Tuesday, September 10, 2013

How Would You Want To Die?

Today I tripped over my total gym while moving to a new exercise and caught myself awkwardly before face planting and spilling my brains on the floor.  Then, after the workout, I slipped in the shower, bouncing on one foot to keep myself from falling (which is something I always do when I slip in the shower that makes next to no sense, because if you slip with the other foot, you have nothing left to save you and will surely die).  I sprayed my new leather shoes this morning, reading on the back of the label that the chemicals "can cause flash fires," and I day dreamed about being swallowed in a cloud of fiery death.

I got to thinking very quickly, in this maze of macabre disaster I call a home, about how I'd actually like to go out.  Having survived cancer already, I have conflicting opinions on the subject.  After surviving a life-threatening tragedy, you don't particularly want to go out in just any lame, regular sort of way.  You want some even more intense option, like drowning after saving everyone you love from a sinking battleship, or fighting off an alien invasion.

Other people are also aware of this fact.  I was crossing the street the other day with my friend Darrell, and when we got into the bus lane he held out his hand and said, "Watch out for buses.  You don't want to be run over by a bus after you lived through cancer."  And I'd say that's pretty accurate.

On the other hand, after surviving a horrible, traumatizing disease, it's easy to want to pick the most mundane way to die possible.  Sometimes I think I want to go out in my sleep, with no pomp or circumstances whatsoever.

"You planning to get up soon?  Nope?  Okay then."

It might be best to do that, and avoid all the messier ways, like sword fights with giants and skydiving snafus.  That way, everyone will have a semblance of closure.  Instead of, "If only he would have spent more time in the gym practicing his melee skills (because everyone knows giants have a resistance to elemental spells)," it would be more like:

"How did he die?"
"Why, in his sleep."
"Oh.  Well that's not very dramatic."
"Why no, not at all."

Something like this might be pretty ideal: *Read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, DEAD*

So which is it?  After surviving cancer, I kind of get the notion that I won't be able to pick.  The natural progression (or random assertion of unconscious power) of the Universal DJ really doesn't leave any room for requests.  As much as I go back and forth between two extremes, I doubt that anything that has any control over how I go out cares in the least.  It's going to happen the way it does.  It almost did already, in a completely senseless and eye-opening kind of way.

"I'm coming for ya.  You know, eventually."

Whatever it is, I hope that the way I choose to live inspires someone.  Anyone.  And that the manner in which I leave this place is entirely washed away in the memory of what I added to it.

Image credits: Top -- Monster Shower Sign, by derekdavalos via deviantart; Middle -- Horse Sleep, by Ian Webb via flickr; Mid Bottom -- Studying and Sleeping, by mrehan via flickr; Bottom -- Death Rides a Pale Trike, by Marcus Ranum via deviantart


  1. My post-cancer "dream death" is going on a space walk (when I'm quite old and near death anyway, of course) and just floating away... think NASA would humor me?

    1. Awesome idea. Just drift away gazing at the stars and the beauty of the Universe. I think there may be some of those pesky ethical boundaries in the way of this, but I'm sure we can pull some strings for you.