"Letter from Hell"

I scream. You scream. We all scream because we are all in Hell. It’s not as bad as I thought it would be. A lot of folks were relieved that there is no torture or pits of fire. Threre are outdoor fireplaces, and ritual sacrifices and public torture definitely hold up the calendar, but that’s really just a thing for holidays like human  fireworks. I’d hate to be cliche, but Hell really is essentially Reno, Nevada in the summer. People run businesses, sell real estate; patrons frequent ice cream shops on baked sidewalks in another dimension. Some parts of town are undane and totally mad. Domesticity in this place makes people lose any grip they might hope to have on continued sanity. There are suburbs and the financial district is booming, and the nice houses burn frequently. People start fires for some reason, and there’s a linked trend with stabbings and beatings following the fires. Generally people mind their own business but it’s fucking hot and they lash out. The music clubs and the artist quarters are beautifully depraved. They all finally become nihilists or existentialists in the face of an unknown future in an unknown realm. The jazz club is called Christ! Folks arrive and the believers freak out and often turn on each other for their virtue, or else gang and build churches to try to save themselves with the same shite that got them here. The jazz cats at Christ! like to come to the Induction Parties and tell this stuff to hip kids coming in, that the Churcheezers can’t get Bibles down here obviously, so they have the Holy Word written on all kinds of shit, on napkins, business cards, little scraps that they hide away. Some try to type up full copies from memory and are forced to burn them at the public ceremonies to force the point. We really do try not to give them too much grief, they were just not prepared in that life to get with the program in Hell. 

The deal is, you live here for an unspecified amount of time. You know you will one day move on, but some folks are the prison old-timers, ya know, they’ve been here for countless lifetimes and they either chug along and play games or become shells of souls wrapped up in whatever delusion kept them going in life. They go deeper in and you have to spiral outwards here, you’ve got to show change and growth but they don’t tell you that.

So we stay here until we work out our time. Life has different meaning here and time passes amazingly fast. I remember dying recently and I’ve lived three lifetimes since I got here. Once I was hit by a car, and then I was sacrifieced as a newbie, I think 39 and 14. I originally died at 23, I came here. I had leukemia and really good friends, I’m pretty sure I’ll see them soon. I don’t know what the connection is between time there and here. But I did see a lot of the family, the ones I could find. Not everybody is in the same layer, obviously, population would be dense as fuck and that would be terrible. It’s not better or worse in each layer, you’re not really aware of them. They lie next to each other, identical versions of Hell like dimensional apartments. I’ve heard of people swapping zones but I think that was an administrative decision, we don’t have much say in how it runs.

You have to play games to stay sane. We age so quickly and are killed so frequently that you can’t build much of a life, so meaning has to come in trying to understand our time. From what I understand, there’s an accompanying Hell self in your Earth life, a pair just like that. 

You get a self to get right on Earth, in LIFE and then if you fuck that up, I guess, you come here and work it on out some more. But if you leave here, well, when you get done here, you go back to either Earth or some other place for higher creatures. Earth is the sandbox and the shithole, like the lowwest realm as far as enlightenment or whatever, Ascension. That’s what people bug on, is that it’s not that you’re a bad person and that’s why you’re here. You get this lone human life if you have it on Earth, so maybe 100 years. So you get used to being this model and then you have a fucking long time to do this here. It’s horrifying but it’s a great teacher for being creative and living with grace. It’s like a place a Zen master would dream up to teach someone. The people play games and eventually they get to go play games with the Gods when they learn to be free like that. I could think of a few people that probably skipped Hell and went right up there to frolick and shite. Neal Cassady, maybe, Robin Williams definitely did, I heard early on that he skipped ahead. Folks like that who get somewhere crazy in life. A lot of the philosophers did, a lot of artists, which is a bummer because the geniuses are not here, but we do get the super damaged ones that run the parties. Jim Morrison’s a regular at Christ!, Hunter S. Thompson had a permanent house built for him and before Oscar Wilde moved on he held court at cafes with Baudelaire and Bukowski, which is fucking amazing to see. 

I’m having a ball  so far, I’m excited to get to figure this out and go but there are a lot of cool things to do. It’s the most fun thing a fun person would think of and a total soul-ripping nightmare for people who can’t have a good time. I’ll be a little sad when I have to go but I wish my flesh wasn’t routinely ripped from my bones or my head lit on fire for holidays. It’s only once a lifetime but something awful always gets you, to remind you of death and destruction of things. Impermanence. And then you walk back down the the bar when the bus drops you off, and you’re good as new. 

I’m glad I get to send this, I want someone to know what this really is like so maybe not so many people will get suckered in and wind up going mad when they get here. It’s awful to see around you all the time. It’s weird to say, but I’m really looking forward to seeing you. I love you so much, tell everyone that I send my love, I don’t have room to say hey to everyone. Tell Cleo and Grandma I’m okay and I love them both, I think of you all every day. Save this letter for humanity and get it to the right people who can verify it. My locker in my room has the combination 22748, and I don’t have that written anywhere, and I know no one else knows it. Mom. DO NOT open the locker. Just let one of my friends do it. Please.

 I love you. I’m sorry for all of the arguments and misunderstandings. I wish I had just talked to you more about everything and communicated but I’m so glad we got close while I was well. Please don’t be sad that I’m gone. It’s not so bad to be alive, and it’s wonderful to die, it feels so restful in between. This is just a huge experiment that we’re all in on, and it;s more amazing all the time, more than anyone on Earth could possibly know. Please be as happy and adventurous as you can. You were really a great Mom and I miss you. I haven’t seen Dad yet but we shuffled around so we eventually meet everybody. I like that. I know I’ll see you soon.

Love, 
Eric