The Meaning of Death and Bob

Dear Potential Dead Person,

There is life after death. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. It’s not always pretty—I’m going to tell you that right now. But it does exist. Here’s how it happens. One day (or night), you close your eyes in bed with your family around you, or you get blasted to kingdom come by a bullet, or you slip and fall and break your neck in the bathtub, and the old you is no more. Whichever way it happens, you are done and your body is put to rest and hopefully someone weeps. But you—the real you—are not gone, not by a long shot. You die and then your soul, life force, chi, etc. flees your old body and goes into another. You still with me?

I know this sounds like good old-fashioned reincarnation, but it isn’t. Your soul doesn’t go flying into just anyone’s body, it goes into a very specific body. Your soul flies into the nearest person named Bob it can find.

Bobs are soul magnets. And when you think about it, that makes perfect sense. Bob is a meditative sound. People think it’s boring but that’s because they’re not paying attention to the truth of who they are. Bob is not a plain-Jane name. It’s Bob. Say it to yourself. Let your lips pucker and propel the hard-B sound only to return to it a moment later on the other side of the liquidy-Aw at its center.  Try it: B O B. It’s no wonder that a soul would want to find a home in that sound. No wonder at all.

Now, a word about logistics because though the devil doesn’t really exist, the metaphorical one still lives in the details: souls can travel as super speeds, so if you happen t die in China or in India where there are probably not a lot of Bobs around, it’s ok. Your soul will find its way and will do so quickly. Also, there are more Bobs than you think in the world. There have always been Bobs and there will always be Bobs in the world, so there’s that.

Once your soul finds its Bob, there is a mater of space. Volume-wise, a soul doesn’t take a lot of space, but it does take some. And that’s what’s great about Bobs. Bobs, by their very make-up, have more soul-space than the average person. Really, there’s always space for another soul.  What’s more, Bobs really push social justice. Unlike in this life where you have one person living in a mansion and some other person living in a box, in Bob, everyone shares. It’s like your soul, no matter how hard-core a libertarian-laissez-faire you were, in death, your soul becomes a socialist. All souls share the work involved in the upkeep of Bobs because, as you can imagine, with that many souls, messes will be a reality.

So you see, you shouldn’t fear death. A Bob is standing by.



Ps. I just remembered one last thing that might be worth mentioning. If you’re wondering what happens when a Bob dies, that’s a very good question. But the truth is that we don’t like to think about that. It kind of scares us, which might sound hypocritical since I just told you that you shouldn’t worry about dying. I’m going to have to agree with you on that, but what can I do. I may be a soul magnet, but I didn’t say I was perfect.


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: fiction

Author:the circular runner

g. martinez cabrera currently lives in San Francisco with his lovely and talented wife. He holds degrees from Columbia and from the Harvard Divinity School where he spent three years thinking about lofty things. Since then, he tries to write some lofty and some not-so-lofty things down so others can see how lofty he sometimes is. When he’s not writing or spending time with said wife, he tortures young people with learning. He blogs at and Tumbls at

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