Relay: Heaven Can Wait

On weekends when I have to drive to the downtown area in Montauk I never know if I’ll make it home alive

Taking into consideration the way our visitors are driving this summer and the pedestrians darting in front of cars outside of marked crosswalks, it has given me ample opportunity to think about heaven, if I should be so lucky to land there someday.

On weekends when I have to drive to the downtown area in Montauk I never know if I’ll make it home alive or with my Jeep still intact. It’s been close on several occasions. And so I’ve been trying to grasp this whole idea of heaven. I’m also eating a lot of chocolate, as I hear it’s calming and easier to obtain than Xanax.

According to Catholic lore, our bodies stay on earth to fertilize the ground, but our sprits soar to that heavenly place up in the sky. But what do our spirits look like when we enter the golden gates? Will we become floating puffballs without facial features? Will our spirits recognize the people we knew and loved on earth? Will our sexuality disappear? That could ease quite a bit of tension and maybe we all ould get along.

Will my puffball be able to wear my glasses so I can recognize others? If not, the spirit puffs will have to come nose to nose with me so I’ll know who they are. But will our spirits even have a nose? And will all our earthly ailments disappear? God that would be nice.

You may think this is crazy thinking, but with popular books on the best-seller list and movies being made about people who died and followed the light and then returned to earth, heaven may really exist.

If it’s as perfect a place as religious leaders lead us to believe, I probably wouldn’t even need my glasses or medications. I would no longer need glasses to see people puffs, and my cellulite would disappear. Unless my spirit puff is dimpled with those annoying blotches of fat that most women sport on their thighs.

I wonder at what age our spirits will appear to be. If we look too young, other spirit puffs will not recognize our older selves. If I could choose the age I’d like my spirit to be, I think I’d go for 40. My three children had been born and I was in pretty good shape, considering I had expelled those three children from my earthly self. Of course, it’s been all downhill since then.

Recently, while talking to my hairdresser, the body of all knowledge, she mentioned that a person who supposedly died and went to heaven sought out an old friend and was told he was on a higher level in heaven and unreachable.

Wow, now that sounds great. I’d love to be in a place where no one could bother me, especially in my business as a newspaper reporter who often gets called to task for other writers’ stories or editors’ mistakes. (Yes, they do make them too.)

I wonder if we would have a space to call our own, like a private cloud. It must be awfully crowded up there, and I’ve always been a bit of a loner, which makes some of my loved ones uncomfortable — they hate to think of me being by myself when my husband goes out night-fishing. But I love it. As long as my cloud has magazines and a few good books I’d be a happy spirit.

If heaven is as grand as they say, whoever they are, I imagine we can also choose the name we’d like to be called. I’ve always hated my name, so I would no longer wish to be called the spirit Janis. If we’re allowed by the Great One to choose our own names, I’m thinking Mother Moonlight Montauk.

And as nice as it’s supposed to be up there, I plan on staying close to home on weekends — heaven can wait.

Janis Hewitt is a senior writer for The Star.