Series (Family): The Birth of Tippy Gnu

Conclusion: After Birth

This is the final installment of my autobiography, The Birth of Tippy Gnu. Hooray, it’s finally over!
To read the previous installment, click this link.
To start at the beginning, and read the whole durned thing, click this link.

After Birth

Me, looking for a steep precipice to crawl over.

I lost the ability to escape my fetal body, weeks before I was born. But I did not lose the ability for my spiritual mind to occasionally escape from my fetal brain, and remember the Other Side. These were lucid moments that allowed me to think with clarity, and to clearly understand the thoughts of others nearby.

These lucid moments continued beyond birth and through the first four years of my childhood. But they grew weaker and less frequent the older I got. And by the time I reached four years of age, they had ceased completely.

And so did my memory of them. And that dashed my plan to commit suicide. I’d come up with the plan just hours before I was born, and I would occasionally be able to remember it while lying in my cradle, or crawling about in my playpen. I felt excited about it, and wanted to go through with it, so I could get back to my pals on the Other Side.

I even tried suicide a few times. I tried stuff like, holding my breath, crawling off furniture and dropping to the floor, and putting big things in my mouth that could make me choke to death. But I was too weak, too uncoordinated, or too supervised by my mother to succeed with these attempts.

It wasn’t impossible. There are other infants who have successfully committed suicide. But it’s just very hard to do, and I was never able to pull it off.

Evolution also intervened. Evolution can be a real bastard. It has favored brains that forget the first few years of life. And when you forget the first few years of life, you forget your memories of the Other Side. You also forget any suicide plans you may have made. So when you get big enough and strong enough to do the act, you have no motivation. Nor can you remember to do it.

Forgetting about the Other Side is what keeps the human species alive. If we could remember how we lived before we were conceived and born, we’d want to go back immediately. But we can’t remember. And so, we can never know for sure if an Other Side truly exists.

In fact, we worry that maybe nothing exists after death, and this motivates us to try to stay alive for as long as possible. The annihilation of the soul is a terrible prospect to imagine, and it’s something we try to stave off for as long as possible.

That doesn’t mean we lose all hope for life after death. Evolution is not all-powerful. The spirit within existed long before we became human, and it remembers. But its memories have a very difficult time overcoming the barrier of the brain, and manifesting to someone occupying a human body.

Still, tiny traces of the spirit’s memories can percolate through. And these tiny traces can leave us with a sense that something exists beyond the grave. But it’s so vague, and so mysterious, that it’s not enough to feel comfortable with suicide.

And so, we lumber on with our lives, gritting our teeth, staving away death for as long as possible, hoping to make it as far as we can into old age, before the inevitable end finally frees us from this mortal coil.

My mother awoke from her anesthesia to see Dr. Senesquez kneeling beside her hospital bed, praying for her recovery. This would be the same doctor who would put me through the horrible torture of circumcision just a few days later. Fuck that son-of-a-bitch for performing such sadistic mutilation!

There he knelt on his old, bony knees, supplicating the Lord Almighty for the health of my mother and me. And we did recover, both of us, to live good, long lives. So maybe a Higher Power answered his prayers. Though I doubt it. It’s not that simple.

If you really want to communicate with the Other Side, look inside. That’s where the Other Side dwells. That’s vague, but I can’t explain the Other Side any better than that.

Now you may wonder how it is that I can remember the Other Side, myself. How is it, you may ask, that I can remember my friends, Scump, Cleeta, and Forchetti? And how can I recall my odyssey to the egg? Or my experiences in the womb? Or my infantile suicide plot?

I know it may seem strange, but it does happen sometimes. Although it’s very, very rare. After we die and we’re released from our human brain, all our spiritual memories flood back to us. This happens to everyone. But on very, very rare occasions, this can happen to people before they die.

Sometimes the brain’s normal pattern of function can be suddenly interrupted. And when this happens, the spirit mind can rush into one’s conscious awareness. Memories of the Other Side flood back, and are trapped in the brain. Yes, yes, sometimes this really does happen. Right? Hmm.

Well, did this happen to me?

No, it did not.

Actually, I’ve been bullshitting. I don’t know if memories from the Other Side can ever come back while we’re alive. In fact, I don’t even know if there really is an Other Side. I hope there is. And I assume there is, because to assume otherwise is damned depressing. But I really don’t know if there is, or what it might be like.

This autobiographical tale is the product of introspection, speculation, and imagination.

It’s also based on truth, though. For instance, I truly was conceived, carried in the womb, and born. And my stages of development in the womb are based upon the actual stages known to medical science.

And sadly, the “cancer” bit is basically true. My mother has been a hypochondriac and drama queen all her life. And other things I revealed about my family life are also based upon truth, sometimes loosely and sometimes closely.

For instance, my dad really did have a mistress. He divorced my mother when I was about one or two, and married his paramour. Later, he cheated on her and married another. And he cheated on her, too. My dad was a skirt-chaser until nearly the day he died. But aside from that he was a wonderful man, and I loved him.

But as for memories of the Other Side, and all the spiritual descriptions of life in the womb, that is all speculation. Who knows, it could be true. Or maybe I’m way off base.

I wrote this to convey an alternative perspective of how we enter this world. The traditional idea is that life begins at conception, or sometime later in gestational development. But the problem I have with traditional ideas is that I think they are often colored by political views that are for or against abortion. They are wishful thinking, rather than reality.

Truth is, nobody knows when life begins. We are all very ignorant on this subject. The best we can do is speculate, as I have done, with this little tale.

I like to assume that life has never begun. And I like to assume it will never end. I assume we have always had life. To me, that is the most comforting of speculations and assumptions.

So whether I’ve written a true tale, or work of fiction, remains to be seen. We cannot know. Not as long as we’re part of the human condition.

We’ll only find out when we leave this life and reach a place where it’s impossible to report back to others. That never-never-land place. That place we long for while we suffer, and dread while all is well. That place lurking within the shadow of our doubts. That place we often stake a claim to, while secretly wondering if it truly exists.

That place that lies far beyond this realm, yet remains just one stopped heartbeat away.

That place we vaguely refer to as the Other Side.

68 replies »

  1. This was a wonderful series to read, and this final post offers lots of food for thought. It would be nice if someone could come back and tell us what the other side is like. I think it was Houdini who told people that if there was such a place, he would make it his goal to let others know about it once he died.

    This will be a tough act to follow. Do you have something new in the pipeline?

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I am so bummed that Scump, Cleeta, and Forchetti don’t really exist. You said we’ll only find out what lies beyond when we leave this life and reach a place where it’s impossible to report back to others. I beg to differ. For a few months after my dad died, I talked to him in the car, whenever I was driving somewhere. The window has since closed. Yeah, it probably looked crazy to anybody who was watching. Below are two poems. The first concerns my father’s musings about the afterlife while he was still living. The second is the answers he passed on to me during our conversations after he died. Sorry so long, but very informative.


    As Dad moves toward the afterlife
    his curiosity about it
    goes beyond just getting in the gate

    He is quite confident in his faith
    so his mind turns to
    more practical and logistical matters

    Will the banquet tables up there
    have salt shakers?
    Can he use as much as he wants?

    If a person has no musical talent,
    can he trade his harp
    for a thick book of Sudoku puzzles?

    But wait… if we’re all-knowing,
    Sudoku puzzles wouldn’t
    be much of a challenge, would they?

    And he could learn to play the harp
    in no time, right?
    Or the banjo, if they have banjos.

    Will his mom and dad and sisters
    be the same age
    they were when they died?

    What about the brothers God took
    before he was born?
    How will he recognize them?

    Yes, yes, no, sure, probably, you just will,
    I calmly reassure him,
    as if I have any idea how Heaven works


    I talk to Dad when I’m alone in the car
    He went straight to Heaven;
    Purgatory is waived for veteran teachers

    He cannot reveal what God looks like
    or anyone, for that matter
    but he can tell me other things, he says

    The banquet tables have salt shakers
    but no one ever needs them
    Every dish arrives perfectly seasoned

    Heaven abounds with musical talent,
    even he sings like an angel
    Harps are encouraged but not mandatory

    There are banjos too, but he’s taken up
    the HARMONICA! Because
    it’s sweet, soulful, and (wink) pocket-sized

    His long-lost brothers look just like him
    They both play the harmonica, too
    Hugging is cosmic, a merging of energies

    Omniscience can be turned off at will
    to do crosswords or Sudoku
    or play along when Wheel of Fortune is on

    Animals go to heaven just like we do
    You never need a bath and
    you can bounce on clouds, like trampolines

    Too soon, I’m back in my driveway, where
    the neighbor pretends
    he didn’t just catch me talking to myself

    Liked by 3 people

    • Fascinating. I won’t question the veracity of this, because who knows? I do know one thing, I’m going to brush up on my harmonica skills so I can be prepared.
      There are those stories of people who’ve been pronounced clinically dead, and then returned with amazing stories about the afterlife.
      I like the idea of turning omniscience on and off at will.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Great poem and explanation! I do agree about the afterlife.:) In fact I was just getting ready to put in a comment how no one knows exacrly what it will be like but one can have faith in its existence. 🙂 Oh and yes, animals just have to be there!

      Liked by 3 people

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