TRAVELER — PART III, Adrift With the Space Cowboy


Adrift With the Space Cowboy

“Sensi—no you idiot, I’m just grasping what’s before me and not thinking with my pecker in the Afterlife!” I couldn’t handle it anymore. If he wasn’t already dead, I might’ve strangled him.

“Whoa easy there, Tommy. It’s cool. We’ll worry about women later. What do you want to do?” He asked while turning his baseball hat backwards.

I had to stop and think about that because I rightly didn’t know what I wanted to do. I didn’t even know what my existence was now, aside of the obvious fact that I was dead and everything I’ve ever known was obliterated. It was a lot to process for anybody…except Earl. We’re dead and the first thing he can think of is girls. That of course drew me to my next question.

“Wait a minute. How would you even know where to find other people? I mean, ghosts?” I asked while looking down at my feet and baffling at the fact that I could see thousands of stars beneath them. If it weren’t for the fact that the situation was so hopeless, I’d be awestruck right now.

“Well, I found you didn’t I?” He stated with a matter-of-fact tone. “I dunno rightly, I think I sensed you. You know, like one of those Jedi!”

The thought of Earl wearing that Tennessee Titans hat with Jedi robes and a lightsaber made out of a beer can and a flashlight suddenly snapped my gloom in a burst of laughter. “I…you know that feels right.” I said finally.

“Sure does!” Earl offered with his usual ability to state the obvious.

If we could sense other ghosts, we might be able to find others and perhaps find some answers. The most predominant issue I was grappling with was, since the Earth was destroyed and ghosts usually haunt a particular area, did that mean I was damned to haunt the remains of the planet like some sort of galactic graveyard or could we roam?

Wordlessly I tried pushing myself forward with a swimming motion and unsurprisingly, I managed to only make it look like I was imitating a swimmer and in doing so, only mount further confusion with Earl. Further attempts seemed to fall flat, which spurred my new companion to comment.

“No, you just have to think about the direction you want to go. You’re dead, dummy! You don’t move like a person no more!” Earl stated with some authority.

I looked at him skeptically before quieting my mind and trying it. I think it was with the immediacy by which I shot forward that I was surprised; it was entirely effortless. I remember reading some time ago about how ghosts were thought to be electromagnetic shadows of ourselves. Echoes of energy imprinted on the world. If I was essentially sentient electromagnetic energy, that meant with some limitations, there was literally nowhere I couldn’t go.

“We can go wherever we want, as fast as we want…” I stated to Earl for confirmation.

“Reckon so.”

“Except I have no idea where to go.” I stated in muted frustration. Perhaps that’s why ghosts haunt places, they can’t think of anywhere else to go. The very thought of it sickened me.


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