two criteria do blend hypotheses articulated by psychologists and social scientists regarding relationship formation (e.g. the matching hypothesis where people tend to fall in love with others of approximately similar attractiveness to minimize chance of rejection [which factors into both my attraction and shot-ness criteria], the propinquity effect where people who see each other more often have a higher probability of forming a relationship together [which factors into both…but more into ‘shot-ness’], etc.).
Alas, I should head back to work. I sped off to my laptop to jot these thoughts down before I forgot their details. It felt great to rationalize all this, to peer into who I am and why I do what I do. I hope it helps any of you guys/gals with similar concerns and questions. As always, feel free to present your thoughts on the matter.
I’m counting down the hours until 2014 and going back through all my photos from this year. My favorites are of the new golf courses I got to play - Laurel Valley, Oakmont and Maidstone. My favorites of the golf courses I played before - Stanwich, Bayonne and Bethpage Black. Cheers to another great year on the course!
Today I was just driving down the street in my town and all of a sudden…BOOM 12 trailors parked on the side of the road. Apparently The Fault in Our Stars is being filmed in my town. JOHN GREEN IS IN MY TOWN