Without a doubt, I was dead. It was as obvious as it could be. My body was in the most unlikely and uncomfortable position. I say uncomfortable because it looked very… well… but I was not experiencing the discomfort, for I was no longer in my body. Perhaps I should have started there, since that evidence is likely more compelling for the conclusion that I was dead.
I was standing and looking down at where it had collapsed in the middle of the restaurant, leaving me feeling rather naked. Luckily, no seemed to notice me as everyone was staring at the flesh that used to be me.
Being dead didn’t seem that bad, upon reflection. The aches and pains in my knees and back that had become nearly constant companions were gone. Indeed, the years that had begun to pile up were lifted, and I felt more alive – if you’ll pardon the expression – than I had in quite some time.
When the ambulance came to take away the newly abandoned corpse, I tagged along out of a sense of obligation. After all, it had been my home for many years, and it seemed disrespectful to leave it alone so quickly. But when we arrived at the morgue, I realized how silly that was. No one would know if I just left, and even if they would, it’s mine. I shouldn’t have to stay if I don’t want to.
As I began to leave, a faint outline of a person suddenly appeared to block my way.
“Where are you going?”
I hadn’t really considered where I was heading, so I simply replied, “Away from here.”
“But this is where your body is.” The voice sounded as though not only was this fact obvious, but it was equally obvious that I should stay.
“I know. But my body and I have parted ways. No real need to hang out with it any longer, is there?”
“Don’t you want to know why you died?”
“Well, I’m no doctor, but I assume it has something to do with my heart stopping.”
“Obviously. But why now?”
“Why should that matter?”
The figure had become more distinct, and he was wearing a frown. “Knowing that information provides peace of mind. It helps you to move on.”
“Move on to what?”
“To what’s next.”
“Right now, the only thing preventing me from moving on is you.”
“But your body…”
“Is no longer mine, is it? I’d say you have the problem moving on from this. So unless there’s something else…?”
He shook his head in defeat.
“Excellent. I’ll be leaving now. But you’re welcome to stay for the autopsy if you like.” And so I left him standing there. My only regret is that I never asked him who he was.