My story had been on CNN, Fox News and every tabloid publication known to man. I was on the cover of Time and persecuted for it. Honestly, if I were you I'd stop reading at this moment. There’s no reason to get involved with it all, because in the end you’d just want to write me a vicious letter. I could do without any more of those. There is no doubt you have heard about this by now, but this is my story. This was what really happened.Whether you believe it or not well that’s your own problem. Just don't say I didn't warn you.
This was the winter of 2012. I 'd done nothing anybody hadn’t done before, not in my line of work. Nine fifths of Vodka, a rainbow of Xanax, Oxycontin, Vicodin and Valium in just a few short days will get you a nickname. It will get you a caseworker. It will get you a therapist, once a week, forever, until you find God. God. In a nutshell, God was why I resided in hospital room 313.
The IV stuck in my arm, blood on the hospital sheets and the nurses hunkered over me telling me I was going to make it. I was going to make it. This was my third, most drastic attempt yet. You know it isn’t true what they say. Practice doesn’t make perfect. The drool out of my mouth ran for my chin and the white fluorescent hospital lights blaring into my corneas confirmed it. This was hell and I failed for the last time.
“I'm going to make it?” I muttered, wiping the goop from my chin.
“Yep. You don’t sound too happy about that,” the Doctor said.
“Oh don’t get me wrong Doc, I’m **** ecstatic,” I said.
I was awake and this truly baffled them.
“The whole time you were out, your heart hadn’t stopped, vitals strong. You sure you drank a sea of booze and ingested an ungodly amount of pain pills?” he went on.
“You have no idea Doc,” I said.
“You did enough junk to kill a small elephant,” he said.
“Well look-ee here Doc, I’m no amateur.”
I said this and the white shirts in their white tennis shoes huddled around began to laugh. They say laughter is the best medicine.
Suddenly I felt a thump and my heart heaved. I got to get out of here. The Black Death in my mouth told me I was alive. Oh so alive. Two nurses now, monitoring the monitor. My blips were bleeping, a song that sang next time I’d have to take more drastic measures. Honestly, if you would have done the same thing, especially when you had done what I had. A muted soap opera played on a TV in the corner and a nurse told me something I should probably be listening to. But see, what these nurses and doctors didn’t know was I already died, because tomorrow when I vowed to live proper and rectify the tattered and torn self, I was going out with a bang. Tomorrow, when I was on the up and up I’d be down and out, literally. This was my only option, because if you were in my shoes you’d feel the same way and if you didn’t, well may God have mercy on your wretched soul.
Lately I'd been in the media more than a rich Hollywood socialite. My story was thee water cooler talk, not Paris Hilton's thong or Lindsey Lohan's tether. My story was out there for all to see, but what happened was I underestimated the common man to make change. See, some like where they are no matter how greater their life could be. This was my first mistake. People don’t care much about what goes on outside their own little circles. From there it was downhill.
Imagine a world with no bigotry or hatred, a world with no suffering, where economics meant only that we had the means to live comfortably and unconditional love was the only Universal law. Imagine internal bliss, sunshine for the soul, an everyday dance with the Gods over platinum fire golden diamond fertilized gardens of rosemary. Everybody’s seen such a heavenly place I’m sure in their mind’s eye, perhaps during one of those lonely midnight stares through a wistful June air, the spirit refreshed, wishful for the world we had hoped to be born into and all the wondrous possibilities life could truly be. Well, what if I told you such a place truly existed? What if I told you it wasn't just a state of mind? What if I told you first hand that I had been to this Holy Land, this Heaven on Earth and when I got back here, I destroyed it. Not even the Devil himself could own up to what I’d done.
In the hospital room 313, a plump Nurse popped in and smiled.
“So how we doing Mr. Whitmore?” she said.
“As good as can be expected.”
“You’re some trooper,” she went on.
Suddenly my chest coiled. I clamped up. It felt like a boulder had toppled upon me.
There was a long beep.
My heart stopped and she ran over to the monitor. That beep right there? That was my heartbeat. Total flat line. Four nurses here now and a doctor hovered over me with large paddles.
“Clear!” he wailed.
They shocked me and I bounced off the bed. Then they did it again. They did it six times altogether, until that beep blipped. Right there. That blip? I was alive again. Oh so very alive. My God I was going to hate to see their faces when I was back next week. Next week, I’d take more drastic measures.
I awoke to a hangover from Hades.
“I guess a thanks is in order,” I said and the Doctor dropped his jaw. He looked to the nurses. They shrugged, palms to the sky.
“Your heart flat lined for four minutes and now you’re cracking jokes,” the Doctor began to explain until his diatribe got tangled up in whatever he was thinking. His words trickled into silence. His gray hair was mauled in sculpting gel and his countenance bewildered.
A nurse sat down in a chair beside my bed and stared. The Doctor shot her a look then disappearred.
“You’re something else Mr. Whitmore,” the Nurse said.
“Honey, you have no idea.”
Often the life we desire is not so desirous of us. This is the grim core of any dream and a twisted variable that causes hysteria, heartache or worse. Some of us seeking the white picket fence and perfect certainty could never handle such a gig once we got there. The internal vision is never the same as reality. And only a very select few will ever reach it. For the vast majority it’s a distant illusion, Utopia, some far off ideology to strive for. Sugar coated visions to sweeten our days and flowery dreams to perfume our nights. But without that righteous notion of a better tomorrow what’s the point in living today? Herein is the fix. Some call this a refusal to grow up or worse, but for those that actually get there its hard work, a way of life. Some of us with our heads in the clouds and stars in eyes could never survive the dregs of 9 to 5 madness before the grave. For us die-hard dreamers, death is more welcomed than a never-ending series of time card punches, hackneyed holidays and used up weekends. I think of all this glaring at a muted TV in the corner and realized I had to get out of here.
“So when the hell can I leave?” I said.
“Oh no, it’s not that easy, you have some people to see first,” the Doctor said.
I knew what he meant by “people.” He meant a therapist and a psyche test, and probably someone else of higher education to see if I had my marbles. They did this with every suicide case. If I were to leave anywhere it’d likely be the nuthouse, where unlike me who actually seen God, others would divulge the same information to unsympathetic ears, ears writing in notepads. There, I’d be just another case, a number, someone in the system, a life on the total opposite spectrum from where I had lived.
I used to work for a cloning company, classified. I won’t bore you with more than that. I graduated top of my class from Princeton, an internship soon followed, one that I made full time. I was never one to study much, because everything I learned was in there like stone. One time, that’s all it took to tell me how to do something and then I did it. This had always been the feather in my cap. To be frank, I’m burnt out on it all now, but a company in Hawaii, Navy base, you could probably guess where, had employed me to take our findings to the next level. I won’t disclose our company’s name, but we were going to clone a man, and not just any man…me.
My name is Miles Whitmore and upon getting an initial stipend I asked my girl of one year, Liz to marry me. We were setting sail for Hawaii, a cruise that was all fun until we got to the island of Maui, then, all business. We were married in a church, family, and friends, nothing out of the ordinary. It was a Hallmark moment for Liz and I and we had the pictures to prove it. But all that seemed like a lifetime ago, because sometimes things never go as planned and if anyone was a testament to this, it was Liz and I.
In room 313, they gave me some water to dispel the black charcoal in my mouth. I sat up and saw my face on CNN. It was a taped episode, the highest rated episode in CNN’s history. I smiled. Even with a muted TV, I knew what they were asking me. They wanted to know what I witnessed, the whole saga. I looked dapper, but they were mocking me. No one liked the idea of a better world, especially the rich. Cynicism and fear pays for TV shows and TV salaries.
The hair gel Doctor walked in with another man, middle aged, peppered hair, collared brown shirt and khaki pants.
I knew what was coming next and suddenly I felt like vomiting.
“This is Dr. Straus, he wants to ask you some questions,” the Doctor went on.
Dr. Straus sat beside me with a notepad. He looked pleasant enough, then again he got to go home afterwards.
“How are you Miles?” Dr Straus said.
“I’ve been better,” I said and he smiled.
“So why did you try to kill yourself?”
“You’ve seen the TV am I right Doc? You’ve read the papers?” I said.
“Yes I know who you are,” he went on writing in his pad.
“In all honesty I tried to save the human race, I really did, see, we as a society are going down, isolation, greed, hatred, bigotry, it’s getting ugly, so I wanted to share what I saw, share it with the world, for enlightenment, but well, I made one crucial mistake."
“What mistake was that?” he said.
“I over-estimated the human race. I put too much stock in the average Joe, who could give two **** about what I saw and how He wanted the world to be,” I ranted.
"He? Who is He?"
"Our Lord Almighty Creator of Heaven and Earth."
“So you talked to God?” Dr. Straus said.
“You know what I saw Doc. I said it a million times, CNN, Fox News, causing people from all over the world to venture to the Island. I said it and it became no more.”
“What became no more?” he said.
“God’s Paradise. See Doc, I destroyed Heaven here on Earth, all because I believed it was the blueprint for how we should live, unconditional love, no suffering, and then all Hell broke loose. People said I was crazy,” I said.
"People ventured to that Island you know? But no one saw what you did, just a remote Island with no inhabitants," Dr. Straus said.
"No I saw it, its there. Trust me."
"And you saw the blueprint for the human race?” Dr. Straus said.
“That’s right. I saw how great life could truly be and nobody believed me, not a word. I tried to tell people and I was demonized for it.”
"So you're telling me you saw God?" he went on snappish.
"That's what I'm saying and not only that, as crazy as it sounds, I saw the perfect world. I saw Utopia."
Dr. Straus looked at the other Doctor. It was not a flattering look. Then he wrote something down in his notepad.