Heaven™ (2002)

At first, you didn’t even realize you were dead. You moved through all the places you moved through when you were alive, kept the same schedule. You saw all the people you saw when you were alive, but they didn’t see you. It took a few days for you to realize what happened. That’s when you went to Heaven™.

Heaven™ is perfect, but it’s not perfect in the way you imagined it would be. It was more like a foreign country, a country where nothing is wrong, no one is upset, everyone agrees, nobody wants.

They have a god in Heaven™, of course. Or rather, the people in Heaven™ have a perfect conception of a god. They have so perfected their god that it only has one name, which is “God.” They never need to go to church; this is Heaven™, after all. Their only form of worship is to print t-shirts with upbeat slogans about “God.”

In Heaven™, people spend their days doing busy things like living people. They have jobs and have sex and eat in restaurants and go shopping. Those are the only things people in Heaven™ care to do. They never sleep.

In Heaven™, the people are like chubby balloons. The people don’t walk, they hover, or they teleport instantaneously from place to place. But there are no places in Heaven™, every place is exactly the same as every other place.

The balloon people in Heaven™ don’t have arms and legs like living people. They have nubbins and flippers. They can move things around with their thoughts, but there is never any need to move anything. In Heaven™, all the things move themselves conveniently to the place they need to be.

In Heaven™, people don’t have memories. They don’t remember being alive, they don’t remember Earth or television or bicycles. Nothing in the past troubles them and they never worry about the future. There is only exactly this moment, and a kind of timeless dream about something pleasant and untroubled, but more entertaining than movies or books.

Dead people don’t talk to each other. They have a kind of telepathy but never need to use it. They never need to talk about anything, because nothing ever happens except for the pleasant dream, which everyone shares anyway.

In Heaven™, people don’t eat food like living people. The people eat electricity, they eat ashes, they drink oil. They breathe chlorine and ammonia. But this is all better than crusty bread or broccoli or bean soup, better than water, better than air. Because in Heaven™ everything tastes good, tastes like Earth food but better. Heaven™ is like an all-you-can-eat buffet where you can eat anything, so you might as well eat electricity.