I’ve been spending an inordinate amount of time lately hypothesizing about what Heaven will be like when I get there. Oh, make no mistake about it, I am going to Heaven. I’ve spent the last 75 years thinking about it, and I’ve come to the conclusion that only those individuals who are really, really bad in this life are refused entry. (God wouldn’t have it any other way, I’m convinced.)
Now, before you go worrying about whether I’m ready to give up on this life, rest easy—I’m not going anywhere anytime soon (at least if I have anything to say about it, which of course I don’t). No, no, it’s just that lately, every day brings a new round of aches and pains that make me wonder “Hmmm . . . what if?” And now, with the “Pandemic,” and all that “time” on my hands to think about such things, it’s only natural to postulate about The Great Hereafter (kinda catchy, don’t you think?).
So let’s get down to brass tacks. Just what will Heaven be like? I can’t speak to what yours will be like, because yours will be yours. So I’ll just talk about mine. Well, for starters, there’ll be no more aches and pains. Think about it. Products we’ve become familiar with like Advil, Aleve, and Tylenol will no longer be necessary. Hell, they won’t even be on the shelves of those heavenly grocery stores. In fact, there won’t even be any grocery stores! (not unless we deem them necessary—just for our peace of mind—after all, this is Heaven we’re talking about. One thing, though, if there are, there’ll only be Whole Foods. No Harris Teeters or Krogers).
One of the things this forced quarantine has visited upon us is the inability to get together with our loved ones. Social distancing they call it. I call it torture. I’m Italian. I’m a hugger. I miss hugging my kids and grandkids. In Heaven, that will all be addressed. Everyone you ever knew and loved will be there. It’ll be all hugging all the time, but only when it’s convenient. There won’t be any special holidays, those made-up occasions when it’s mandatory for families and friends to get together, like Memorial Day and 4th of July. There’ll be no Mother’s Day, or Father’s Day, either. That’s what’s so nice about Heaven. Yessir, anytime you want to see a son, or a daughter, or a grandchild, or your best friend, they’ll all be at your disposable. And there’ll be no such thing as a busy signal on your iPhone. And there definitely won’t be any texting. That’ll be reserved for those few who fall between the cracks and end up “Down There.”
Do you like music? Well, they’ll be free Wi-Fi and streaming Pandora and Spotify—premium, of course—with every song ever produced at your fingertips. And no need to turn down the volume, like in real life, because . . . well . . . just because. Are you getting a feel for what I’m talking about? Like that guy at Woodstock once said, “We must be in Heaven, man!” Right on.
Now, me, I’m a fisherman—fly fisherman, to be precise. Lately, it’s been getting more and more difficult for me to pursue my hobby, due to problems with my balance and neuropathy in my feet. (Some people say fly fishing isn’t a hobby, but rather a way of life. I tend to agree, although it’s been over twenty years since I was a professional guide, back when the pursuit of trout did occupy a large portion of my waking hours. But I’ll leave that assessment to others far wiser than I am.) In Heaven, the ratio of fish hooked to fish landed will probably be around 70 percent. I wouldn’t want to be any place where it was 100 percent, would you? That would be boring. No, 70 percent would be just about right. And when it rains—it will have to rain occasionally, if for no other reason than to keep the streams at fishable levels—it will always be a soft, gentle rain, the kind that’s just ideal to stimulate a hatch of blue-winged olives. Yeah, now we’re talking!
Okay, as Olympia Dukakis said to Danny Aiello in Moonstruck, “Snap out of it!” Let’s get back to talking about what’s real: the pandemic. On second thought, let’s not. I’d rather just go on thinking about Heaven. After all, isn’t that what’s really important?
The preceding was brought to you by my imagination, which, lately, has been running wild, as I’m sure yours has been too. So, get dressed, put on your mask, and get your bony ass out of the house. There’s a lot of life to be lived. Heaven can wait. After all, they don’t call it Eternity for nothing.