With my afternoon nap now completely disrupted, there was little else I could do but argue with the cause of the disruption. Clearly I wasn’t about to wake up from a strange dream. No, this was just another example of why my life is wall to wall weird. Assuming I am alive. No, wait. That question is the start of a very bad garden path, and I don’t want to go down that particular slippery slope. I am alive. All my senses say so, and at least as of this morning I spoke to other people who didn’t run screaming at the ghostly apparition. I am alive. It is my invisible, but unfortunately audible visitor that is no longer among the living.
“Ahem” the voice said, clearly annoyed at being ignored.
“Oh, not this again. Haven’t we beat that horse to death? I’m not really alive, you are clever enough to notice, and I still have a message to deliver.” It was clearly getting annoyed with me.
“No one said anything about a message,” I said. I was still a touch snippy from losing my nap, and it may have been audible in my reply. Ok, perhaps I was more than a little snippy. “All the arguing about the chicken, and I missed the key point. You were told to come here and get my attention. Well, you have it now, so please do explain yourself or deliver your message.”
“Not my message, and it is still true that I don’t really know why I am here. But here I am, and the evidence is that I told a joke and you noticed. But, as you imagine, there is a message and I assume it is the reason I’m here. Because I’m still murky on the whole why am I here part of things.”
“Please, oh magnificent disembodied voice, may you never grow hoarse, please deliver the message you bear to these worthless and undeserving ears.” There. That is about the most grovelling I’ve put into a single sentence in a long time.
There was some stuffy silence.
“Well?” I asked in due course.
“Now you are mocking me.” It sounded a lot more petulant.
“Only a little. Please, deliver a message. We’ll decide the great questions of the meaning of life later.”
“Well then. The message is this: Love after. Life plurality.”
“Does that make sense to you?” I asked. “I mean, that seems more than a little strained.”
“I don’t know. Perhaps I’ve said it wrong. Try this: Love aft. Early people a little.”
“That doesn’t sound any clearer.”
“Well, I have to agree with you there. But I don’t have anything else. I’m not a tape recorder. That is what I was told to say. Figuring out what it means must be your problem.”