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March 03, 2015

Ray Charles has been in Heaven for 11 years, but he's still blind. What gives?

Well, as most of you know, I went and died back in ’04. That’s all right; I was old, and when I passed away, my soul flew straight up to those pearly gates and angels welcomed me with open arms. But I didn’t see those pearly gates, or those open-armed angels, because even though I’m in Heaven, I’m still blind.

What the fuck, right?

At first I thought, “Maybe it’s a gradual thing,” or “Maybe they forgot to unblind me.” Being a Heaven rookie, I didn’t want to rock any boats, so I kept my lingering blindness to myself for a while. Yet here we are, 11 Earth-years later, and I’m still blind as a cave salamander.

I met Jesus once, and I was going to bring up the blind thing, but I was so psyched to meet the guy I forgot to bring it up. That one’s on me.

I did bring it up to a few angels, but they just said things like, “Whoa, that’s weird,” or “Did you try rubbing your eyes a few times?” Yes, you blessed fucking angel, I tried rubbing my eyes — that’s the first thing blind people try when they think their blindness may have been cured but wasn’t.

I’ve wondered if I’m actually in Hell instead of Heaven. I wonder that all the time. But I’m pretty sure this is Heaven; everything’s really nice here. I feel the squish of clouds between my toes, the angelic voices of cherubs fluttering around like hummingbirds, I get to have a lot of sex with any dead woman I want, and I’m allowed to play music on all the best pianos. I just can’t see shit.

There’s a lot that sucks about being blind in Heaven, too. About a year ago I got my wings, and it’s a good thing you can’t feel pain up here, because I am flying into marble towers left and right. At least I still get to wear sunglasses.

Ran into Helen Keller the other day. She was talking, seeing, hearing — the whole nine. I said, “Helen, how come you can see but I can’t?” She said, “Maybe I’m just special.” More special than Ray Charles? Yeah, right. I’ll give her a pass on that one since she used to be deaf and wouldn’t know good music if it bit her in the conch.

Then I got to thinking it was a race thing. “Shit,” I say to myself.“ If Heaven’s racist, that’s the most fucked up thing imaginable.” So I went to go see Blind Willie Johnson. First thing he says to me: “It’s just Willie now.” That was a mix of good and bad news. Heaven’s not racist, but I still don’t know why I’m blind. If you figure it out, give me a call.

Oh wait, I don’t have a phone anymore. Shoot, man. I’m in a real pickle up here.