May 14, 2005

Hold out your hands...

OK, way too much in my head today and didn't have a place or time to write it down. I'll try to reconstruct the best I can.

First of all, if you've ever taken a limo ride to the airport (well maybe just the first time) you know the feeling you get of being special and wondering what it's like to live that way. I left my hotel this morning to catch to a plane to Vienna. To catch a plane out of Venice, basically means taking a water taxi. Think of a private boat (about 20 ft?) lined with couch seating. It's all teak wood with a high gloss polish. You ride for a half an hour by yourself in the back with nothing but the water for company. I think I'm still trying to wipe the silly grin off my face.

Crap, I totally forgot to take a picture of the plane I flew in today... it was a prop jet. They still fly these things? Holy Crap. As we were coming in for landing, I bet even money the pilot was going to tip a wing right into the runway and all my thoughts about death would come to immediate certainty.

I'll explain the death thing in a minute, but first I wanted to tell a story that happened to me in 1993. I once stood for over an hour with may arms straght out in front of me for over an hour. Parallel to the floor. This isn't something I decided to do on whim (not mine anyway), but rather on the screamed demand of two very large, nasty drill instructors. I think we happened to finish our revolution eary and they needed some way to further instill in us that our asses (along with our arms) belonged to them. We were placed at attention and then told to put out our arms. THere may have been a demonstration, but they liked to train Pavlovian response, so I'm not certain. Pavlovian in their case would have been not to end up in the 'front leaning rest' (otherwise known as the pushup position.) So, we stand. Unmoving... try it for 5 minutes... OK, try it for 1. Hurts doesn't it. 15 minutes go by, people start dropping their arms... screaming Drill Sergeants are on them like rabid dogs on raw meat. Old Yell'r indeed. I didn't move. Nothing.The poor souls who moved, did so many pushups... I couldn't see this. I was focused on a spot about 6 to 8 inches over my hands. Or rather defocused is more appropriate? I literally went somewhere else. I shut my mind off from my body and visited somewhere else. Time ceased. The room of grunting sweating men ceased. There was only my mind. I don't recall now where I went. If I knew that, I'd probably still be there. (Along with a nice padded room - Hmmm...) Finally, it registered to me that one the Drills was talking about me. "Like a Rock"... I realized that he was staring into my eyes and trying to see how long it would be before I moved. That was the beginning of the end for me. The searing pain in my arms and shoulders moved to the forefront of my mind. There was no pushing it back out again. Instinct then takes over... you move to release the muscle. Of course, they caught me. Into the front leaning rest I went. Actually, a nce change of pace at that point. So what is my point? We endure things. Things you never thought you could. Things you would never imagine trying. At some point, you let go. It's not worth holding onto. I didn't want to be the last one standing, and I wasn't (there were three of us left, the other two cracked soon after.) The point was that in my own mind, I could change it. Make it something else (if even only for a short while.)

I spent a lot of time thinking about death today. Some my own, some just death in general. I realized that I don't have a will, a living will, a letter of intent (for what happens to after I die), or anything else to go with it. About 70% of the population dies intestate (without a will). It takes forever to sort that crap out. I'm not sure who would do the stuff anyway. I am single, no kids, out of contact with my family for the most part. But all this thought gave way to a question I need to know the answer to. What would people say? Other than it 'was unexpected'. It's always unexpected because we don't prepare. We don't talk about it until it's too late. Then you loved ones are rushing to decide if you get the grand pappy casket with a concrete liner around it or if you get the simple pine box.

Here's the thing, if I die, I want a carefully orchestrated event to occur. I want people to drink, laugh and remember something good. I want to be cremated. I want my ashes scattered over a small lake in my hometown. I'd like a bottle of wine poured in after to keep me lubricated. I'd want three people there to do it. But mostly I'd want to know that I'd made some kind of impact on the people around me. That maybe they were a little more... I don't know... something. Even to those I didn't get along with, I'd like to feel that I made an impact. I'm not an organ donor, and I don't know why. I would like my skin to help a burn vicitm in need. (But I've thought about this, I only want the tattooed skin to be used.) The art could continue to live. (The recipient would of course have to approve the skin.)

Morbid thoughts. Perhaps. But I've been smiling all day. I woke up with a smile and I'm pretty sure it's going to be there again tomorrow. I'm holding out my hands... there is this little spot 6 inches above my hands... anything can happen there. ANYTHING. Come on, try it...


At 4:10 PM, Blogger 30Something said...

When my dad died, me and his best friend (who is Harley guy all the way) woke up around 6am. Dad was being cremated and we stayed at my moms house the previous night. SOoo.. when we woke up, coffee was the first choice. Then after about two cups, we started with the alcohol. Him and I got so drunk and had a heck of a time looking at pictures and laughing and crying. It was amazing. When I look at him (my dad’s best friend/my godfather) I feel so much love cuz he is my dad as far as I’m concerned.
Cremation is the way to go. Quick and easy. I remember my dad just moments after his death and I held him, smelled him, kissed him and that is my last memories of him. Not some make-uped dead thing that is in a casket for 3 days.

At 2:10 PM, Blogger iceborn said...

its a good experience..



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