By Patrick Alcatraz
WEST FORT WORTH, Texas - It is true: There is something to be said for the fizz in a Coca-Cola, as there is something to be said for the uniqueness of the onion in a hamburger. Most of the time, I find my little pleasures in romance, yet even I have to admit that there are a few aspects of Life that rest comfortably on me. My friends know of my battles with humans, with their failings, with their stupidities, with their lack of ambition. Wouldn't it be nice to already (this centuries into alleged civilization!) be able to move between galaxies, to mingle with beings from other planets, to face the absolute best of beauty and the horrible worst of ugly. If I die tomorrow, without having enjoyed the sexual pleasures of a woman from Outer Space, I will consider myself an utter failure - rivaling Gods mind-blowing efforts to create the perfect Human Being.
I have been thinking about a few things, perhaps because it's just a bunch of loose-ended tidbits of info that are finally coming together. I don't know for sure. I wish I did. The ancient Egyptians believed in horrific punishments after death. Hearts would be extracted from the body and fed to some beast. Why they did this is easily understood: the afterlife is about rotting, for all classes, an ending suitable for the rich and for the poor. The heart going to some beast was a certain notion of meting justice. I want my heart to go to the feeding of a flock of seagulls, maybe two/three harrier hawks. I know there will be no going to Hell for me.
There is no Hell. Hell is part & parcel religion. Without a Hell, religion would still invent one. I say Hell is right here on earth. The misery we have and experience in this world is monstrous. And, still, the church people arrive to pray and beat against Hell. But it is really the equivalent of the doomed Jew at Auschwitz praying for a bad supply of killing gas, some chemical unwilling to kill but quite able to draw tears. I could go on, yet it all strikes me as a waste of time, my time anyway. Churches and priests and nuns and believers can go to Hell. That sounds weird, me knowing that they already walk Hell's streets and alleys and towns and countries. Perhaps Lennon was right when he sang: "God is a concept by which we measure our pain." Only it isn't even a concept. That would mean someone put thought to it. Scientists and astronomers say there is no Heaven; scholars say there is no incontrovertible evidence of a God.
Something way deep in my brain tells me there likely is a creator, but it's not anyone in my image - irregardless of my long hair. As things stand, what with Christmas and the passing of the collection baskets on Sunday, there is too much at stake for a complete denial of a God. The masses, fearful tribes that they are, could not go on without believing. Yet, it too is fast becoming clear that something is coming, that this planet is gasping to its finish. How do I know that? Well, the list of telling signs goes for miles. I say, look around. And listen. And breathe. And look into the eyes of your woman. There is no chance you cannot see it for yourself, you being honest, of course.
For years when I was a youngster, my good mother would ask me what gift I'd want for Christmas. I'd say, toys, toys. And she would get them for me. If she asked me today, I'd again say, toys, toys.
But she would know that I'd be saying it for a very different reason...