Musings on Death
My name is Norman Walsh and I am a professor of philosophy at the University of Manitoba. I'm 70 years old. I teach "Death and concepts of the afterlife" and one day I will drink myself to death. I drink a lot. A very large lot.
Everyone I love dies, everyone I hate dies.
While I've entertained the idea of every possible afterlife the one I think it is is when you die you become one with the universe and lose your sense of individuality. You cease to be an individual and become everything. We are all God and we are all everything, we're just playing the role of a conscious being. We are just God talking to himself.
In class I'm teaching the belief in heaven and hell. I say "This one is the absolute dumbest, I could never even consider this for a second." A student says "I'm sick of you liberal professors and your anti Christian agenda." I say "I have no problem with your Christ, I only have a problem with your afterlife." She says "Well what makes you think this is so stupid when you think in the afterlife you just disappear into nothing?" "We don't disappear into nothing, we disappear into everything." "Well what's so stupid about heaven?" "So all God does is sit on his stupid cloud and create good people so he can watch them go to heaven and then create bad people so he can watch them go to hell." "He's not creating people bad, he gives them free will." "Sure, but then he sends you to hell for exercising your free will." "You have a choice to be good." "No, god doesn't give you a choice to be good, the only way to be good is to do exactly as he says." "Fuck it I'm done."
My favourite student, Alister, raises his hand and says "Heaven would be the worst possible afterlife anyway. Just sitting on your cloud watching your time on Earth matter less and less with nothing better to do but watch."
I love it when Alister comes to visit me during office hours. He doesn't even have anything to ask he just enjoys chatting. We always have a little scotch when he comes by.
We chat about the other students, we chat about the other professors. We chat about death and the afterlife.
We both say we can't wait for death.
He's a... He's a goth. And definitely a stereotypical goth. I enjoy it, if I were alive in a different age I would be goth too, but the eye makeup looks absurd and creepy at my age.
And then my best friend, a fellow philosophy professor, dies of a heart attack. He had a heart attack in bed with his wife. I'd like to go that way too but my wife is long deceased and I didn't remarry. I wouldn't want to unleash me on another woman after everything I did to my wife.
So I drink a lot, I drink until I'm happy he died because he gets to be God.
I have a serious connection with God.
I'm going to tell you a secret... Everyone who dies, I wanted them to die. I have a lot of hatred in my heart but nobody knows it but me and nobody ever knew it but my wife and kid, and even they didn't know the extent of it.
I see every politician on the news and I just want them to die. Comedians, artists, I want them all to die.
I hate everything. I want everything to be destroyed. I want everyone to die. I want eternity for everyone. I want eternity for myself. But I'm a coward so I don't kill myself.
I'm the one killing everybody in my life because I am the one who willed it to be so.
I sometimes talk with the professor of metaphysics, Jane. She's a bit of a loon, like all of us philosophy professors, but she's very in tune with the universe, more so than me. She's very psychic.
She gives me a reading. "Everything you touch will crumble, and just when you have nothing left you will also lose yourself. Your soul hates every soul and every soul hates your soul. You put people off because you are destruction itself. Everything you love will be destroyed."
And then Alister is dead. Killed himself with a heroin overdose. Bravo, friend, bravo. I knew he was into drugs and I knew he was suicidal. He died so young but I must commend him going out like that. I'm not even sad, he got what he wanted and he got it before I did.
But now I have nothing.
He left me a voice mail before it happened. I've been playing it over and over as I get drunker. "This is it old man, I've enjoyed our time together but we both knew it was going to happen. I'm about to find out what happens and I can't wait. I hope you're right, I want to become one with the universe. Well, so long."
I've always had a plan to shoot up the university when I'm finished with this mortal coil. I even bought guns. I've been writing down the most effective ways to go through the philosophy department. I couldn't wait to do this.
I get real drunk tonight as tomorrow is my last day.
But in the end I drink more than I ever have, I drink way too much, I collapse and I die of alcohol poisoning before I could do anything. This'll work too.
I can stop pretending to be a person and realize I am God.