Dr. Doctor - Cheeseburger I died eating a cheeseburger at Checkers. Not many people can truly say that, but yes, I died before I could even finish my cheeseburger. It was a big, deluxe whopper of a burger, with melted cheese and two slices of bacon and ketchup and mustard and onions and the whole deal, and I had spent a lot of carefully planned and valuable time deciding exactly what to put on it. I wasn’t often treated to cheeseburgers or really anything meaty or fattening, as my wife was a vegetarian, and refused to even allow such things into the house. Said it was bad for her cholesterol, said it was too tempting for her. She wouldn’t even kiss me if I came home with meat on my breath. So I was reduced to eating alone on my lunch breaks and hiding behind mirrored sunglasses and tacky, orange-flavored breath mints. It was worth it, though. On the day I died, I had been starved from meat for a week, as I had been too busy at the law firm to even think about leaving on my lunch breaks. So I had a lot of catching up to do. The burger I got was the biggest on offer, and they gave me a tray of French fries, too. I thought that was nice of them. Looking down on the scene now from above, nobody even bothered to clean them up. I tried to go down there and pluck them up, but alas, my hands are transparent, and they go right through the fries. Maybe I didn’t need to eat anymore, anyway. But what fun would that be? I didn’t eat at Checkers because I was hungry, but because I loved the taste of the greasy, fattening food there! I lamented my situation. It didn’t even seem fair to me. Why did my time have to be up? What had I done to deserve this? I had only taken a few bites, had only just finished swishing around the muddled mixture of meat and cheese and toppings around in my mouth, savoring the delicious, greasy taste. I remembered the gun going off outside, sounding like what I imagined a cannon boom to sound like in real life. People screamed. I put down my cheeseburger, it having suffered only two meager bites, and looked over my shoulder. There was a man standing there in army-styled clothing, with his hair pulled back in a ponytail and his eyes covered by rectangular goggles. He was shouting, and as he opened the door, I knew I would have to stand up and confront him. As the man with the gun approached the cashier and stuck the gun in his face, I got up, too, and before I even knew what I was doing, I was diverting the gunman’s attention away from the quivering cashier. He shouted at me, said some real bad words, the kind of stuff that I was only used to hearing from angry clients after they lost a case. My wife never cursed. She was a Christian. I put my hands up and tried to reason with him, hoping he would back down so I could finish my cheeseburger and the restaurant would once again be peaceful. He said something else, and I was just trying to calm him down. He raised his gun, and the next thing I knew, I was floating in the air. Why was I doing that? I motioned for him to put the gun down again, but the words that came out of my mouth sounded hollow, like I was speaking through a funnel. Nobody seemed to take notice of me at all. I knew I was dead when people started screaming a few moments later, when they started crowding around my body and checking for a heartbeat. I waved to them in futility, hoping in vain that someone might see me, but it was no use. They threw my cheeseburger into the waste bin hours later along with napkins, plastic wrappers, empty cups and everything else that nobody wanted anymore. I’ve been floating around the restaurant for two days now, stricken with the surreal nature of my being dead. Oh, sure, I miss my family and my friends from work, and I can only imagine what they’re going through, but I find myself drawn here to Checkers the most. I find myself sitting atop its black-and-white checkered roof and woefully watching people enter and exit and go about their daily lives. I find myself enchanted by the faint aroma of fast food, that warmly rich and salty smell of everything that was called unhealthy, but was consumed readily anyway. I should have been swooping over the homes of my loved ones like pallor of gloom and doom, but I wasn’t. I was sitting on top of a fast food restaurant. How do you explain that one to the big man above? That you just wanted one last bite of a cheeseburger, and that you wish you could have finished it before your life was blown away? I thought it silly.