Isolated in this bag of saline water I imagine I am me. He is me and we are he….or are we? I can’t answer that. Neither can another. They have those questions of themselves to answer first. They’ll never get to me. Maybe we’ll meet and compare notes on the other side. If our essence loosened from this reality floats to another existence and if souls gather there like wildebeest’s at a watering hole. Is it whatever we believe that’ll happen? Believe you and Jesus will be chums for eternity and you will be? Believe the devil will torture you forever and he will? Be careful what you imagine. The pessimist could well imagine that our time and place (Covid, Trump, impending doom TBA) is hell as they conceived it in their last life. The Christians consider the reward for obeying their rules an eternity with God. Muslims who die defending the faith get eternity with 72 virgins who are perpetually so (an important caveat). Buddhists believe that the end reward, the big pay off, the megabucks on the wheel of reincarnation….is to not exist. I sort of like that. It’s very clean. In my limited knowledge of the way of the enlightened one, shedding everything takes many lives to accomplish. I hope I don’t hoard spiritually as I do with cool electronic parts. Ostensibly I am an atheist and don’t believe anything. What sort of after life would an atheist imagine? I should know what atheists expect, me being a fifth order enlightened anointed high priest of Atheism (Reformed, Eastern Rites). Is a religion real if it was just invented minutes ago?, on the fly? and if it has only one believer? As a Christian once told me with vigor….”You MUST believe something!” perhaps they were right. Sadly, I haven’t settled on anything specific, yet. Maybe I’m not alone in this indecision. Maybe the path leading up to the pearly gates is lined with card tables covered in brochures and books. Old testament guys, long white beards, long white robes, standing behind the tables smile beatifically. “Adopt our faith and a blissful eternity is guaranteed” I’d pass. I’d go right up to those gates made of pearl and look Saint Pete in the eye and say…..” ah.., um, ah, the dog ate my homework” so much pressure!, that’d be all I could come up with. Well, it didn’t work in second grade and it’s a non starter at heaven’s gate. Instead, like a pinball knocked dead center by a flipper I’d fly off & into the void. After some refurbishing and buffing up, my soul would be reformatted and I’d be inserted into an infant’s grey matter. Then the whole friggin thing would start again, I’d remember nothing. One step forward two steps back. That’s life all over again.