by The Butcher!
Robin Williams stood at the gates of heaven. Slowly the gates opened and Peter stepped out. “The Lord will see you now,” he said, and Robin walked in through the gates. The landscape was that of a garden, immaculate, with flowing streams. The sky was blue with just a few puffy clouds to break up the monotony. Peter pointed to a man sitting on a bench and Robin walked over. The man was dressed comfortably, his hair not short, but not too long. His beard was trimmed. He asked a little girl who’d been sitting with him to allow Robin to sit beside him. He extended his hand and Robin noticed the nail holes.
“Yes,” the man replied. “My full name is Yeshua bar Joseph, but somewhere down the years someone came up with that, but what’s in a name, right?”
Robin hung his head slightly and said, “I guess I know where this is going. I committed suicide.”
Jesus patted the bench indicating Robin should sit, which he did. Looking off into the distance he said, “I considered redoing this place more like Disneyland. Back in the day most people coming here were from the desert regions so a little water and green grass was, well, you know, heaven. Now we get all kinds of people. What do you offer an Eskimo, huh? Things change. You have to change with them. Know what I’m saying?”
Robin looked at the landscape and said, “What do you suppose would be the most popular ride in this theme park?”
Jesus stroked his chin, “I was thinking a really spectacular roller coaster. Call it ‘Stairway to Heaven.” Robin nodded, and Jesus continued. “Did you think you wouldn’t get in?”
“Well, I’ve always heard that suicide is an unforgivable sin because you don’t have the chance to repent.”
“You have that chance now,” Jesus said. Did you have any trouble getting through the gates?”
“Well, there you go.”
Robin said, “I heard that some preacher said I was already burning in hell.”
“Yeah, I heard that. Gonna have a little chat with him one day about putting words in my mouth. Look, Robin, may I call you Robin? Look, my entire existence was about mercy and forgiveness. No man, or woman for that matter can possibly know the entire spectrum of another person’s existence. Only I can do that. Only I know all the actions, reactions, reasons, psychological make up, emotions, all of it, and I don’t mean to brag, but I do it quite well. Look at Peter over there. Man walked beside me for three years, ran like a rabbit the night of my arrest. But, know what? He came back! Good man! Even little Judas. He hanged himself too, you know?”
“Did he go to hell?”
“Don’t put words in my mouth, Robin.”
“No problem. Now, life can be hard. How hard it is will be how hard you perceive it to be. You overcame drugs, alcohol, mental issues, and kept on working, making people laugh. You did pretty good until that Parkinson’s thing came along. It was just too much. You made your life’s goal that no matter how big the issue, so long as you were in control of YOU, everything was going to be alright. Parkinson’s painted you into a corner, and you could see no way out. I knew that.”
“Yeah. Called Omnipotent. Part of the job. Hey! There’s Michael Jackson. HEY MIKE!” Jesus smiled and shook his head. “Guy shows up at the gate yelling, ‘This is IT! I knew what he was saying. Peter doesn’t have any rhythm. Any way, I digress. I KNEW that that last blow would do you in, but don’t you see? Even in that last act of desperation you were in control of your destiny. Bottom line, I judge. I weigh the facts. Here’s a man who never hurt anyone, made people laugh, gave to others, and just didn’t want to burden anyone in the end. Sounds like a pretty good guy to me. But, that having been said you still gotta do some penance.”
Robin steeled himself and sat up straight. “Whatever you give me is just and fair.”
“Good,” Jesus said. “Richard Pryor has been working on a routine for the Angels for years and can’t get it right. I think if you two collaborate good things will come out. So, go over there and Peter will show you where he lives.” Robin stood up and Jesus stood and gave him a hug. Robin had tears in his eyes. “All is good here. Wipe away all the tears, that kind of stuff.”
Robin began to walk away. Jesus called, “Hey.”
He turned and asked, “Yes?”
“See if you can get Richard to clean that language up,” and gave Robin the high sign.
As Jesus walked away, Robin remembered little girl who was sitting beside Jesus when he arrived. Pointing, he asked, “Who’s the little girl?”
“Auschwitz,” Jesus said. “Eight years old. Ran into the electric fence. She gets a pass, too.”