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when i die

i made a little joke about this subject this weekend, in conversation. i’ll throw it in somewhere. but, especially on a cold rainy-ish monday, i have to tackle this biggest of subjects sometime. plus, my opinions should be down in black and white, in case someone needs to see it. my will has all the legal stuff, but this is the cool stuff. so here goes.

i’ve been thinking about this, actually, for a few weeks now, since i read the book stiff, by mary roach. what a trip. read the synopsis.

there’s a chapter about cadavers that are used for research into decay rates, to help forensic science. they put you in a field, and you rot, and they record how fast you rot and what happens to you as you rot and what bugs live in you at different stages of rot. and all that rot. kirk thinks this is perfect, and i agree. i don’t want to be embalmed and buried. that’s just window dressing for the people who are left, and to my mind, highly unnatural.

neither do i want to be cremated, although that’s certainly preferable to being pumped full of chemicals and staying antiseptic and intact for innumerable centuries. why do i care? i’m dead, right? i can’t feel anything.

probably.

exactly.

how the hell do you know how you feel or what happens or why it happens? have you been dead, embalmed, or cremated recently? i thought not. so it seems to me that the safest route is to go completely as nature intended, which is to rot where you drop. except that i can’t rot where i drop, so probably i’ll have to rot in that forensic field with all the other sensible, rotting people.

my only regret is that if that happens i’ll miss out on having my epitaph. which is, by the way, “sit on my grave and picnic.” i thought of that when i was 18 and sitting on jim morrison’s grave at pere la chaise in paris, and having a picnic. bread and wine and cigarettes and romanticism and all. if i rot in a field, i could still have a headstone somewhere, with my epitaph on it, but i wouldn’t be underneath it, and that would be deceptive, as people would think that they were sitting on me and picnicking when in actuality they were not.

on second thought, that’s absolutely perfect.

i also want to have “peaches” by kristen hall playing at my service, assuming someone has one. it’s a great song, and if you don’t know kristen hall’s music, you should.

that’s it. thanks to my stupid government that won’t legally recognize kirk and i, we’ve spent thousands of dollars getting all our paperwork in order, all that stuff that just automatically happens when you get married. so that’s taken care of.

but i need to investigate the rotting thing more.

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