Eight Minutes and Seven Seconds

Eight Minutes and Seven Seconds

By Everest Wood

Listen, the sun is going to explode. You’ve got eight minutes to figure out three things:

1. Do you believe in the afterlife?

2. Does everyone you love know you love them?

3. Are you wearing what you want your ghost outfit to be?

Oh, and also – you don’t know when that eight minutes starts.

Little kid Everest obsessed over this idea that you could never know when it was coming. I still think about it from time to time, but back then, a past-bedtime episode on the History Channel convinced me that at any second, my eight minutes would be up, and that would be the end of that. It definitely didn’t help that I was raised Christian Fundamentalist, and I was certain that if I wasn’t actively praying for salvation from my many many sins when I died, I would go immediately, directly, straight to hell. The fiery pits of which were really not that far off from the sun exploding.

Mostly, though, I worried about what would happen to the family dog, Boo. See, I hadn’t yet decided if I thought dogs went to Heaven. I mean sure, there’s a cartoon or three about it, but as far as I knew there was no dog Jesus. And I adored Boo, so I always tried to make sure she knew I loved her, just in case she couldn’t go to Heaven for me to tell her there. Also, my social studies director in middle school told me one time that your brain stays alive for seven seconds after being decapitated. She didn’t just say that to freak me out, we were talking about the French Revolution, but still, who says that to a twelve-year-old? So the sun explodes, and eight minutes later I explode. Then for seven full seconds, I am still sentient.

One. The pressure created by the initial explosion collapses my inner ears, lungs, and intestines.

Two. The following shockwave instantaneously obliterates the remainder of my internal organs.

Three. My flesh is then rended from my bones by shrapnel sent flying by the solar winds.

Four. My bones and all of my remains are compressed into individual molecular structures.

Five. All of my atoms tear from their bonds, as the thermal energy of the exploding sun sends my electrons into hyperorbitals.

Six. What is left of my body dissolves into a scattering of light and stardust. Cute, right?

Seven. Fuck. My ghost outfit is going to be pajamas.

That’s the thing about the ghost outfits, you have two options depending on your personal afterlife beliefs, and they are as follows: Either – the clothes you’re buried in. While it makes sense, I’m not a fan of this idea, because I follow a lot of morticians on Instagram, and they say that if whoever brings your clothes provides a bra for you to wear, the mortician puts it on you, and you wear a bra when you’re buried. If I had to wear a bra for all of eternity, I would turn into a poltergeist until someone dug up my grave and took that damn thing off my corpse. Or – the outfit you died in. This is my personal belief, and it has been the primary force shaping my adult fashion sense. If the sun exploded eight minutes ago, my cat knows I love her, and my ghost outfit is a soft fluffy sweater and cute overalls. And I think I’m okay with that.