I Fail to Achieve Divinity

by wjw on May 20, 2019

Two white-headed capuchin monkeys (also known as the white-faced capuchin or white-throated capuchin) on Gorgona island, off Colombia's Pacific coast.

So it was a gloomy day on this gloomy, ramshackle freighter chugging over a gray, listless sea.  The freighter was this old rustbucket, World War II vintage maybe, 5000 tons or less.  My fellow passengers were listless, and all they wanted to do was talk about their deeply uninteresting lives while rattling the ice in their highballs.  The crew were mostly silent.  The sky was swathed in dark cloud.

The weird thing was that just behind us was a much more impressive ship, a beautiful white streamlined vessel that resembled the liner that Norman Bel Geddes designed back in the 1930s, but which was never built.  Since the white ship was completely streamlined, there was no obvious way to get on board, and whatever crew or passengers might be aboard were invisible.

But there were creatures visible on the white ship, large white long-tailed monkeys that were running around the exterior.  I tried to point out to my fellow passengers that this was a little unusual, but they seemed uninterested and just rattled their highball glasses on me.

Eventually our ship reached its destination, bleak flat sandy country that stretched to the far horizon.  At some point I realized that I was on a ship of the dead, and that we had just been delivered to the afterlife.  This particular afterworld did not seem particularly promising.

While the crew prepared rowboats to take us ashore, I took an increased interest in the white ship astern.  There had to be a point to the other ship being present, not to mention a reason for the white monkeys running over its exterior.  Whatever metaphysical setup was happening here, the white ship had to be a part of it,

I stole one of the rowboats and rowed to the white ship.  I stood up in the boat and pointed at the monkeys as I proclaimed the mad insight into the universe that had just struck me.

“You’re all God!” I said.

The monkeys looked at me with vast, benign interest.  They began to levitate, forming a rotating circle in the sky.  I rose to join them.  Somehow I attained a crosslegged position as we rotated about an invisible hub.  Profound truths poured into my head, and I realized that I was to be rewarded for my insight by being transformed into another member of the Godhead.  I was going to be God!

Wishing to become one with my new cosmic knowledge, I began to chant.


At this point Kathy jabbed me in the ribs with her elbow.

“Stop it!” she said.


“You’re making weird noises!  Cut it out!”

I blinked awake in the bedroom.  I was absolutely furious.  “YOU STOPPED ME FROM BECOMING GOD!”

Turns out my wife didn’t care whether I was God or not.

Some time after this dream I saw an old Twilight Zone episode about an old freighter filled with people heading to the afterlife.  Possibly I saw this as a child, and it inspired the first part of my dream.  The white ship and its Godhead of monkeys, I’m pretty sure, came from my own imagination.

But on the off chance that I didn’t invent the monkeys, and one or more of you monkeys are reading this, please know that I’d still like to be on the team.

pecooper May 21, 2019 at 10:02 am

Yeah. Women, nature’s agnostics. It’s sad how our wives have no respect for our divinity.

Minx May 22, 2019 at 12:02 am

Can’t wait for the novel this particular dream will inspire.

Skippy the Magnificent May 22, 2019 at 3:05 am

Stupid monkeys!

Jane Lindskold May 23, 2019 at 9:45 am

Walter, you are wonderful. Kathy just didn’t want you to ascend just then.

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