Flogging Molly – If I Ever Leave This World Alive
My death was painless, quick, but the afterlife is a pop-up ad, inescapable. I think I remember looking one way but not the other, maybe the blow of a horn, definitely the thud of my body and CRACK of my skull against street. Even though I could think through what had happened, go back as far as my birth, none of it mattered – can’t get lost in images when they themselves are lost in nothingness.
That didn’t stop me from trying, again and again I watched, pseudo-lived through what I already had until I blinked in memory then opened my eyes for real. At least, it felt like I did, and I hadn’t felt anything more than an echo since life had been smacked from my body.
The void heat-wave shimmered, and as if in response to my confusion, a small square of light appeared. It grew, magnified until white had become the new black, was all I saw.
‘CONGRATULATIONS! YOU WON!’
Said a canned female voice as letters, bright red and big, spelled out the message in time:
‘YOU ARE THE 10,000,000,000,000th VISITOR TO THE AFTERLIFE!’
I ranked higher in death than I ever had in life.
‘PRESS HERE TO COLLECT YOUR PRIZE’
I never clicked on spam, didn’t plan on starting – a hand that looked like mine once did appeared in front of me – I didn’t have a head to shake or mouth to object with – watched my phantom limb follow directions, tap the word ‘Accept.’
I, whatever that was, dropped back into memory: the horn, rolling thumps-
I was in sunlight; denim scratched my thighs, cotton brushed my chest, a breeze blew as I walked.
Alive again; newspaper in a nearby garbage can said it’d been a month since I died.
How long does it take maggots to crawl out of flesh? For skin to shrink-wrap itself tight around a corpse’s skeleton?
I checked my reflection in a store window; my ugly face stared back, nothing I wasn’t used to though. Not a single piece of gravel lodged in my skin or tire mark to be found. I sniffed but figured if I was to rot it would, at the least, take more than a few seconds’ sunlight to start the process.
That didn’t make sense, though nothing about my situation really did; we come from nothingness, from death we are born and so we must return. Second lives aren’t supposed to happen.
Yet I’d appeared where I’d died, only a few blocks from where I’d lived my entire life; the space between me and my parents’ house became minuscule, then nothing. I was at the front porch.
It was summer but the shades were drawn, windows shut and door sealed; they swore they’d never leave but there aren’t many reasons to keep promises to the dead.
Continue reading My Mixtape – Maggotbrain