Procrastinator

When he opened his eyes one morning he was eighty years
old and it was time to re-evaluate his priorities in life. He sat
behind his desk and carefully recorded all his unfulfilled
dreams one by one. The list was long.

It started with his well crafted plot to kiss the girl next door at
age twelve. The failure to accomplish this task   was etched in
his psyche.  Later in life he kissed so many yet none replaced
the one he never had.

He remembered another life changing experience he had a
few years later when he witnessed a deprived man stealing a
piece of bread. The shame on the poor man’s face the
moment he was caught was an epiphany to him as a young
man; and he vowed to make it a mission of his life to eradicate
poverty. When he became a mature adult however, he
learned to think with his head instead of his heart; was
distracted by his endless business responsibilities and totally
forgot this noble aspiration.

The list also included his goal to become successful. This one
seemed an achieved goal. He was incredibly rich and always
had so many employees and staff around him to remind him
of his accomplishments.

Today however, his definition of success had changed; he
had reached a point in his life that everything that meant
something to him was suddenly became meaningless. All his
priorities had turned out to be absurd; and now he was back
to square one at age eighty.
After these eye-opening revelations and the day he felt the
depth of his failure as a human being yet before he had a
chance to make amends and take any action to reverse the
course he died.

His sudden death came as a shock to him.  He was not
prepared to call it quits yet. The worst part was that he didn’t
remember exactly how he died. He was surely alive and well
when he gave an exciting speech on the subject of  “Secrets
of Success” as a distinguished member of his country club
just a the night before. He had a vivid recollection of that
event and the next thing he remembered was a relaxing nap
in his luxurious casket. The entire affair with death was vexing.
He was puzzled over the cause of his own death, something
was amiss.

He had every reason to suspect his close friends and
confidants first and then his countless enemies for his
unexpected departure. After all, he was too wealthy to die of
natural causes as stated in his death certificate. He was too
cynical to believe his death was normal. He knew someone
had outsmarted him by cutting his life short. Death didn’t
bother him as much as the element of surprise.

From the very moment he realized he was on the other side,
he became obsessed with revenge; from whom, he didn’t
know yet. At the beginning he was irritated to learn that all his
power, his wealth and his endless connections meant nothing
in this new world; he was as dead as the next guy.

When he finally accepted what he was he familiarized himself
with his new life style. It took him sometime to settle in and
fully comprehend his rights and responsibilities as a dead
man and to acclimate to his new existence. He also became
aware of his powers and limitations as a ghost.

One of the advantages of his new life so to speak was the
abundance of true friends, friends who wanted nothing from
him but his companionship. This feature of death was
appealing to the newcomer as he didn’t have any reason to
suspect others’ intentions and reasons behind their actions.
But he didn’t have time for friendship, as he was obsessed
with his new priorities. His first order of business was to find a
few fellow evil spirits to seek consultation on the subject of
revenge.

As creative and as intelligent as he was, he quickly acquired
necessary skills and learned the most innovative methods to
make life a living hell and managed to destroy lives of so
many to avenge his own death.

Eighty years after his death, one morning he sat down and
evaluated the events of his life after death. All his priorities
once again suddenly seemed meaningless. He wasn’t even
sure if his death was a murder and if it was; it didn’t bother
him anymore. He was back to square one.

As he was wondering about enigmatic events and
circumstances of his life and death, a fellow spirit who had
been dead for seven thousands years approached him. The
revered sage sat next to him. This man was well-respected for
his infinite wisdom, vast knowledge and sound judgments.

The righteous specter whispered some words he didn’t
comprehend. As he moved his ear closer to the virtuous man’
s mouth to hear his words of wisdom, the seventy thousand
year dead man suddenly tackled him and bit his ear. He
squealed in pain yet didn’t know how to respond to such an
outrageous act of violence from such a revered ghost.

He was still in the state of shock, trying to make sense of this
absurd and unwarranted hostility, when the old spirit punched
him in the nose.  Before he had a chance to defend himself,
the venerable man grabbed his hair, violently pulled his head
down and kicked him hard in the belly. He collapsed on the
ground, but the vengeful master was not through with him yet.
He then swiftly plucked him off the ground, twirled him over his
head and threw him back to life.

*****

When the twelve year old boy opened his eyes, he had a
bloody nose, an injured ear and a wonderful life ahead of
him.