The Irrational Experiences of Isobel In The Afterlife

In the pitch-black void of an interstellar overdrive, three voices spoke. “Thanks for having me,” said the Mind. “You know I can say the same to you,” said the Body. The Spirit heard them quietly as they ambled across this empty abyss. Isobel had just met with an accident, she saw her entire life flash before her until she gasped her last breath. Then it was all black. The three voices dissembled into nothingness and now they quarreled as each was about to separate into a different journey.

“It was because of you! you were slow”, said Isobel’s mind. “Well, you could have been a little more reflexive”, answered Isobel’s body. As they spoke, Isobel’s Spirit noticed, there was no one called Isobel anymore. It was just an identity while on Earth, rather more like a convention. Over here, it meant nothing, there was no point fretting over things which were no more things, in a place which was no more a place. The Mind kept mustering and the body had always been a rebellion.

“Isobel was about to get married next month,” the Mind mewled. “Ethan felt so good, I will miss him”, said the Body. The Spirit observed both of them, it was trying to skulk around and not get involved in the talk. The gap between the words lengthened, the Mind unaware of it kept chattering. And as for the Body, it was slowly disintegrating. They entered into a white wisp of smoke, their voices were barely heard. The concept of time dissolved into itself. It was disastrous, but it no more felt like a disaster. Just mere plainness. The Mind thought this is it, the Body didn’t get a chance to understand, and the Spirit thought this was where all three would split.

The Mind entered somewhere, rather nowhere. It saw its collapse, the mountains crumbled, the oceans dried up. Too scared to face it, the Mind tried to escape but it was woven into this long alley of suffering that it chose to lay-about. It noticed that the more it tried to avoid the more it affected. It couldn’t escape its own constituents. The Mind remembered everything, right from Isobel’s first patter of feet to her last breath. Isobel was too innocent, too good for the world around. The Mind drowned in this feeling of self-pity, that for a while, it assumed itself to be this emotion. It remembered that mere moment when Isobel truly loved someone, that if love was this tick of a clock, she would have spent forever in these fleeting hours. Then within a blink of an eye, Isobel entered adulthood. She became this impeccable woman with impeccable goals. As she grew she kept losing a part of her every time a person died. She never recovered fully, she kept missing her mom. She was always paranoid about losing people until she became her own paranoia. At 25, she questioned her own existence, she feared that the answer to life would be a blank space. She filled this space with her love for art. It gave her immense meaning. She traveled across countries and she sunk in the beauty of nature, in its vivacity. She captured as much as her eyes could gather. And in one such endeavour she met Ethan. He was lurking in mundane until Isobel filled in. And like every love story, her’s had ups and downs, to’s and fro’s, and the story wrote itself. Her’s ended on a bright summer morning, when her car failed and a truck collided before she could escape out.

Her Mind was puzzled as to what exactly it should figure out from this strange eventful history. Her Mind spoke, but it never got tired of speaking. It spoke at every passing flash. On this panoramic trail of moments, the Mind found one spot where Isobel was spaced out. Isobel just kept staring at a stark spot too indistinct to locate. Her Mind saw this and was electrified when there came a moment it felt as if Isobel stared right back at it, right back at this moment. Right through time, right through dimension questioning the crooked ways of life. Isobel’s 32-year-old chronicle finished in a split of a second. Her Mind strolled through the void and suddenly it arrived at this faint juncture. As if something was about to reveal.

Isobel’s Body went through the hottest of fires and coldest of ice. Isobel’s Body could not know herself. The Body was the grand sum of all things Isobel did and Isobel did not. Everything made her, and now the constituents, each little self of her was falling apart into further little selves. Until it assimilated into everything else and all that was left was a voice. A voice without a speaker, an art without an artist. The Body reached a fair point in space and entered into a tunnel. At the end of the tunnel was pale light, and a fierce calling.

Isobel’s Spirit saw everything, it saw its Mind collapsing and its Body rupturing. It didn’t speak a word. It followed an aimless journey. It thought about it’s own identity as Isobel, a mere character in this spectacular play of life. Isobel’s Spirit was always calm, it was her innermost self. It was Isobel beyond the realm of good and bad. Something away from earth and it’s earthlings. A watchful quintessence. It went places, places like the void inside an atom and the gap between words. And towards the final act, it reached a spot. The Mind and the Body were already waiting over there.

Isobel’s Spirit met the two voices, it was held back with this new feeling of delight. And finally, it spoke to them. It couldn’t give the Mind the answers it was looking for. It had accepted that the Mind was a constant chatter.

“I walked this bizarre long stretch, there wasn’t any starting point neither an end”, spoke the Spirit. “I neither know what’s next, but I can fairly conclude that this is it. As absurd as this moment. But I am still Isobel, I am her without being her. And you two are as much Isobel as I am. I am perplexed, we are somewhere very far, neither in heaven nor in hell. Far away from the shackles of humans and their concepts. In the vague area between thoughts. And have you thought when is the next time we get to be Isobel? Have you thought when would be the next time we’ll be Isobel and everything around her? Not in another hundred billion universes. Never. These are traveler’s tales save it, we don’t get to be this again. When shall we three meet again…..? At least not in another hundred billion universes.”

And just like that the voices diminished. Ethan was the final thought Isobel’s Mind could muster. In it’s obscurity the Body melted. And like the final dance of a flame, the Spirit flickered.

-Rohit Jadhav