After Life

There was a time, in college, when I was seeing a friend’s girlfriend on the sly.  She lived in a second floor dorm room.  There was never any chance of hooking up over the weekend, because Kyle was around late, but he got to sleep early on weeknights, so late Monday through Thursday I’d go over to the dorm and climb up the wall to her window.  It was one of those old buildings, it had stone with a lot of character, so it was an easy climb.

One night, it was a pretty full moon, I slipped and fell the whole way down, landing on my back on the grass, and I must have passed out.  I saw the world slip away.  I saw the tunnel of light, the feeling of peace … I really did … and it wasn’t like getting high.  It was nothing like getting high.  And I heard the chorus of angels.  Not literally, but I have no other way to describe this sound.  There is a song to the universe, it’s like a sound track, and its lyrics are the difference between right and wrong.  I heard the chorus of angels, and I knew there was a place for me, there, singing of the birth of stars and the fall of man.

And instead of joining in the chorus I looked back down at my body.  I looked back down at my body and there I was, again, and I opened my eyes.  I had seen the truth behind everything.  And you know what I did?

I scaled that wall again, and I rapped on her window, and we fucked for an hour.  She got pregnant two months later, and we don’t know whose it was, but they broke up and I moved on because it was getting ugly, and I had a lot happening.

I’ve never told anyone that before.  I can’t help feeling like, in hindsight, I fucked that up somehow.  But what else do you do when you come back to life than go on living?


Benjamin Wachs has written for Village Voice Media,, and NPR among other venues.  He archives his work at

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