Like most self-respecting depressives I have gotten great joy over the years from picturing my funeral. How well attended it would be. How somber an occasion and yet how buoyant the talk of what a shining light I was. The crying, the moaning, the wailing, in betwixt the tears of laughter and joy, for those lucky enough to have known me, but not well enough to know the real me, the one that caused all the crying in life.
My children attend in perfectly tailored black suits and shiny shoes, their hair perfectly groomed. Somehow someone has gotten them to brush it, and also scraped the dark detritus from beneath their fingernails. These are modern miracles, and all those who have known the children gaze upon them with awe. The audience sighs collectively – the children will be all right.
My separated husband, being a Jew, has torn his clothes. He has gone overboard with it and his black suit hangs in strips about his person, revealing his frayed underwear underneath. According to tradition, the mirrors in the house are covered over so he has no idea how awful he looks. He will not be all right.
Next to him, my Catholic-born boyfriend, in sackcloth and ashes. He and my ex are initially weary, then bear hug emotionally, followed by amiable chatter about the only thing they have in common – my pussy. My boyfriend will get up and say something inappropriate in his eulogy, something sexual that will make my Russian relatives who have flown in from Australia sharply intake their breath. A lone tear will fall on his Buddha beads. He will attempt to practice non-attachment (hopefully he’ll fail.)
In this fantasy, my parents are younger than they are now, and dressed in brightly colored clothing. They can continue happier than before, without the contrarian, selfish princess who only called them when she wanted something… My mother will take up flamenco; dad will go back to painting…
Life is so fleeting, even when death is imminent, it is not up to us when G-d “calls us home.” That’s one of those things people like to say like, “gone to a better place,” or “with the Father in Heaven” that for some reason really creep me out. This life is overwhelming enough without thinking about sitting on some cloud throne for eternity with the Jewish Jesus, listening to all that tired material.
“Yeah you already told me about the loaves and the fishes, you need a new writer. I’m sure you could get a good dead Hollywood Jew for Guild minimum. And by the way, the plural of fish is fish, not fishes, didn’t your dad ever teach you grammar?”
I am not dying to my knowledge, except slowly, and sometimes of boredom. I make meatloaf. I do laundry. I walk dogs and take pleasure in seeing them scampering around trying to bite each other. It’s the little things in life, “they” always say, and in this case “they” are right. (Unless “they” are talking about penises and then it’s not really the little things at all.)
Though if I do die suddenly, you people better dress nicely. No tattered rundown shit, wear something clean and honor the dead. I didn’t go through all that bullshit for nothing, so get it together bitches. After all you and I both know, that I’ll be the lucky one. For there are neither dirty fingernails nor meatloaf nor laundry in Heaven.