It would probably be in your best interest to stop reading at this moment. There’s no reason to get involved with it all, because in the end it’ll only piss you off. This is what my legacy had wrought, a whirlwind, an epic tale so fantastic no one truly believed it. So right from the start let me just say you’re probably better off leaving this one on the shelf. There are over a million other books you could read or some other activity better suited for your time. Hell, go shopping. Spend that paycheck! Go do some dishes or vegetate with a movie, because books are boring anyways. Honestly, if you keep reading you will only want to write me a vicious letter and I could do without any more seething letters. So put it down, because you’re only hurting yourself if you keep reading. If your still with me, well you’re on your own, don’t say I didn’t warn you. And whether you believe it or not, well that’s your own problem.
It came to a head in the winter of 2012, like a thunder strike, like the last stretch of the Armada, like Custard’s Last Stand, because in many ways, it was, at least for me. I did nothing anybody hadn’t done before, not in my line of work. Seven fifths of cheap Vodka and a bottle of little white pills in just a few 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 that’s the reason I decided to write this story. God. I saw what most could only dream of. And God was the reason why I was in hospital room number 313.
The IV stuck in my arm, the nurses all hunkered over and the doctor began telling me, I was going to make it. I was going to make it. This was my second attempt. 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 was all I could see. This bleached vision of Hell confirmed it. Yes. I was alive and a total failure.
“So 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 I’m frigging ecstatic,” I said.
I was awake and this truly baffled them.
“Weird,” the Doctor said looking at my chart.
“What’s weird?” I replied. “Besides your bedside manner…”
“Your heart hasn’t stopped, vitals strong. You sure you drank a sea of booze and ingested an ungodly amount of pain pills?” the Doctor said.
“Ungodly, oh yes,” I said.
“Well that’s the weird part.”
“How’s that?” I said.
“I’ve never seen anything like it. You did enough junk to kill a small elephant,” the Doctor went on.
“Well look-ee here Doc Hollywood, I’m no amateur.”
I said this and all the white shirts with their white tennis shoes surrounding me began to laugh. They say laughter is the best medicine.
My heart began to heave fast and the Black Death in my mouth said I was alive. Oh so alive. Two nurses now, monitoring the heart monitor. My blips were bleeping, seemingly alive and well. Alive? So they said. Well? That may be a different story. Honestly, if you were I you’d done the same thing, probably even succeeded, because if it weren’t for my housekeeper Gertrude, I’d be where I wanted to be, no, needed to be. Now what these nurses and doctors didn’t know was that I was already dead, six feet under, because tomorrow when I vowed to live proper and rectify the shattered shelf, put the past behind me and forge forward through this mire, I’d fill a needle with heroine or morphine or bleach. I was going out with a bang. Yes, tomorrow, when I was supposedly on the up and up I’d be down and out, literally. It was the only way, because if you were I you’d feel the same way. And if you didn’t may God have mercy on your wretched soul.
You probably already know about this all if you have a TV or follow the news, because lately I’d been in the media more than any Hollywood socialite. My story while some have said was rooted in insanity, a wild lark to make a sick society smile, actually happened even if it seemed unbelievable. I mean imagine a world with no bigotry or hate, no suffering or hardship, a rich existence 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 under skies of crystal blue, winds of platinum fire and golden diamond fertilized gardens of rosemary, a true connection to your fellow man or woman. Everybody’s seen such a place I’m sure, in their mind’s eye, maybe during one of those lonely midnight stares through a wistful June air, silken curtains blowing in a soft breeze and the spirit refreshed, wishful for the world we hoped to be born into and all the great possibilities life could truly be. Now herein lies the crux of my story. What if I told you right here and now such a place truly existed and that it wasn’t just a state of mind? What if I told you first hand that I had been to this Holy Land and when it was over and I got back to the world we know as reality, I revealed its secrets to the masses and in the process destroyed not only Heaven here on Earth, but myself and all the respectability I once had. In all my years, professionally or personally I’d never been deemed crazy but after unveiling such a myth, this wondrous world, insanity and I were forever associated. I was outcast and this was why I wrote this tale. And this is why I did what I did. Anyone with any kindred spirit would feel the same way, because you see, 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.”
“Well you’ve done blown away all expectations there Superman,” she went on.
“Please, Nurse Betty, don’t compare me to the Man Of Steel, its hard enough being the Lex Luther of CNN,” I said.
“You do have a lot to say don’t you Mr. Whitmore?” the Nurse replied.
Suddenly I clamped up.
There was a long beep. My heart had stopped and she ran over to the monitor. That beep right there? That was my heart, 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 and then they did it again. They did it seven times altogether, until that beep started to blip. Now I was alive again. Oh so very alive and kicking. My God I’m going to hate to see their faces when I was back here next week. Next week, I’d take more drastic measures.
I awoke and smiled even if I already felt dead. It felt like a hangover from Hades.
“I guess a thanks is on order,” I said and the Doctor dropped his jaw. He looked to the nurses and they shrugged, palms up.
“You people look like you just seen a ghost,” I went on.
“We did, your heart flat lined for four minutes and now you’re cracking jokes,” the Doctor began to explain until his diatribe got caught up whatever he was thinking and he stopped. His gray hair was sheen in sculpting gel and his countenance bewildered.
“Yeah that was fun, we should try it again sometime,” I said. A nurse sat down in a chair beside my bed and just stared at me. The Doctor shot her a look then disappeared.
“You’re something else Mr. Whitmore,” the Nurse said.
“Honey, you don’t know the half of it.”
Often the life we desire is not so desirous of us. This is the grim core of any dream and a sick variable often causing hysteria, heartache or even worse, psychosis. Some of us mortals seeking the white picket fence and perfect reality could never handle that gig once we got there. And only a select few ever reach it. For the majority it’s a distant illusion, La La Land, some far off ideology to strive for, candy coated visions to sweeten our days, because without that righteous notion of a better tomorrow what’s the point in living today? Some call this myopia, others, a refusal to grow up or worse, but to those that actually get there it’s simply hard work and a way of life. Some of us with our heads in the clouds, stars in the eyes, could never survive the dregs of 9 to 5 madness before the grave, a series of time card punches, hackneyed holidays and used up old calendars. And this was my philosophy, because all my life I was going to make it big or die trying. But I didn’t get there, no, not just yet.
In room 313 I was feeling pretty saucy suddenly.
“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 was with it. They did this with most suicide cases. If I were to leave anywhere it’d likely be the nuthouse, where unlike me who actually saw God, many others would probably 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 been.
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, but when we got to the island of Maui, all business. We were married in a church, family, and friends, nothing out of the ordinary really. It was a Hallmark moment for Liz and I and we had about a million pictures to prove it. But all that seems like another lifetime ago, because sometimes things don’t 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 about what I saw, the whole saga. I looked good, but they were mocking me. Then the Dippity Doo Doctor walked in with another man, middle aged, peppered hair, collared brown shirt and khaki pants.
I knew what was next.
“This is Dr. Straus, he wants to ask you some questions,” the Doctor went on.
Dr. Straus sat down beside me with a notepad.
“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, 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,” I said.
“What mistake was that?”
“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 said.
"He? Who's that?"
"Our Lord Almighty Creator of Heaven and Earth," I quipped.
“What did you see?” 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. The Island. 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 all Hell broke loose,” I said.
"People ventured there, but no one saw what you did, just a remote Island with no inhabitants," Dr. Straus said.
"No I saw it, its there."
"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 said.
"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.