Bummer, right? Sure, but I’m more troubled at the prospect of the eulogy. And, to a lesser extent, the obituary. Do you ever think about that? I try not to, but I do. It niggles at me sometimes.
On no occasion, and under no circumstances, do I wish to be the topic of discussion. Dead or alive. I’ve spent a lifetime keeping a low profile. That’s why I became a writer, you know. I have things to say, I just don’t want to say them in front of people. They misunderstand everything. Then get pissed or offended or hurt. I need time to think things through first. I need a pencil.
In all honesty, I don’t like being talked about when I’m not around. I need to know what’s being said, so I can deny it or explain it or put a good spin on it. That isn’t paranoia talking, that’s experience. I take it in the shorts regularly. Do you know why? I don’t either. But there has to be a reason. Maybe it’s a vibe, maybe it’s my facial expression or pheromones, but everyone jumps to the same conclusion — I’m trouble.
People invariably assume I’m up to some kind of monkey business, whether they know me or not. Imagine how unnerving it is to spend your entire life as a suspect, perched high atop every Shit List, getting the fisheye instead of a friendly smile. Do you know what that does to a person over time? Well, it’s not an ego boost. I feel guilty. For everything — from global warming to killing spiders.
You’d think I have a rich criminal history, a rap sheet with felony charges and head-to-toe prison tattoos. I don’t. I don’t even have a misdemeanor, I’m clean. And that isn’t luck; I really am a law-abiding citizen. Although I feel like a fugitive, furtive and conscience-stricken. Approaching sirens, loud voices in hallways, sidelong glances, they all make me uneasy. Even though I haven’t done anything, I fully expect to be blamed.
So, naturally, I’m concerned about what will be said when I’m the dearly departed. I could write my own eulogy, I suppose, but it’d turn into improv, a comedy bit — with eye rolling and winking and sound effects. Best case scenario? I’ll be the last to go toes up. Ha. Then who’ll have the last laugh?
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