In the afterlife we wandered unbounded by time or space and took in all the wonder in the universe and beyond. It was unspeakably amazing, enough to burst your heart with joy had you still had a heart. But, what can I say? The adaptability of our souls is boundless too and soon we fell into familiar habits of listlessness and searching for what else, something else, something more.
Most evenings – though evening was a very different notion there that I’ll not bother trying to explain to you – a lot of us gathered at Adam’s, a favorite bar. We’d drink a little or a lot and shoot the breeze about this or that, the wonder of it all, what comes next now. We’d sit in small groups, some alone on the periphery, and while away the lack of time, pushing futilely forward toward the other end of all this endlessness.
One guy sat mostly alone all the time, incredibly drunk and blue. Everyone knew him as Willie, and everyone knew that he was the guy who created the universe. You could forget about asking him all the questions you might have, though. He was never in any condition to answer, poor haunted bastard. He was the only one of us who never left Adam’s. I guess he had no interest in the wonder of it all.
The topic came up more often as the evenings came, one after the other. You’d get a little bit of a buzz on and then someone would say, “So, what do you think they mean when they say, ‘forever’?” Everyone was worried about it. Forever is a damn long time in all this timelessness. “We’re off the clock,” people joked, though fewer people laughed at it each time.
As for me, I tried not to worry about it. I tried to just enjoy the next sight, the next idea, the next evening, the next drink. “It could be worse, you know. It could be a hell of a lot worse than endless wonder,” I said.
One evening as I was leaving he stumbled out of the shadows by the door and grabbed my lapels, tottering unstably against me and peering shakily into my eyes. “So, whaddya think?” he slurred up pungently.
“A-about what, Willie?” I stammered.
He just looked with wavering intensity into my eyes and said nothing. I could feel his resolve disintegrating as his hands slipped from my lapels. Soon he dropped his gaze and started to turn away. “About what. Yeah,” he mumbled with a wheezy chuckle.
“It’s quite nice,” I blurted, but he just kept staggering toward his stool. “Very… wondrous.”