A woman Harry knew had once asked Baba Ram Dass, a Harvard-trained LSD psychologist turned hippie guru who’d written a book called Be Here Now, what unified consciousness would look like, or something like that, and his answer had been something like billions of points of light on some kind of technological grid with terminals, or something like that. Before the internet existed.
Harry thought Dass was already dead when he got the news and checked wikipedia. Nope, he’d just gone quiet. He kept scrolling down. The whole newsfeed was full of death notices and tributes to Baba Ram Dass. He was pictured with other great thinkers, leaning back casually. Everyone loved him.
Many of Harry’s friends posted pictures of Ram Dass. We’ve lost another shining star to the night sky! they cried. I’ve looked up to him for ages! Everyone knew about him and thought well of him, even if they weren’t devoted followers, because of the whole 60s tie-in.
Ram Dass was often pictured with psychedelic swirls, or the infinity symbol, to show his great wisdom, and bearded, tie-dyed nature. Bird lovers appreciated his wisdom. Firefighters followed his logic. “He was right,” they agreed. “We are all here Right Now.” There was no denying it. Time was a slippery animal. Time kept slipping away. We were only ever here Right Now. Full perception meant paying full attention to the present moment. Ram Dass had realized something.
Harry had once had a girlfriend who every time he made an inconvenient reference to the past, even a few days back, she would remind him this was Right Now. That was his only personal connection to the whole thing, beyond having read a few books on the sixties. He figured Ram Dass had probably been a nice fellow, why not. And what a weird life, to go from one extreme to the other as he’d done then just fade away. Harry’s ex-girlfriend posted a tribute to Ram Dass in the newsfeed, followed by several others.
He knew Facebook was keeping track of what was trending. These days it seemed like everything that happened on Facebook was really undercover market research in search of more cold hard snake skin.
Even a death like the death of the great Baba Ram Dass. Twisted kicks.
Well, whoever was tabulating the responses to the poor guy’s death in the Facebook newsfeed that morning would get nothing from Harry.
Camp Elasticity is a clearing house for creative experimentation to include literary, artistic, musical, social and comedic productions. CEO Zack Kopp is a freelance writer and editor in Denver. He is the author of six novels so far, a short story collection, a book of poetry, a collection of metamorphic prose and a collection of articles, essays, interviews, reviews and commentary. His latest book, Market Man, was just published by Boston's Big Table Publishing.Kopp has also worked as a ghost writer and editor. His writing has appeared in Rain Taxi, Please Kill Me, and elsewhere.