A letter to the woman upstairs
Weighing heaven and hell
March 4, 2005
Hope all is well with you. I'm doing
alright, as you know, but I'm a little concerned. At my old
age, I've been
thinking more and more about death. As you know, that's what
we old people do all day: worrying about death, medicine and
diapers. And with all due respect, I'm a bit disappointed
with choices that are available to me after I die. After all, I
would've liked to have a few more options regarding my final
destination other than heaven and hell. And since we're talking
a long-term commitment, which will most likely last an eternity,
I was hoping for a bit more variety and maybe a better selection.
Don't get me wrong. I do not question your decision on crafting
heaven and hell. And I would never dare to challenge your judgment
on who shall inhabit heaven and who shall seek permanent residency
in burning hell; but why such narrow assortment?
I like the idea of heaven. Things seem to be alright in there.
Sounds comfy; clean air, clear blue skies, waterfalls and creeks,
pure wine, mouth-watering food, no sickness, no weariness, no poverty,
no hostility and no greed. Even though it sounds a little boring,
I can dig heaven if I try.
However, the thing that bothers
me about heaven is the individuals who most likely will
be dwelling there. Orthodox Jews and Muslim suicide
bombers have already been promised entry to heaven.
Jesus freaks, Branch Davidians, militant Hindus,
Talibans, Hizbollahis and abortion clinic bombers are lining outside
the gates of paradise too. Heaven is gonna be full of assholes!
I'm not sure if I want to associate
with these people. But hopefully theses creeps will be accommodated
in a separate section, away from the rest of us.
And I have to confess that hell
sounds intriguing too. I'm not going to lie to you, but some of
the most interesting people
I know personally will end
up down there. My best friends will most certainly go to hell, my in-laws, my
distant relatives, my wife, children and parents are all
going to hell. As a matter
of fact I have not met anybody fascinating that has ticket to heaven. Why is
Now I understand that hell is not a very pleasant
piece of real state. And I also appreciate the fact that hell has
nothing to offer but torment
But, dear God, I really think we need to make some sort of arrangement where
I can spend some time in heaven and maybe a little time in hell as well.
As you know
I like to drink beer and I like to visit the local nudie bars
from time to time. Nothing major, just a little fun. Now, heaven
does not sound
like a place where a man can get himself a good bottle of beer and it
hell doesn't seem like a place that nudie bars grow in every street corner.
I also like to play cards and bet a little money on horses to keep the old
adrenaline pumping. I'm not sure if there are any racetracks in heaven, are
I also like to visit Mrs. Brown to say hello when her husband
is out of town. Mrs. Brown ain't going to heaven either -- not after what
she did to me last week.
Therefore, dear God, I would like to request a weekend
pass -- a note from you or one of your deputies, that lets me visit the boys
in hell on Friday nights to have a little drink, call on the family and Mrs.
Brown, bet a little money on horses, get a quick lap dance and be back on
time for the Sunday Mass.
Dear God, please, please show me a sign. I need
to know if you've been listening to my prayers.
Two minutes later, the old man and his entire village
were wiped out by a tsunami.
Siamack Baniameri is the author of The
Iranican Dream, (Virtualbookworm.com Publishing, December 2004).
Also see Iranican-Dream.com.