On going *poof*

There’s an offline discussion arising around the book “One Month to Live.” My copy hasn’t arrived yet, but the question arose today as to how I would spend my days differently if I only had 30 of ’em left.

You know, people always pontificate that they would travel. That seems to be the going theory — that they’d finally hop on a plane and see where they came from or go plant their butts on a beach till the end drew near.

I was thinking about my meager savings and wondered, “Wow, other than gas money to go *somewhere,* what else could I possibly afford? And wouldn’t the ‘right thing’ be to leave it all to my mom, anyway?”

A friend joked that we could always open up as many credit card accounts as possible. Of course, you have crap-credit me here, so I wouldn’t get much and of course I’d need about 40 cards to get to France. Hell, one card might get me to Manhattan, the next might get me to the Atlantic Ocean, another card might get me about 50 yards into the water. Oh well — at least I wouldn’t be around to have to pay them all back!

In seriousness, though, I wrote down what I would do if I were told, “All right, on April 30, you go *poof*.” Not astoundingly, this was it:

“I would either quit my job outright or hang in there till the next pay period ends BUT I’d work ‘normal’ hours. I’d stop resenting everything I believe to be unfair in every aspect of my world. I’d do a pre-need package with the closest funeral director and spend the rest of my savings on one last — er, first bona fide — vacation.

“Before I board that plane, though, I’d need to find time to write just a few more pages of that novel and to will my writings to the right person who will take care of my ideas for me.”

That’s some deep stuff or, at least, some deep shit anyway. When did I get so responsible as to ensure no one had to worry about paying my final tab? Why do I care so much about the writings that I’ve damn near outright abandoned? And who the hell would I designate to carry on the contents of my heart and mind — who do I trust that much?

And funny, too, how I just want to work one 40-hour week. 😉 LOL. If THAT’S all it would take for me to die happy. … 😉

But seriously, I keep talking about getting a passport. What if I did, in fact, go *poof* in a month? I wouldn’t be able to leave the country. (Although I’d be glad to go find something tropical that’s considered to be on U.S. soil. Puerto Rico doesn’t require a passport, right?)

I think the purpose of the exercise was to get us to think more existentially — to see whether we’d be prepared to go into that gentle good night because we know we’re going somewhere good, or whether we’d be scrambling to make everything right that we know is wrong.

I think it was also to kick us in the pants to forgive someone or apologize to someone else. Hey, I’ve forgiven everyone who needed it, even if I didn’t want to open the door to let them back into my life. I forgive in my heart. No need to actually say it out loud. Likewise, I may owe an apology or two. But I’m also not nuts enough to stalk people who don’t want to talk to me.

To everything, there is a season, and if the leaves were all doused with gasoline, there’s nothing to go back to. There’s a reason why some people make it into the next chapter of your life story and others need to be hit over the head with the hardcover version.

But yeah, I really don’t know what I’d do with a month left to live. The material things come to mind — book a cruise, eat at all my favorite restaurants, finally make time for my friends, drink expensive wine (i.e., uncork the good bottles I’ve been saving for a special occasion that I have yet to deign), etcetera.

I can joke that I would put my cat to sleep so I can meet her on the other side, but give me a few years without cleaning up her poop landmines, mmkay? But what I would definitely do is come up with the endings of my half- or unwritten books and tell the lucky beneficiary to write those stories or at least find a good writer/editor to make them happen.

I might also joke that I want to administer one good old-fashioned ass-kicking. Because I can, you know? What, you’re going to deny a dying woman’s God-given right to bitchslap those who deserve it so? Line ’em up!

What I don’t want is to spend that time sad or depressed. I earned every gray hair on this head, every laugh line around my eyes, every eyeroll at examples of immaturity, laziness, pettiness and whininess.

I was at a little gathering at my church, and someone got to talking about how differently it is when a Christ-follower is about to pass, compared to a non-religious person. She said how beautiful it is, to see the “saved” person ready to go be with his or her King. I hope to cultivate that kind of faith — I’m afraid, right now, I’d be more than just a little resentful on all that I was missing out on.

And to that end, I’d want one last kiss — a good one (sad how you have to qualify that). But not with that (theoretical) one eye open — a bona fide, eyes closed, heart racing, churning-lava-at-your-absolute-core, goose-bumps-inducing, life-altering, mood-ring-changing as body heat rises, moment of utter and complete surrender.

That last “first” kiss would serve as a reminder for when I’m up for reincarnation in one of these millennia — that I’d actually want to come back again just to be able to experience the warmth of someone else’s skin.

Maybe the best things in life are free, when you look at it that way. 😉

Anyway, I will no doubt have more existential angst over this subject when I get the book in-hand. But what I expect from myself and others in my circle who are in this little book club, is that we’ll probably all be changed for life by this exercise.

One Lonely Response to On going *poof*

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