I woke up at eight exactly. Not a minute earlier nor a minute later. I dashed into the kitchen for my cup of joe, kissed my wife, Pam, on the cheek the way I always do.
“How do you want your eggs,” she asked in the usual way.
I gave her the same answer I do every Saturday morning. “Scrambled with a bit of pepper and don’t forget the cheese.”
I poured the coffee and headed out into the morning for a good breath before the day heated up. It was spring in Florida and the day always heats up, except when it doesn’t.
Standing on the back porch, I took a good gander at the lawn. Yep, I decided. The lawn needed a-mowing. And I was ready for the challenge. Nothing like mowing the lawn to make a man feel like a man.
Pam stuck her head out the door. “Breakfast is ready.”
“Yummy,” I said without thinking and made my way to a table set for a king. OJ just the way I like my O J, good and cold and with lots of pulp. And the eggs laid out just so on the plate with a couple of slices of bacon.
Pam and I sat and enjoyed our leisurely breakfasts the way we had for the last thirty years. We talked politics and religion and just about disagreed on both but that was what kept our marriage interesting.
I got up and went to the bedroom and changed into my work clothes. Right then and there I fell over. No pain. No nothing. One minute I stood in my bedroom, the next I was spread-out on the floor. A door knob couldn’t have been deader than I was.
Next thing I know I am standing up, looking down on the me that once was. “What happened?” I asked no body in particular, and nobody in particular answered. Then it hit me. I would say like a ton of bricks but there were no bricks around to be hit by. I was dead.
Since I had never been dead before, how did I know. I could have been having one of those out of body experiences people talk about all the time. But I was pretty darned sure Big D had made a house call and that was it.
Then a second thought hit me. I had not paid the mortgage. And it was due on Monday. I had meant to. I just hadn’t gotten around to it. And, oh yeah, there was another thing. I had forgotten to pay for the life insurance. What the heck had I been thinking? Didn’t I realize that I wasn’t going to live forever. And here I was proving that point.
Poor Pam. She was going to find herself out of a house and with no money unless I could contact her and let her know where I left the checks. They were already written and I had been too darn lazy to get them sent. Now they would have to be delivered. And Pam didn’t know.
I headed off into the kitchen. She was at the sink, washing the dishing and humming “The Sound of Music” the way she always did.
I had to do something to get her attention. So I made an effort to grab her arm and stop her. My hand went through her arm. Oh, no. I’m dead for sure. What am I going to do?
“Why don’t you whistle?” A man stood next to me. He was dressed in a black suit with a bright red tie. His head was covered with a bowler.
“I don’t think that will do any good.”
“You’re probably right.” He reached over and shook my hand. “My name is Mr. D.”
“Yes, I am the one who made the house call. I had some free time, so I thought I would check back and see how you’re doing. You haven’t been to orientation yet, have you?”
“Orientation? Oh, no.”
“So what are you waiting for?” he asked, getting a little pushy.
“There is no unfinished business here.”
“I need to contact my wife. It’s urgent.”
“No can do. Well, you can do but you’re going to have to wait till tonight when she goes to sleep. You’ll have to appear to her in a dream. What was the unfinished business anyway?”
“It’s a secret.”
Mr. D laughed. “There are no secrets here. You can tell me. I might be able to help.”
“Well, okay. I wrote a check for the life insurance and for the mortgage. I put them away and forgot about them until just a little while ago. I don’t know what’s got into me lately. I’ve been kind of out of it.”
“Where she going?” I wanted to know.
“Oh, she’s going to find your body.”
“It will be quite a shock.”
“I’m afraid not. Let’s follow her.”
Pam had already left the kitchen. As she went through the living room, she picked up a few magazines and straightened up. She seemed to be in no particular hurry. Finally, she opened the bedroom door. Did she scream? No.
I turned to Mr. D. “What’s gotten into her?”
“You don’t know?”
“I don’t know.”
“Poison,” he said, that sly grin on his face.
“Poison?” I asked as I watched her kick my body.
She was kicking it hard. “I told you not to vote for that…that…person for President.”