I often dream of heaven. Not of heaven so much as me going to heaven. It’s always a sunny day when I start. I can fly, of course, and so I do I fly up through a beautiful bank of cumulus clouds, piles upon piles of them. I’m very optimistic and excited. But then I enter the bank and claustrophobia sets in. I wonder if there’s no turning back even if God doesn’t like me.
There’s no one around in that bank, just more and fluffier white. I can feel the presence, though, of beings. Angels, no doubt. They are not all benevolent as you know. Some of them are welcoming. They seem to be in my corner and shore me up. Others, though, put thoughts in my head about what do I think I’m doing here. I rarely make it past this stage, but once in a while…
One time I found myself in an abandoned two-story house. One of those places that you see from the road and wonder what tragedy happened here. What person died here in childhood, what kind of incest was perpetrated here? The house was weathered gray and rickety. A hole in the roof let the foyer fill with leaves. Cracked window panes, stained walls, sinking floor. No one was about, but I could hear voices. Again some were encouraging, but others implied rape or impalement on a spike if I didn’t leave.
Another dream was fantastic. Bright as day. It was a science fiction dream. I was in an open-air jet, flying through a narrow trough on either side of which were stone and cement apartment buildings, one on top of the other. No greenery anywhere, just architecture. Someone was in my jet egging me on. The apartments had balconies and people were out partying, waving to me, cheering me on. I just knew that if I hopped off the jet at any of these balconies, I would be welcomed inside to share lemons, salt and top-shelf tequila.
I didn’t stay there either.
In my favorite dream of heaven I was myself an angel. A guardian angel. I lived in a lovely cottage on a cliff. My charges, the humanity living down in my neighborhood, would often visit me and ask me for advice. That was my job: to help people with problems. Sometimes I had sex in my cottage. It was very warm and bright with orange wall-paper.
One day I told God I was bored and, as you may have guessed, he became very angry. He told me if my job was too easy, he would show me what it was like to be a human. The next thing I knew I was in the screened-in porch of a messy house on the edge of desperate town. Overturned tables, stacks of pornography, machine parts were everywhere. I had been kidnapped by an unshaven red neck and his half-wit son. They’d sewn me into a burlap sack with plans to have their way with me, which is to say, cook me for dinner.
Oddly enough I was not scared, but I knew the situation was not going to end well. I fought my way out of the bag and then away from the man and his son despite the fact that they had guns (they were not very bright) and flew quickly back to my perch on the cliff hundreds of miles away, apologizing to God the entire time, and promising to never be bored again.
When I woke up, I wrote a song about my world on the cliff.
You can hear it here: https://youtu.be/1vvYTXJis5g