The Line Surfer

There is no afterlife. Fact.  No Heaven, no Hell, no Valhalla, not even Purgatory. There is only the line.

It doesn’t start as a line. It’s really a triangle. A shrinking pyramid of life, from birth to death the apex gets closer, then there is just the line, a point, you have reached the summit, the triangle of life lays below you. It is here you will meet the line-surfers.

That’s what I am, a line-surfer, you will have your own name for me. A spirit, a lost soul, a ghost, a spectre, a phantom or a wraith, the list is endless. Every society, every tribe, every culture has their own name for us.

I can hear your arguments. If there is no afterlife then why are you still living? How are you still able to tell this tale?  So, let me clarify, I officially died seventy years ago.  There was nothing special about my death. There was no drama, no violence, I died because my body failed, it wasn’t peaceful, I fought for every breath, I battled for every extra moment. But it was only my body that died, somehow my soul clung desperately to the tip of life. The tip that forms the fine line between life and death. This is the line I surf.

I don’t know why it happened to me. No surfer does, the brief interactions I have had with others has told me that. But, it is no kind of existence, believe me when I tell you that there is a reason all ghosts look pained. It isn’t something that they’ve carried over from their physical life, it is the pain of hanging onto this sliver of being.

Why do it then? Why hang on?

I ask myself these questions constantly. The truth is I don’t know, somehow at the moment of death my soul reached out and grabbed the line, in the shock of those few moments I was still fighting for life and my soul fought on as the body died. It was instinct, cowardice, I don’t know what. But I wished I’d let go then. Because now I can’t.

I suppose deep down it is the survival instinct, that same instinct that caused me so much pain as I lay gasping my dying death. But why? There is nothing to exist for, except existence itself.

It is difficult to put into words what it’s like here, of course it’s not a line we surf, nor it is the tip of a pyramid that we balance upon, these are just metaphors. It could be described as walking a tightrope in the dark, all the time being buffeted by a spiralling wind and simultaneously clinging by the fingertips to a frozen handhold on a granite cliff-face. But it’s more than that, it is a desperate balancing act to preserve a memory of life, a taste of consciousness.

And it’s constant, one mistake, one slip of the mind, one wrong move, one lapse of….