Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Death By...?

I have always wondered what sort of cruel joke it is that we are not allowed to choose the manner in which each of us leaves this world and moves on to the next. Because, in life, we don't really get to choose anything. Everything, everything, is in some way predestined; everything is the result of something else or some other other action. I think that if we have to go through our lives coping with what is handed to us, the very least type of reward we should be given is to be able to choose how we want to end our respective lives. I mean, geesh, I already lost my hair, have high blood pressure, had a stroke, and sruvived cancer. Can't I at least decide how I get to die? Doesn't that seem fair?

So I thought to myself -- if I had the option of choice (is that redundant?), how exactly would I choose to die? What is really the best way to go? How can I, with the utmost style and sophistication, dearly depart my mortal coil?

Of course, the first thought that comes to mind is that my death has to be (HAS TO BE) as painless as possible (I mean I don't want to suffer or anything). I don't want to die in a fashion in which I know I am going to die, that I see my death coming and it is just a matter of going through the motions until I either lose oxygen or disassemble.

I do not want to die by either drowning or suffocation: these are deaths where you may actually be inches away from safety but can't get to it. These are panic deaths. They are rushed along because we think we can get out of them if we just try harder, but only end up hurrying the whole process.

I don't want to die of either starvation or thirst: not that I can ever imagine myself being anyplace where a McDonald's or a Starbuck's wasn't at least within a few blocks.

I don't want to die from burning; that just seems too damn painful.

I don't want to die from any form of cancer; it's too high maintenance and may take a very long time. Death needs to be swift and precise.

I don't want to be eaten, stung, or otherwise drained of blood: 'nuff said!

I don't want to fall to my death: this all goes back to not wanting to see my death coming.

I don't want to be stabbed or shot. These deaths aren't absolute and sometimes require the action to be repeated several times to obtain the objective.

Likewise, I don't want to be hanged; it's that whole losing-oxgyen-until-your-eyes-pop-out thing.

I don't want to die from dysentery; no shit!

I don't want to die of embarrassment; I don't look good flushed.

Some would argue that the best way to go would be during sex. Now I've given this some consideration. Would I really want to bite the dust while I was on top of or underneath (or kinkier yet, suspended above) someone? If I could be assured that I would be fully clothed by my partner before the authorities and the coroner arrived, then maybe I would consider it. But let's be honest here: We know it's an insult if one falls asleep on his partner during sex, but what is the modicum of coothe if said one actually ceases living during an unspeakable act (now wouldn't that be gauche).

Then there's death by chocolate, but the whole zit factor ruins that one.

One of the more painful deaths I could imagine would have to be death by hiccupping. I actually knew a man named Sam Myers who died from hiccups. He had them for six months and there was nothing that could be done for him. That would not only hurt but boy, would that get on your nerves or what?

Then, of course, I could always just be bored to death (but if that hasn't bappened by now, it ain't never gonna).

And since I have your attention, I would like to take this opportunity to express my opinion on the relevance to those proceedings that occur after death: viewings, funerals and burials.

Yes, yes. I do think that it is necessary to have funeral and viewings and all that. I believe these ceremonies allow us the opportunity to grieve in unison and validate the life of the person who has died. But after the funeral, I think the dead person should be burned or something. Imagine how many cemetaries there are in the world - now that is a lot of real estate just sitting there. And you can't just plow over them and start over. Didn't you see "Poltergeist"?

I have never prescribed to the theory that cemetaries are necessary real estate ventures. I honestly cannot understand why it is an accepted practice to drive to a specific location and speak to a piece of square rock that is supposed to represent the deceased person. Dead people live on in our hearts and memories. And the fact that we replace them with inanimate pieces of granite just seems blasphemous.

I have this same feeling about going to church. Yes, I am a Christian and I wholeheartedly believe in God. But I don't really think He considers me any less holy than someone who gets out of bed on Sunday mornings and drives to a specific location in order to praise His name. I do think that something can be said for the power of communal prayer, but these places (churches, synagogues, temples, whatever) all call themselves the "House of God" (a rather boastful declamation) where the congregations are comprised of almost 80% hippocrits who sit in the back pews in the church, rattling their candy papers all the while talking about other members of the congregation.

But back to the whole "how I want to die" thing -- I guess I haven't really figured it out yet. Out there somewhere just waiting for me is the perfect death (much like the perfect guy -- or in some cases they could technically be considered the same thing). I don't know. Maybe I won't die. Maybe I'll just live forever. I've made it this far. I mean, how bad could the rest of time possibly be in the grand scheme of things?

Something tells me that I am going to be so sorry I even asked that question...