"If I die again, just let me go"

by Kevin Myrick

Will made the mistake of asking Doobie Brother if he could remember what happened after he died. “Did you see anything? People say they have those kinds of experiences all the time. Bright light and all.”

“I don't remember anything. I never remember anything that happens right before a seizure,” Doobie said. “It's just nothing but black.”

Doobie passed Will the big bottle of Wild Turkey, a birthday gift from one neighbor to another.  He told Will he was 43 that day, but he looked like he was older from the way his face had been torn up over the years. Seizures struck Doobie on a regular basis since he was a teenager, came with the regularity of a summer afternoon thunderstorm. He told Will about all the times he'd been killed and brought back to life. “I've been hit by cars and fallen off my bike and overdosed. I've been through it all man.”

“I guess God doesn't want me and Satan's afraid I'll take over,” Doobie said.

He told Will about the different times he went to the hospital when he busted open this or that and needed stitches or to get a cyst removed. Doobie joked about his favorite emergency room doctor. "I turn his face red every time I go in there," he said. "I asked him one time, I sad 'Doc, next time you want to castrate someone, you save it for me will you?'

“The doctor always looked at me funny, then would ask why? And I'd tell him that the next time I came in if I decided I wanted an extension, I could get one." Doobie took a swig of the bourbon and it burned his throat and he coughed as he sputtered out laughter.

Doobie always laughed at his own punch line. Will laughed along even though he'd heard the story a hundred times before. Being around the man, it was hard not to laugh Will thought. Even though he was dealt a bad hand Doobie always was the life of the party: the drunk, the court jester and the jerk who drank the last of the beer all rolled into one person.

With all the drugs he was on, Doobie jumped from one point of conversation to another without any thought. One minute they talked about his joking with the doctor, and the next Doobie Brother is talking about his purpose. Will listened as Doobie said "I have no purpose here. I want to work and I can't because no one will hire me. I feel useless."

Will told him that God would one day reveal his purpose, and it wasn't the purpose of man to know it before God wanted him to know it. "Everything up to now isn't just God having a messed up sense of humor Doobie," Will said. "God will one day reveal your purpose here, but not until he's ready to do so."

"I just wish I knew," he said. "But promise me something."

"What Doobie?"

"If I die again, just let me go."

Will wondered if Doobie was afraid that it might be nothing but the abyss waiting on the other side, but he promised Doobie he'd let him pass on if it was finally his time.