I've Always Been This Awkward - Nineteen

A friend of mine called me today. She was surprised I answered the phone since I usually don't. But my phone was saying, "Hi, Ty, this is Ty talking to you in the future" over and over. So I answered it mostly to shut it up. My friend was in good spirits given that she's just outside of the first trimester of her second pregnancy. This pregnancy included more nausea than the first. This one also included vomiting (the first didn't). She believes she's having a girl for some reason and will find out soon. She's a great mom. And her husband is a great guy and father as well. He has three characteristics that are polar opposite of me. He is mellow, thoughtful, and nice. Together they are wonderful parents who remind me a lot of Mark and Marnie (who are in my will as the recipients of my offspring should my wife and I meet an untimely and simultaneous demise).

Oh yeah, and my friend was on her way to the hospital. The hospital where her mom is a patient. Today, they move her mother from that hospital to a hospice. The same hospice where her sister died a year and a half ago. These are difficult circumstances for their family, I'm sure. I have much empathy.

Yep, we're all going to die. The only differences are timing and circumstances.

Interestingly I learned during today's conversation that my friend and her brother (I'm not using names on purpose, you just figured that out?) have a joke that they should get "DNR" tattooed across their chests. That's pretty funny because Mark and I have made that very joke in the past. My friend and her brother have never met Mark and I don't believe I've shared that joke with them. "Do Not Resuscitate" tattoo as universal joke? Go figure, I had no idea. Must mean something.

My friend's parents are old, but not that old. Late 70s and early 80s I think, really not that old by today's standards. Her sister died in her mid-40s. Hank Hill would say, "cancer and cancer accessories." My friend laughs that her robust father will probably "just drop dead someday without all the drama." Her perspective is refreshing.

We talked about death quite a bit. Not in sad, macabre, or fearful tones, but more in terms of control, emotional health, and timing. We agreed that rather than become feeble, victimized, and incontinent, it would be much better to know when your life is over and simply be happy with that. Suicide? No. End of a run. Retirement. Game over. Since we cannot all live forever, why not call the shot (no pun intended) for when you're finished?

I have long been an admirer of Hunter S. Thompson. While I do not care to emulate many of his more Gonzo antics, he did do one thing that raises him to hero-status in my opinion. He called his last shot (pun intended here). His so-called "suicide" was not an act of desperation but a thoughtful, deliberate act that I'll call "active retirement." Good for him. And those close to him understood.

Thompson's so-called "suicide note" read as follows:
Football Season is Over

"No More Games. No More Bombs. No More Walking. No More Fun. No More Swimming. 67. That is 17 years past 50. 17 more than I needed or wanted. Boring. I am always bitchy. No Fun — for anybody. 67. You are getting Greedy. Act your old age. Relax — This won't hurt"
Fuck yeah, I totally get it. If you read it, you'll understand. He had a threshold and he exceeded it by 17 years. "Always bitchy." How is that fun. "Boring." "Greedy." He had long made it known that he'd feel "trapped" if he couldn't commit suicide at any moment. What that means is that if you get to be so old, so feeble, so delusional that you lose all control of your personal well being, you are indeed trapped. You become a passenger on a bad joyride in a vessel that once resembled you. Me? I don't ever want anyone feeding me. I don't what to be tube-fed either. I'd never want to not have the ability to think my own thoughts. I don't want to have aids bathe me. I don't want to be anyone's burden. Alzheimer's? I pass. How frustrating would that be? And for what?

This does not make me suicidal. This does not make me crazy. This doesn't make me fearful of aging. I actually LOVE aging! I'm the happiest 42-year-old I've ever known. I have no fears of a hell nor am I concerned about the admissions process for a heaven. Since neither exists, I needn't utilize one brain cell to ponder. I do not fear death as much as I savor my life. But life should have certain qualities that make it worth it to trudge forward. I fucking love life. In fact, I distinctly remember writing and posting the following thought [clicky]:
"I am as concerned with who I am as I am curious of who I become."

Like Leonard Shelby in Momento, maybe I'll create a series of "memory devices" with tattoos, photographs, and web sites in the event I become somehow too delusional to maintain control. I can create logical pathways to the safe deposit box where I keep my revolver loaded with one bullet so I can untrap myself. Forget "DNR," I'll create my pathway to freedom. I'm just saying....

It's either that or have a life that consists solely of sitting around all week in my bedbug-ridden convalescent home bed so I can live to my every other Saturday visit where my daughter wheels me out front so I can smoke my one cigarette while she texts for her important work. After my visit, it's back to the staff beatings and constant bedbug-ridden humiliation.

But enough of this downer talk. Let's get back to all the fun and games of life. Pineapple Express starts in about an hour. "Thug life!"

It was nice talking to my friend today. I'm glad she was in good spirits.

I've Always Been This Awkward

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