Wednesday, July 15, 2009


My long time readers, who were pleased to hear, in my last post, that I live, will be even more pleased to read that I have at long last settled the important issue of how to die.

You will all, of course, know that the injustice of funerary architecture these machine-made days is an evil that afflicts all of us, from paupers to titans of industry and decidering. After all, everyone gets at least a little concerned about how one will be remembered. For me, the question has been what sort of outward mark one makes. Oh, there is the mound of earth one displaces when freshly interred, but, once that swelling does down, what mark on the landscape is left? Once, the pauper hated poverty for fear of the potter's field, as dying without a proper grave was somehow sinful to the living and the society. On the other hand, rich folks planned ahead, and some of them really planned ahead. That has always been the key. If you want people to remember you, you need to plan ahead.

What can I do, though?

I'm in my 40's, and I'm poor. I have not purchased a plot, although I'm told there is "room" for me in places in various pieces of ground in the sandy soil soon to be covered by ocean, thanks to SUV's and bovine gastritis. Besides, the reason most everyone has only a slab with birth, death, and "a nice person" for a memorial is that no one has the time to plan, even if a person has the inclination and the mental capacity to dwell on the great null point. (Try thinking about unbeing. No, really. Don't try to think about heaven or floating as a ghost or sleeping. Try thinking like your body, as just not. Can't do it, can you? I believe in the afterlife, but even there, it's kind of complicated with particular and general judgment. Now, keep thinking about it for a long enough time to do something about it. That's fortitude.)

Well, it has taken me all of these decades to finally realize that the industrialized, inhuman, inhumane, world we live in is my ally, not my enemy, in being memorialized. I cannot find the news release now, as it was really just one of those headline grabbing alarms from two years ago or so, but the FDA reported some time ago that humans are unsafe to eat. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said that, what with how many pills and powders and cremes and supplements humans ingest, apply, inject, and wear, humans, if they ever were to be meat, would be hazardous.

Too bad for the would-be cannibals (yes, of course there are some). Still, it makes one sad, and then it makes one sadder, and then it lights up the old 40-watt bulb.

I have a plan, and you can join in. I plan to eat as many hotdogs as I can stomach and stomach as many fried cheese sticks, Jimmy Dean sausages, Vienna sausages, "creme"-filled confections, and "ice-milk" and "sugar free" and "fat free" and "fat substitute" and "butter substitute" and "jumbo" sized miniature food items as I can. I intend to take medications for every ailment the television convinces me I have. I feel fatigued, and the television says that's a symptom of all sorts of things. I have PMS, PMDD, PTSD, depression, shyness, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and Legionnaire's disease. I feel fine, so I have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, bipolar disorder, and erectile dysfunction. I think I peed too often, or not enough, so I need to medicate, and I'm sure my stool is all wrong for a man of my dignity. I'm too fat in the wrong places, too soft and too hard.

I plan to operate microwave ovens while talking on the cell phone, while I work on my laptop, with the batteries gently warming my testicles. I plan to breathe deeply as I fuel my car. I will be sure to keep my air conditioning and central heat going at the same time. I want the temperature to be exactly 70 degrees. I will put fluorescent bulbs everywhere.

My plan is simple.

I will turn my body into a toxic waste.

When I die, my grave will become a Superfund site. I cannot hope to put up a mauseleum for myself. I cannot afford a tomb. I cannot have anything that will mark me or indicate my personality. Nothing will show even the next day's visitor any sign of who I was. However, when the whole cemetery gets roped off and men in HazMat suits have to remove 4' of topsoil just to deal with my rotten, rotting corpse, I'll have made my memorial.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Odi et amo. Quare id faciam, fortasse requiris.

Nescio, sed fieri sentio et excrucior.