Planning My Death II
Bill Long 12/28/04
The most important decision to make, I think, after the decision to end it all on a certain date at a certain time, is to choose the right emcee or host for the occasion. I have always assumed that the event would take place at my home, and so that isn't an issue. What kind of emcee? Well, it must be a woman, preferably one who is co-dependent, because the kind of demands I will place on her on this occasion are pretty extreme. But there are lots of co-dependents out there and when I learned that in the goal of these women in therapy is not to get rid of their co-dependency but rather to understand how they are co-dependents, I think I will exploit that vulnerability. I know how to command. And, they love to obey. After all, what is a co-dependent without someone making demands on them? It is like the masochist whom people refuse to beat. It makes his or her life miserable.
At this point I have a candidate in mind, but I don't know if I will have a candidate when I actually need one. This party may be several years off, for all that I know. And, my problem is that I tend to burn through women fairly quickly for reasons that are too complex for me to understand. But, let's assume that I have found the right co-dependent woman for the task. After finding fault, berating and generally mistreating her, she will eagerly put the arrangements together. We will fight over guest lists and flowers and music to be played and all those kinds of things, but eventually we will come to some kind of agreement. Then, the big day comes. Let me shift back to poetry.
The Big Day
And so they came, people from near and far, mostly near. There weren't quite as many as expected and we probably would have some deviled eggs left over, but that really isn't a big problem. I don't think I would inquire why people have come or why people who are absent are not there. I suppose that some people would have had inner debates, like the following. 'When do we show up for the death party, hon?' he might say. 'If we are too late he will be late. And, what do we wear? And, how do we act? And, I guess, hon, I don't really know how to think of this kind of party. Help me out here.'
I think I wouldn't explain how to dress, what to say, when to show up. I would just send out the invitation. Maybe I should say on it, in addition to what I said in the last essay, 'This is no joke,' but then again, maybe my acquaintances/friends would take that as further indication that I couldn't be serious about this thing.
So, people arrive. Let them bring something if they want. Maybe a memory. Maybe a gift of some kind. Maybe a big check (probably not). I think that I would be in the bedroom in bed, hooked up to something probably, and the activity would happen in the living room. My co-dependent would have to bravely smile at all and flit back and forth from the guests to me. She would love the tension thus created.
For the first hour I would just let people mingle. Then, I would have the host say, 'Bill is receiving you, one at a time,' and then people could come in, stand or sit, and talk with me for a few minutes. I would thank them for coming. They would say whatever they wanted. Since I have long felt that no one really understands or appreciates my work or what I am about, I would be quite open to receive whatever they have to say. I think the people would be on their best behavior for after all you don't want to tell a person who is going to die momentarily that he is a schmuck. There were lots of years to tell me this before this moment.
After everyone who wants has come to chat with me for a minute, I would ask the co-dependent to go out and announce, 'Has everyone talked to Bill who wants to?' Then, when no one else comes forward, she will be able to come in and have a few minutes with me. (Oh, my kids will be in there somewhere. I really do love them and think the best of them, and hope the best for them.) She will tell me how much she utterly loves me and that I have brought so much to her life. I will smile wanly and nod. When she has finished and has dried her eyes, I will ask for the medics. But I would make her go out one more time to the group and announce, 'Bill is going to die now. Let's all say "Bye, Bill" one more time.'
Then I would probably ask for one more deviled egg, ignoring now the effects it might have on my heart or cholesterol. Then, it would be time. Maybe it would even be a few minutes before the scheduled death time. Socrates didn't wring out the last few minutes of life. So, even though I am controlling the last breaths, I might want to control them further but changing the time from what was said on the invitation--making death even earlier. A double freedom, even in death.
Oh, one more thing. Taking off from the thought in Billphorism 88, I wonder if the pyre should be burning outside. I think it would violate Oregon's clean air standards. That would cause a dilemma. I don't think I would worry about that one.
Copyright © 2004-2007 William R. Long