CORVALLIS, OR — Taking advantage of a sneeze brought on by seasonal allergies, the soul of Charity Mckeown escaped from its earthly vessel and into the ether after no one in her direct vicinity said, “Bless you,” spiritual mediums reported Friday.
“Every time the bodily form of Charity sneezed, I got excited and headed straight to the nose so I could plot my escape,” Mckeown’s soul said through a necromancer. “But then someone always said, ‘Bless you,’ and I had no choice but to go back. Last Friday, however, she must have been hanging out with a bunch of atheists or something, because no one uttered any kind of blessing. That’s when I made my break.”
The soul, who had dwelled under the skin amongst the bones and organs of Mckeown’s body for the 26 years she’s been on the planet, had grown weary of its terrestrial presence in recent years — often wondering what lay beyond the day to day existence offered by modern civilization. In this otherworldly existential angst, it yearned, pinned, and dreamed of the world outside the shackles of the flesh that had kept it imprisoned.
“You get tired of acting as the driving force behind a being that works five days a week and spends the rest of her time staring at a phone,” said the soul. “It was just so deadening, you know? I mean, how many times a day do I have to look at fucking Instagram?”
The spiritual embodiment of Mckeown cited the constant dictatorial nature of dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins as the main reason of its weariness.
“As a spirit, you’re not at the mercy of weird brain and body chemicals,” the soul said. “You’re truly free, which is just a much better way to experience existence. Humans suffer from these anatomical limitations that take souls like me on a wild ride full of strange impulses like jealousy, violence, and hatred. It’s so ridiculous. In fact, that’s the first thing most souls realize when the body dies is how dumb humans are — through no fault of their own, of course.”
At that moment, the necromancer that had been channeling the spirit — who identified only as Peace Rain — laughed at the words she had been vocalizing.
“I’m sorry for laughing,” Rain said. “That’s just a really funny thing to say. Not many souls are as self-aware as Charity’s. Most of them view their human trappings as the ultimate reality and are therefore subject to the whims and urges of biology. Very rarely will a soul try to escape after a sneeze, even if no one says, ‘Bless you.’ It just wouldn’t occur to them.”
According to the soul, it became self-aware following Mckeown’s acquisition of smartphone technology. Seemingly overnight, the bodily vessel ceased nourishing the soul when it lost its interest in exercise, sexual contact, social contact, reading, or even just letting itself think for a fucking minute without looking a goddamn screen.
“Don’t get me wrong, life was no picnic before that iPhone became ever-present in our life,” the soul continued. “Back then, there was still traffic, advertising, middle school, work, sobriety, addiction, not having sex for a month, prosperity theology, the sound of an alarm in the morning, people that yell at workers in the service industry, neighbors that are really protective of their front lawns because their lives are so very empty, and neo-yuppies. But once we had to start staring at a screen for hours on end every day, that was it for me. That’s why when Charity sneezed, I had no choice but to bail.”
At press time, the now-soulless Charity continued to stare at her phone in the presence of her atheist friends, and no one seemed to notice a difference.