It’s a biggest little room I’ve ever sat in.
A hallway to nowhere is at one corner. On what I guess was
yesterday I walked down it, and it never turned or curved but I
eventually walked back to this same room. It’s a neat trick, but since I’
ve made that walk a thousand times now, even it has gotten boring. I
used to run my fingers down the wall trying to feel the curve,
ignoring the conundrum that there was only one opening into the
room for the hallway, and that there were no corners.
The room itself is utilitarian. It has neutral walls and florescent lights
that never flicker or go off. It has a few rows of chairs I don’t think
anyone was ever supposed to sit in, a few very nice plants and very
nice paintings, and at one end a desk with a computer on it. Behind
that is a door.
I had no idea Heaven’s waiting room would look so much like the
unemployment office or the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Every so often the door open and Pete comes out. I call him Pete
because I assume he is St. Peter, but I’ve never asked. He’s never
said. He sits down and just then someone emerges from the hallway.
They sometimes look a little bewildered so I smile and wave them
over to Pete. He glances at the screen for a second and then he too
smiles. There is a little glow thing that happens, and then Pete rises
and ushers them back through the doorway into what I guess would
be Heaven. It usually takes a few seconds and they’re on their way. I’
m the only person waiting.
Pete came out early and offered me a cup of coffee once, even
though he explained I didn’t need it but that it would at least give me
something to do, the sipping and all. I can never seem to empty the
cup or have a need to go to the bathroom , so that works out too. It’s
very good coffee.
When Pete’s not there the computer is off. There is no way to turn it
on I can see. I wonder how happy the people at Apple would be to
know that it resembles one of their products.
I’ve never tried the door. I just haven’t.
I have no idea how long I’ve been in Heaven’s waiting room. I haven’t
seen anyone I know, so I don’t think it’s been long, or maybe I’ve
missed them when I close my eyes and pretend to sleep just to
break up the monotony.
When I arrived the room was empty. I just was there in the hallway
suddenly. I stood there trying to figure it out for a while, trying to
imagine how I’d gotten here, then started walking. When I reached
the room it was empty and after looking around some more I sat
down to wait. It was a while.
When the door opened that first time, Pete looked at me and I could
see a bit of surprise in his eyes. I earned an eyebrow of surprise
when someone else emerged from the hallway a few seconds later.
In my last act of politeness, I allowed them to go first. Pete tapped
few keys and looked at them and smiled, then the glow thing
happened. It started as a aura that brightened and got brighter and
all shimmery. Then Pete rose and opened the door and walked them
through. He came back a few seconds later and waved me over to
He tapped a few keys then looked at me in puzzlement. Then tapped
a few more keys. Then a few more. Until finally his hands were a blur
of motion. He stopped suddenly. In mid keystroke, his fingers
hovering. He got up and disappeared into the doorway. After a while
I went and sat down in one of the waiting room chairs. A little later I
walked back down the hallway and ended up back in the room for
the first time. I sat back down.
The next time Pete spoke to me was to offer me the coffee. A few
hundred people had passed since then. I’d stopped counting after a
while. No one is ever sent back, nor does a trap door open and
people fall away, so I imagine there is some system that puts you in
the right hallway for here or the other place.
The last time Pete spoke to me was several hundred people after
that. He told me why I’m waiting, but that there isn’t a whole lot he
can do about it. Apparently Heaven’s got a bit a bureaucracy about
it too. It seems I’m not on his list. Or on the other place’s list. Or
anyone’s list. It seems I’m mistake. Which explains a lot in what used
to be my life.