By Donald Denoon
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Extra resources for Afterlife: A Divine Comedy
And for what conceivable benefit? If I didn’t humiliate myself, Althea would do it perfectly well. ***** afterLIFE 51 A few months later I was home on vacation. In my unwelcome celibacy I won an open scholarship and the local paper ran a feature with an owlish photograph. I had been trying not to look smug, but not trying very hard. Colin had no vacation and my other school ‘mates’ were living away from home. Celia was staying with new friends in Sydney. Mum was deflecting Father’s suspicion that these friends were evangelical lesbians or (even worse) Japanese.
I did hear His Eminence bleating that Kingston was still the PM’s hatchet man. ’ ‘The bloke whose wife threw his clothes outside the house? With the crutch cut out of the pants? ’ Gossip! All my life I’ve been sniped at by little people who resist any change to the way they work. All my life, and apparently that’s not the end. As if the problem was my invention, not their idleness! As a matter of record, by the way, Penny is a First Secretary, married pro forma to another diplomat. And it was only two pairs of trousers.
But I reminded myself that Mum was here, too, which made it less likely to be eternal damnation. If this was Gabriel, surely His presence ruled out Hell completely. I toyed with the frivolous idea that expiring at 34,000 feet had given me a head start to Heaven. Ridiculous. Nobody ever mentioned altitude as a way to elude Hell. Perhaps an ante-room? Heaven is surely reserved for people who’ve been judged by some criteria. Nobody had weighed my soul — unless I’d been unconscious, but that would be unfair procedurally.