Should his life have ended any sooner than it did, Sule was convinced he would have been a happier ghost. Something about all the screaming and forlorn expressions and that wheezing sound he now realised had been his breathing had carried on with him into the afterlife. Too much time was spent realising he was dying and begging whatever preternatural force was listening not to let him. Had he died sooner, he would have simply woken up a ghost. A regular ghost, not a frustrated one.
Now all everyone did seemed purposefully intended to annoy him. He was dissatisfied with his posters, he was annoyed by his brother’s flimsy attempts at a tribute, and Ewua’s tears just weren’t cutting it for him. She was not being theatrical in the least. How was the world to know how good of a person he was when she, his wife, had not even once fallen to the ground and rolled in the dirt? All she did all day was sit in the couch, a blank expression on her face, and refuse to acknowledge his sympathisers.
Of all the things that annoyed Sule however, nothing did more than Dare’s insistence on occasionally breaking into laughter and saying stupid things like, “If Sule was here he would have wanted so and so.” It was not necessarily that what Dare said wasn’t true of his character as a person, but that was when he was a person; and which living person truly knew what it felt like to be dead? Yes, living Sule would have thought that dead Sule would want everyone to carry on with their lives, but that was living Sule making blind assertions. Now he was dead Sule, and dead Sule wanted tears. Gaddamit. He wanted to know he meant something to these people.
He never got what he wanted though. As it had been in his life, as it had been in those wasted moments before his death, as it was now, he did not get what he wanted. The funeral carried on, lacklustre budget, insufficient tears, terrible-terrible posters, even worse tributes, guffawing Dare and all.
When he had died, Peter had looked him over once and casually informed him he would remain on earth until his soul found peace. As he stood watching the two sweaty undertakers lift his coffin off the edge of what he couldn’t bring himself to believe was actually a 6 foot hole, he wondered if maybe his peace was accepting this; That life had never dealt him a trump card and it was not going to be any more sympathetic in his death. Maybe that was his peace: admitting to himself that he was not to have any at all.
Where was Peter anyway? He was ready to go now.
It was some 3 and a half years before Peter finally came for Sule; but not for lack of reason, he explained; After decades of God’s frustration, the trumpets had finally sounded on the living. It was free entry for all.
Art Credit: Munch Rarely – Naked and Aflame or Considering Death