marcia had only been dead for a few days and was still not used to the ways of heaven.
she was walking along a sort of countryish road and she saw four people seated at a picnic table by the side of the road.
as she came closer to the table, she saw that the four people were marilyn monroe, james dean, sylvia plath, and winston churchill.
they were chatting amiably together, and sharing a pitcher of lemonade which stood in the center of the picnic table.
there was space for more people to sit at the two benches at the table, and marcia wondered if it would be rude to invite herself to sit down.
she found herself saying, “do you mind if i sit here?” to the quartet at the table.
marilyn monroe smiled at marcia. “of course not,” she said, and patted the bench beside her.
marcia sat down beside marilyn monroe, who scooted over a little closer to james dean.
james dean was telling a long story that marcia could not pick up the thread of, something about making a movie about a war between the byzantine and bulgarian empires, with lenin and sacheverell sitwell as technical advisers.
marcia looked at the pitcher of lemonade, and winston churchill thoughtfully poured her a glass and pushed it toward her, but without taking his attention off of james dean’s story., or taking his cigar out of his mouth.
when james dean finished his story, sylvia plath asked marcia what her name was, and then asked marcia a lot of questions about herself which seemed to show a sincere interest and quite put marcia at her ease.
marilyn monroe then began telling a funny story about going fishing off easter island with noel coward and djuna barnes.
marcia was relaxing and enjoying herself when suddenly st michael appeared.
it was immediately obvious that he did not at all approve of marcia sitting there and talking with four such famous humans.
glaring at marcia, “is this person bothering you?” he asked the others at the table.
“oh, no, not all, “ marilyn monroe assured st michael. “we are having a most enjoyable afternoon. you are welcome to join us, if you like."
“thank you, but i have business elsewhere.” and with a final hard stare at poor marcia st michael departed.
marilyn monroe resumed her story, but for marcia the mood had been broken.
she wondered if the four famous people were really enjoying her company, or were just being polite, as seemed to be the general rule in heaven.
when marilyn monroe finished her story, marcia thanked them all for the lemonade and for a lovely afternoon, and after smiles and good wishes all around, she went on her way.
marcia had never quite figured things out on earth, and now she wondered if heaven was going to be more of the same.
at least In heaven she would have plenty of time.
i will get the hang of it eventually, marcia told herself.