She would like to talk to him but he is on the sofa learning about Jesus. She misses him but she is dead to him. The reasons are typical.
The boy has had nightmares two nights in a row. He twists in his sleep, cries out. “Oh god! No!” She cannot soothe the boy. When he was newborn he would wail and she wasn’t there she was invisible she was insufficient she was not his mother she was a shadow on the wall.
There is this altar. This altar is made of sand. The waves laugh the waves roar the waves wash so much away. At the end of the day nothing is left. That is not true. There are cries, the cries of the gulls. The gulls are not ghosts but they might as well be.
Karli was not without sin. She masturbated often, fueled her lust with fantasies involving various friends and acquaintances, spent a small fortune on vibrators and batteries. Also, Karli verbally abused her dog (a poodle)…Taylor Swift. Whenever Taylor Swift was not swift enough to bring Karli the latest issue of US Weekly, Karli would scream,”You lazy little bitch! Bring me my goddamn celebrity news! Fuck! You can be replaced, ass hat!” Too, Karli did not vote but she still complained. Yeah, Karli was a real shoddy piece of work. Well, one day she died. She ate a peanut butter sandwich by mistake. She thought it was tuna. An angel appeared. The angel looked a whole helluva lot like Anderson Cooper. Solemn. Intense, even. Brilliant blue eyes. A mouth made for hungry kissing. The angel was naked but sexless. Karli noticed but didn’t mind. Weird. Suddenly, the human penis no longer mattered or even occurred to Karli. Freedom! The angel spoke.
“Karli, you are dead. Do not freak out. I’m taking you to Heaven. Jesus made a mansion for you last year. I think you’ll be pleased.”
There was a gate. It was made out of gleaming jewels. The angel sang a command and the gate opened with majestic grace. Karli saw thousands if not millions of angels, shining, singing, beating their glorious translucent wings in sync, their arms reaching up in ecstasy, their eyes looking up at a light brighter than the sun. Karli listened hard. Holy holy holiest of holies. Precious lamb. How great thou art. Most amazing. Astounding. We thank thee we praise thee we bow we love we worship and adore thee.
“Karli, as you can see, only bliss exists here. Here in Heaven there is no ennui, no mediocrity, no maybe, no muddle. We are all one exuberant mass of light, never to be dimmed. Now I shall show you your mansion. It is made of onyx and ivory with amethysts on the roof. You will be pleased. Oh. Wait. Change of plans. Just got word from God that there is a problem with the plumbing. He wants me to show you Hell. Just a tour, don’t worry.”
Leaving Heaven to tour Hell felt like leaving college to look for a job and ending up at the Bluebonnet Cafe in Kerrville, Texas, waiting tables at three a.m. Karli grimaced. For the first time since dying Karli wished she was back in her bed in the Section 8 apartment in San Antonio.
Hell did not have a gate. It was a cave. The cave was filled with fire. Millions if not billions of souls were burning, screaming, tearing out their hair, eating their flesh, vomiting, eating some more.
“Souls have hair? And flesh? Souls vomit? Souls eat? Weird fucking shit, not at all what I expected,” Karli muttered.
“God tells me there’s been a mix-up. This sort of thing is happening on a much more frequent basis, since the invention of the internet. Sorry. You’ve been assigned to Hell, Karli,” the angel said. The angel’s face looked more intense and beautiful than ever. Karli shivered and shuddered and shit. There was no toilet paper.
“Please tell God to give me one more chance. I’ll stop playing with myself. I’ll stop having perverted, fruitless fantasies that will never result in babies being born. I’ll stop verbally abusing Taylor Swift. I’ll stop subscribing to US Weekly. I’ll recycle. I’ll save the dolphins and the rainforests. I’ll stop buying cheap whiskey. I’ll get off disability and get a job at Burger King or Ross Dress For Less. I’ll vote! Republican! Okay, goddamn it. I’ll join a Baptist church! I’ll tithe! I won’t eat any more fried chicken!”
“Okay, Karli. But if I take you back to your body and your wretched life, you must promise to get an agent and write your story and sell the movie rights to Kirk Cameron so that others will be saved. God does not want his children to suffer for all eternity in this cave. They must be warned.”
“Yeah. Okay. I’ll find an agent at Craig’s List and spread the fucking word.”
The vanilla cake with buttercream frosting was fucking flawless. Howard was not flawless but he looked clean. Angela was not flawless but she looked presentable. So yeah Angela was pregnant but what of it? Shit happens. The popular love swoon of the day played and they danced, Howard and Angela, and 213 guests watched. The other two guests, Larry and Lisa, were still sitting in the last pew in the chapel, sharing a joint. It was great shit.
What corolla have you hidden your thumbs in?
Muzzle and handcuff love
you keep me from counting the days.
But the nights, there isn’t one you don’t speckle.
A tidal wave is washing the houses.
Right now they’re blue.
Mountain ridges where memory is cut in two;
each side going limp
spattering my eyes with orange.
God’s name is a well-polished copper plate
on the gate of heaven,
but wipe your hands before praying.
Tom Cruise married to Little Orphan Annie.
Shirley Temple married to Axl Rose.
Andy Warhol lives in MTV beach house with Scarlett O’Hara, Jessica Wakefield, Robert Plant, Judge Judy, James Dean, Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly and Marilyn Monroe.
Oliver Stone owns pizza shop- employees include Jim Morrison, Leonardo DiCaprio, Peter Pan and Yoko Ono. Yoko Ono hooks up with Snow White. Snow White works across the street at Damn Good Donuts.
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