I’m So Worn out that I’m Passed Charon
We walked to the mouth of the cave and stood just outside for a moment. We could hear the sounds of unbelievable torment and anguish; plus, smoke detectors were going off by the dozens. I pulled out the book and said, “Fear!”
Fear is a condition where the collective wills of the brain and the heart are superseded by that of the legs. In times of peril, “fear” is just another word for “common sense”. A fear that you don’t want to address is called a “phobia”.
“Did that help?”, asked the Poet.
“I am NOT going in there”, I stated flatly.
The Poet looked just past me to the tree-line. “It’s either to the bowels of Hell or wait here for the She-Wolf of Incontinence. Rumor is, she got a hold of some suspect enchilada casserole and she isn’t looking particularly healthy”
“Maybe I’ll step inside for a few minutes”
“That’s the spirit”, said the Poet.
And, we slipped into the darkness, together.
“This is weird”, I said, observing Hell for the first time, “Are you sure this is Hell?”
“Sure as shampoo!”
“It’s just a hallway that seems to go on forever… like that time I got lost in the Pentagon building”
The Poet gave me a sympathetic look, “It IS a big building. How long were you lost?”
“Three days. I finally had to start a fire and then followed the firemen out when they were done putting it out”
“Well, we need to get moving”
As we walked, I noticed something was missing. It took a while before it occurred to me what it was but I finally figured it out. “Where are the echoes?”, I asked the Poet.
“No echoes”, he answered, simply.
“So, there are no echoes in Hell?”
“That’s right. Why punish echoes? They only repeat what they are told”
I felt a little confused. “So, is this the servants’ entrance or something? Where are the hordes of the damned?”
“Hell doesn’t follow the normal rules of time and space. You can even take your socks off without removing your shoes here. Go ahead. Try it”
I briefly considered what it might be like to tour Hell without my socks and I rejected it, “I’m good”
The Poet shrugged. “Then, let’s keep walking”
“How long do we have before–” I heard someone clearing his throat behind me. I turned around and there was a man in a very expensive suit.
“While we’re young”, the man interjected.
“If I wanted to be behind you two idiots, I’d have brought my own idiots and put them in front of me. Let me ahead of you”
I asked, “You DO know you are rushing to a terrible eternal torment–”
“–which I WON’T get good seats for because you and your friend are blocking me”
The Poet and I each stepped away from the center. The suited man pushed by us. “So long, chumps”, he sneered and fast-walked down the hallway until we could no longer see him.
“What was THAT?”, I asked the Poet.
“One side, grandpa”, came a voice behind me. I turned and it was the same man with the same expression.
“Are you the guy from a few minutes ago?”, I asked.
“You’d like that, wouldn’t you?”, he snapped.
“So, you want to get ahead of us to be tortured for aeons until the universe ends?”. I stepped to the side. Suit-man pushed past, “Yeah, I’ll be FIRST in line to be tortured until the universe ends”
And, he fast-walked until he was out of sight.
“What’s going on?”, I demanded of the Poet.
“Fortunately”, he answered, “I wrote a poem about it”
Some people from their very first breath
Back-stab and cheat until their death.
They often seem about to burst
if they’re not furst.
At the end of their lives, they realize that
the winner of the rat race is still just a rat.
Are you “Type A”?
I’ll get out of your way.
“Thanks for that”, I responded weakly. “Does our friend ever get to his–”
“EXCUSE ME!”, the man sighed from behind me, “Some of us are LATE for being damned”
He squeezed past us and fast-walked down the hall.
I took a breath, “Does he ever get to–”
“Times a’wasting, butt-head”, came a familiar voice behind me. I stepped to the side and watched the suited man again walk out of sight.
Quickly, I blurted, “Does-he-ever-get-to-his-punishment???”
The Poet looked at me, incredulous. “You ARE his punishment”
“That’s the stupidest thing I’ve–”
“Move it or lose it!”, the suited man said, pushing past.
“WHEN DOES THIS GUY STOP TORMENTING ME?”, I demanded.
The Poet pondered, “People have been asking that about Type-As since the beginning of time”
“Well, I’m not going to get much done if–”
“Hey”, demanded a voice behind me, “I’m not getting any deader here. I’m playing through”
The Poet ignored the suited man. “This is just a daemonstration… or a glitch in the Matrix”
“Should I be looking out for Agent Smith?”, I asked?
“Agent Smith is a computer program. There are no computer programs in Hell”
“I was sure the Windows Vista was–”
“Yes”, conceded the Poet, “They made an exception for Windows Vista”
I checked the book:
The Type-A personality diagnosis was created to distinguish between white collar abusive, anti-social pricks and those who don’t have the lawyers to keep them out of prison. Researchers, in 1987, managed to isolate a large group of Type-As by putting two hundred random men, women and children on a ship with only half the life-rafts it needed; and, then putting a hole in that ship. The life-rafts would Fill with Type-As, their shoes still damp from the saliva of the woman and children whose faces they trod on to get to the life-rafts first. Scientists studied the Type-As until public opinion forced them to sink the life-rafts…
“Is all of Hell this depressing?”, I asked the Poet.
“It depends on how much empathy you have”
“Less and less, already”, I answered.
“Hey!”, came a familiar voice behind me, “I’m fuzzy on names. I’ll call you ‘Obstruction A’ and I’ll call you ‘Idiot’”…