“I’m not doing that while we’re driving, Adam! It’s too damned dangerous!”
“Don’t be ridiculous. Anyway, Nikki, you do what the hell I say or … “
“LOOK OUT!” Nikki screamed.
Adam looked about him and wondered aloud: “Where the hell…?” He shivered from the cold. The fallen leaves were powdered with snow. He heard no-one. Saw no-one. “Where the hell am I?” he asked no-one.
A faint path led to a briar bush and beyond that a faded, mottled blue and teal door stared out from a stone wall. Apart from that, the woods seemed to stretch forever in all directions. Adam mumbled, “I must be in some weird-ass dream. Whatever.”
After convincing himself it had to be a dream, he found himself acting more bravely. He strode up to the door and pulled the knocker up and let it fall upon the heavy door. Three times he did this, not really expecting any result, but what the hell. It was something to do, he reasoned.
Adam jerked back as the door swung open. Inside, a huge room opened up. It was filled with light. He looked down at his well-polished rattlesnake boots. They gleamed more brightly than ever before. He squinted. He mumbled, “This is definitely the weirdest dream I have ever had.”
Adam found a single chair. He sat. Before him, a hazy golden figure loomed.
Oh, my God! Adam had never heard such a resonant voice. It seemed to come from everywhere at once. Generally, Adam considered himself to have been blessed with the gift of gab. But now, he was speechless.
“It’s all right, Adam. Everyone is taken aback at first. I’m St. Peter.”
“What? The St. Peter? Like…like, I’m in heaven?”
“Well, let’s not jump the gun, Adam. You and I need to have a bit of a chat first. Before we choose your next chapter.”
Then, just like, St. Peter popped the most dreaded question of every job interview: “So, tell me about yourself.”
“St. Peter, I’m happy to meet you! I’m Adam. Adam Smith.” Adam smiled his most winning grin here. “Not the invisible hand guy, but my parents named me after him. And, indeed, Sir, or Saint, I am indeed a businessman. I did quite well. Took care of my bit…my bit of the business which was management quite well. Last year I was voted best dressed pim…pimple-free, and handsomest self-starter in all of LA. City of Angles! I should be here! I’m rich. I’m powerful in my own way. Know what I’m saying. Given your name and all that, I don’t know whether you’re interested — you got the whole ‘Saint’ thing going but your name is ‘Peter’ so — but anyway, if you are interested, I could fix you up real good if you know what I mean. I know you get a lot of applications for heaven and you can only take so many, but I’m a self-starter. Right? And I can help out. What do you say? Heaven. Okay?” Now, Adam smiled an even bigger grin. His cheeks hurt.
St. Peter asked, “And what is your idea of heaven, Adam?”
“Well, easy! Kind of like on earth, but better. Everything gold! Unlimited wealth! Everything gold! No cops! What say? Am I in like Flynn?”
St. Peter, and the bright room, and the door Adam entered all disappeared. In its place, Adam found himself on a street of golden mansions! He looked to his left — elegant mansions as far as he could see. He looked to his right — elegant mansions as far as he could see. Ahead of him was a well-appointed gold mansion with his name emblazoned on a huge sign. He walked up and sure enough, the front door opened at his touch. Inside, he feasted his orbs on the sight of gold floors, gold walls, gold furniture, and gold ceilings. His jaw literally dropped. “Now, this is more like it!”
Adam sat in a golden chair. He picked up the remote, also gold, and turned on the TV, also gold. It showed pictures of golden mansions. On every channel. “Wow! This place is cool! What do you think, now, Dad? Thought I’d never amount to anything. Hah! Here I am in heaven! Hear that, old man! I’m in fricking heaven!. A heaven of gold!”
The next morning, Adam grew bored. And hungry. In his beautiful golden kitchen, beautiful golden dinnerware sparkled in golden drawers. No food though. It wasn’t clear exactly how this works, thought Adam. That’s all right. I’ll figure it out. He went out the front door and turned right; walked up the sidewalk to his neighbor’s front door and knocked. No answer. He peered in through an unfrosted window and saw that his neighbor’s interior was solid gold like his.
“No-one home, I guess” said Adam to no-one in particular. As he walked back out toward the street, he noticed for the first time that his neighbor’s mailbox matched his precisely. He walked over to at least find out what his neighbor’s name was.
He read the name: ‘Adam Smith’. “What the hell?” said Adam.
Then, he noticed that the address was also the same.
Adam ran down the street, knocking on every door.
Adam looked at every mailbox.
They all said the same thing: “Adam Smith, 666 Streets of Gold.”
He screamed. To no-one in particular, “What kind of heaven is this?!”
He sat in a lump on one of the identical porches. He looked at his lap. He turned over his hands and noticed that scrapes and bruises decorated his white knuckles with red and blue.
Adam said, to no-one in particular, “I’ll just keep knocking on every door till I find someone.”
In high school, Adam had not paid much attention in any of his classes, but math class he especially despised. He had no idea what the hell the teacher had been talking about when she started talking about infinity. It seemed like an abstraction with no meaning whatsoever in the world of Ghetin High School.
Now, however, Adam would have plenty of time to discover the true meaning of infinity.