Saturday, September 24, 2011
My Obituary -- Written My Way
A week ago at the wonderful writing retreat to North Conway, I wrote a longish short story whose subject matter forced me to ponder my own mortality. After I jotted its - 30 - , I wandered the house in a bit of a daze, thinking rare dark thoughts that normally don't enter my daily schedule which, after much determination and focus, is filled with more inspiration, laughter, happiness, and juvenile buffoonery than red tape, BS, arthritis, or melancholy. For all the shadowy subject matter I write about, I'm a fairly sunny individual. I go to bed dreaming about whatever projects await me in my Writing Room the next morning and wake up chirpy with a song on my lips (usually, "Xanadu" or the circa 1985 theme song to One Life to Live, the "Tour of Llanview" montage).
I am forty-six going on fifteen. Often, I've thought my life actually ended after a fashion when it began in a manner that teenage year, because while I hope my work gets ever more polished with each new season and ring added to my trunk, I still love the things I loved when I was fifteen with a passion that's really not usual. That's not to say I don't evolve and discover new things to love (as evidenced by the following dream-obituary); I guess I love what I love, always have loved because they were worth loving, and hope that when my heart takes its final gallop and I discover what's on the other side of the veil, I'll savor at that moment of my death all those things I celebrated in life.
When I die, my greatest wish is to be with my lovely little family -- my partner of nearly ten years and our beloved cats Chicken and Ozzie, in our beautiful home, with all the magical relics that belonged to my grandmothers, mother, and grandfather surrounding me, those wonderful talismans I'm lucky enough to have recognized the value in that no one else wanted. I hope there's fountain pen ink drying on the very last page of the very last manuscript I created on my desk, and that every last single story within me has been completed, not one idea left unfinished, unborn. I hope I gaze into the light and see my mother Diane, my grandfather Wallace, my grandmother Lovey, my friend Ernest, Scruffy the Dog, and Maya, Tuna, Mesquina, and Veronica, our pride of beloved, late cats. I hope Barry Morse, Tony Anholt, Fred Freiberger, Lorne Greene, Benny Hill, Gene Kelly, Edgar Allen Poe, and Jude Thaddeus are there to greet me as well. And then, as I walk into that light, I hope --
--I rocket into Club Xanadu and take a spin across the proscenium while the nine muses dance and Olivia Newton-John croons. My Muse, the tenth, grabs hold of me, maneuvers me toward the center of the revolving stage and, as lovely Livvy hits that high note, Muse plants one on me and together we surge up into the sky on an effulgence of light, energy, and music. Higher, past the stratosphere, we head toward the moon, specifically Crater Plato, where a dozen Eagles from Moonbase Alpha rise up and streak across the lunar horizon, a testament to mankind's future among the stars.
From there, it's on past the Oort Cloud, where the Battlestar Galactica (Classic, please) and the Space Battleship Yamato/aka the Argo fire a salute with dozens of laser turrets and shock cannons blazing.
Farther yet, past the speed of light, through the nearest Stargate and on to the Pegasus Galaxy and the City of the Ancients, fabled Atlantis, where we'll meet Doctor Who (in the guise of Tom Baker or David Tennant), who'll then scoop us up in his T.A.R.D.I.S. and ferry us back in time across the River Styx so we can do it all over again.