Black Short Stories : Where's the manual

Vincent Stacy Henry

Oct 30, 2012
I was a ghost! Three cheers for the afterlife! Woot! Woot! Woot! It was my time to travel the earth as a spirit, sometimes being benevolent but mostly I looked forward to being malevolent! I had a bunch of ex-girlfriends, ex-bosses, and just random a**holes that needed a to be taught a lesson or two!

Now what they don't tell you about the so called “after-life” is that there is no g**d*mn manual on what to expect and what to do next. So there I was floating above my lifeless body. It had taken me a minute or so to recognize this poor fool on the middle of Crenshaw and 54th. When the hell did I get so fat? That motherf**kah with half his brain leaking from a big crack in his cranium needed to lose a few pounds was me! It was sorta like that thing when you are in a store or mall and you see that weird looking not so attractive person from and distance and you are like “oh f**k” that's me when you realize it's you mirror! And there I was, sprawled out on the street with lifeless eyes, looking pretty dead and unfortunately pretty chubby and it dawned on me why I looked fatter than I really was. I was no longer holding my gut in!

I was pretty sure there was no coming back (not that I wanted to) when I noticed that none of the paramedics were urging me to “hang in there!”. It seemed more the case that I was already well beyond saving and that someone had already “called it in”. Such was life or non-life as it would be. Still, life as a ghost didn't appear to be that bad so far. I was floating 10 to 15 feet above everyone and I could hear and see things, which was odd because I didn't have eyes nor ears? Come to think of it, the old gray matter was down there about 10 feet below me growing colder by the second. Technically, I shouldn't be least not in the traditional synapse to neuron configuration. Actually, I have no idea how the brain works but words like synapse and neuron seem to have to do with how the brain works so I thought I tossed them in because I'd heard them somewhere.

Now being able to hear, see, and even think was pretty **** cool in this ethereal form. However, floating above my lifeless corpse that had recently relieved itself (good thing my sense of smell wasn't part of my ghostly existence), I thought that I should probably be able to move or travel somehow but I had no idea how to do this (no **** manual). Being the slightly above average intelligence person I'd always fancied myself to be, I thought that maybe in order to travel, I had to “think” my way to a location. Man, that would be some bad a** sh*t. This way I could visit all the places I'd wanted to visit when I was alive. Unfortunately, this didn't make much sense even to my disembodied mind. Even if I could “think” myself to a new location, wouldn't it at least have to be somewhere I'd been before? I'd always wanted to visit Africa but Africa was a whole continent made up of many countries who's locations I had only seen on a map or on TV. “Thinking” myself to Nigeria or Cameroon or Timbuktu, no matter how much I wanted to go, wasn't gonna work.

How about I visit someplace I'd been? This made more sense. I'd simply think about where I wanted to go and I make sure it was a place I was already familiar with. So I thought about my childhood home. There was no place more familiar to me than that! So I tried and tried and tried and still I couldn't leave my current location of about 13 feet about my deceased body which was now covered with a stained white sheet and it looked like they were about to put him (me) on a gurney and shove him into the meat wagon for the long (or maybe short) ride wherever the street casualties usually go. Maybe this after-life thing wasn't going to be as good as I thought.

About an hour later, the street was cleared and people had gone on with there lives. Seems that a brothah getting hit by a bus on Crenshaw Blvd was only interesting for 45 minutes. However, much to my surprise, after they'd loaded my body into the ambulance and taken it to god knows where, I (spirit me) was still at this same spot 10 to 15 feet above the same spot where I had been kicked to the ultimate curb. I'd expected that my ghostly body would follow my earthly body wherever it went like an invisible tethered balloon. It didn't and I was glad. That body had only a couple stops to go (the morgue and the cemetery) and that would kinda suck if I had to spend eternity floating a few yards above the shell that had once been me.

It took a long while but I finally figured out what I needed to do about a week after dying and hanging out at 54th and Crenshaw blvd what I needed to do. (By the way, I gotta tell you that if you're people watcher like me, make sure you die and a public place because being able to observe people undetected is better than television! But that's another story.) Anyway, I was finally able to make it to the other side when I decided that I no longer existed! I know it sounds simple but once I determined that I wasn't suppose to be here, nor in Africa, nor my childhood home, nor the planet Neptune, that I just wasn't suppose to be here, I was able to go home. And man was it a better than any place I could've imagined! I'd finally gone home!

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