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The Allegory Stupid of Jacob Starfish
Pantsless, invisible Jacob Starfish flew over Southern Brooklyn. He had a tummy-ache, but he felt empty inside.
"I wonder what's going to happen to me when I die?", he mused to himself in a heavy sort of way. "I haven't gone to church since I was little, but I really don't believe in a heaven or God." He dipped to avoid a low-hanging cloud. Flying through clouds was unpleasant. Even in spring, they were much colder than one would think, and if he was flying fast enough, the ice crystals were pokey. Having no pants on, Jacob didn't want to mess around with that.
"The Buddhists and Hindus believe in reincarnation, where you come back as another person or animal." He was speaking aloud now, which he sometimes did when he was trying to work through a problem. "The Jews and Muslims believe in some sort of after-life, too, I think, but I really don't know much about them or their beliefs.
"Maybe nothing happens. Maybe I just...stop." A flock of pigeons below him scattered and rose on the warm currents. He stopped, hovering in mid-air. The pigeons surrounded him like popping popcorn. He shot out his hand and snatched one from the sky.
"Hey, what the hell?" exclaimed the pigeon! "What the hell!" The pigeon squirmed and fluttered, but Jacob held on, gently but firmly.
"Of course," Jacob thought. "How silly of me." He turned himself visible again. The pigeon held still for a moment, wriggled once, then again, and finally gave in, breathing heavily. The irridescent feathers on the bird's head shone like old roast beef in the morning sunlight.
"What do you want?" asked the bird. Jacob considered the defiant pigeon. "Listen, buddy, how 'bout you let me go?" The bird said nothing about Jacob not wearing any pants. Birds didn't care about stuff like that. The pigeon blinked. "Hey, can I HELP you?"
"Sorry," Jacob answered. "I'm really sorry to have bothered you." He opened his hand, and the pigeon flew away, swearing.
Jacob thought some more about the pigeon. What a wonder it was! It lead a very uncomplicated existence. Also, it could fly, and eat bread! That was about it, but that lack of choice fed back into the uncomplicated existence thing! Jacob Starfish decided that when he died, he wanted to come back as a pigeon, or any sort of bird, really.
"Reincarnation it is, then. When I die, I'll come back as something else."
His reasoning may have been faulty; stupid, even, but it turned out he was right! He accelerated to Mach 15 and headed for home.
TO BE CONTINUED
Date Written: March 18, 2004
Author: Jacob Starfish
Average Vote: 4