I remember the mausoleums. I've always had a certain fascination for cemeteries. I got that from watching a movie called "Harold and Maude" when I was a kid. That was a pretty wild movie and I learned something about mortality - that we all have it.
I used to go to meetups with the California Paranormal Society just to see what they could dig up. They've done some interesting work, I must say. But what impressed me the most were the trips to the cemeteries. I don't really believe in ghosts, but when it got cloudy and the sun was close to setting, and it was cold, in the bottom floor of the mausoleum, that creeped me out. I needed to get to bathroom quick to pee, then get out.
I also remember seeing the resting place of Darla and Alfalfa together at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. There are some amazing monuments there. Douglas Fairbanks was one of them. He had this beautiful reflection pool gracing his burial place. There were mini-mausoleums dedicated to great directors or actors placed throughout the cemetery there. All vying for immortality. Even Johnny Ramone has a place there. Great statue.
There is a picture of a man falling head first from the World Trade Center on September 11th. It's floating around on the internet. No one knows who he is. I don't think that he had that trip in mind when he woke up that morning. No one ever really does. No one is immortal.
I used to frequent the pier in Huntington Beach, California. I'd go there to watch the sunset and reflect on the day just passed. Sometimes I'd run into people on the pier carrying signs saying things like "Repent! And be saved!", "Let Jesus into your heart", etc. They were saying that the world would end, but that I could be saved, if only, if only ... I would let Jesus into my heart.
They would approach me and ask me these questions to see if there is any hope to save me. The conversation would go something like this:
Crusader: Do you believe in God?
Me: No, I don't, but I have faith in God. I consider faith to be distinct from belief and that makes me open to new information.
Crusader: Have you ever let Jesus into your heart?
Me: Now that's an interesting question. Would you like to explore that?
Me: Is Jesus God?
Crusader: Of course, Jesus came to Earth for us, to forgive us of our sins.
Me: Ok, so Jesus is God. Next question: Is God everything?
Crusader: God created everything, but I don't think the creator is the same as what he creates.
Me: Ok, is God everywhere?
Me: Then he's inside me, too. I don't think I have to change.
Crusader: But you must let Jesus into your heart to know God. Don't you want to live forever in Heaven?
Me: You mean to live forever? To be immortal?
Me: Don't you think you'd ever want to give it a rest? Wouldn't you get tired of living forever? I know I would. I think I'll pass. Thanks.
I just don't see the point in being immortal. Everything comes to an end. Everything. For now, I'll just enjoy life as it is. No worries.
Uh, oh. This article could freak some people out. Don't worry, Mom. This article isn't an omen. It's just a reflection that I run through around November, you know, near the end of the year. For those of you who know me and love me, I'm 7 years into a 50 year commitment to my wife, Alice and my daughter, Emily. I'm not going anywhere. :)