Circumcision and Zyklon B
I saw Adolf Hitler walking down a street in Heaven last night. I visit Paradise in my dreams occasionally, to see friends and family departed, or just to have a conversation with someone I miss.
A ratty, bloodstained uniform combined with a cartoonish mustache confirmed I was looking at the infamous dictator. As I passed him I said, "Hello, did not expect to see you here."
He stopped, "The Creator allows us the freedom of choosing our own personal Hell or Heaven. This is mine."
I looked around, "It has an appearance of Heaven."
He shook his head, "You do not have to face a daily circumcision for six million days."
"Must be painful, I assume that number must be tied to the number of your victims?"
He nodded. "That's just the Jews. At least I have anesthetic and it never becomes infected. Things could be worse."
"Why did you pick such a horrible punishment?"
He looked weary, "The problem with crossing over is you acquire all knowledge, you see history in its entirety, the very comprehension that was a sin for Eve is a norm here. You may not see you are a monster in the real world, but reflecting from Heaven you understand how you have abused your freedom of choice."
"Freedom of choice? I don't understand."
He gestured and a wooden chair materialized, he sat down and apologized, "Blood loss gets to me early in the day . . . I am just as much a product of the Creator as you are. She makes us, good and evil. Gift of life, gift of consciousness, and an ability to feel, the Creator grants them all."
He sighed, "No one tells you with certainty there will be a reckoning, a final judgement. It was my mistake to think my final sleep would lead to unending darkness. I should have looked at the stars more often, to understand their infinity might have led me to think about my possibilities for eternity. I screwed up; I thought when you died, you died."
He looked at me, "Six million days is a blink of an eye in the life of our Universe. It just seems like an eternity."
"I hear the boiler kicking on at home, that means the heat in our house is about to come on. I'll be waking up in a few minutes. Anything you want to relay to people back in the real world?"
"Those terrorists currently in the news? Suicide bombers? You might want to remind them their boss is here. Muhammad's followers don't get to pick their Hell, he chooses for them. Can you imagine being blown to pieces by an explosives vest every day for eternity? There's not enough anesthetic in the Universe to stop pain of that magnitude."
Then I woke up.
Whit Young, former Marine, retired hospital pharmacist, and real estate broker, savors life on Maryland's Eastern Shore. The pacifist author of "Lynching at the Legion" and "Penny For Your Thinking," he is working on a sci-fi novel that provides an unusual answer to the question, "Are we alone in the Universe?"