What to Do When I Die
On the Off Chance I Have Actually Contracted West Nile Virus
...death ought to be right there before the eyes of a young
man just as much as an old one...
Sure. I’ve been told never to google symptoms, ailments, or other medical issues for validation and/or information without also consulting a doctor, but I did regardless. About a week ago, I acquired several new mosquito bites after having gone on a walk by the river at dusk. Bug bites are to be expected at such a time and in such a place. I developed a strange bruise that looked like a rash. So, I googled. Turns out my bites and the marks developing around them looked nothing like the red bullseye coloration and pattern that develops from a West Nile infected mosquito bite. I was safe.
Or was I?
A few days after the initial worry (can’t really call it a “scare”) I had the audacity to venture into my garage where my roommate had the main door open while sanding and staining his new bed frame. How dare I. And, oh, how the bugs let me know. In the space of about five minutes I was gang-bitten by a half-dozen mosquitoes. The bastards. The bites developed as per usual…until yesterday that is.
There it was. A bright red bite mark with a red halo to match. The bullseye. The symbol of West Nile. If only I hadn’t googled my bites before, I could be living in the ignorant bliss that allows people to incubate and develop diseases and viruses leading to death unknowingly. But no. Oh, no. I am aware, so very aware. I am certain I only have days, maybe weeks, to live, and that brings me here to what is essentially my last will and testament.
Aren’t you all some lucky fuckers to get to read it? Buckle up, friends.
Part 1: My Body and What to Do with It
Should I ever be put on life support or doomed to a persistent vegetative state, just let me go. Seriously. Pull the plug, smother me with a pillow, remove my feeding and breathing tubes, stuff my orifices with avocadoes (you know, to induce anaphylaxis), shoot me up with all the heroin you can find. Get creative if you want, or let the doctors do whatever it is they need to do to end my life. There’s no humanity in being a vegetable and even if miracles did exist, I wouldn’t count on one being thrown my way. Release me back to the abyss. It is decided.
After you have come around to your senses and my demands, have some fun with my body. Not in a gross sexual sort of way, but more in a gross fun way. Here are some options to get the ball rolling and the brains storming:
-hollow me out like a pumpkin and turn me into a pinata to be used at my wake (to be discussed in further detail later)
-mummify me and have fun going antiquing to find the perfect sarcophagus to send me off into the great nothing that proceeds and follows life
-put me in one of those grow-a-tree-from-a-dead-person pods and watch me destroy plants even in death
-feed me to a crocodile(s) while the bagpiper you hired for the wake (again to be discussed later) plays “You’re the Best” from the Karate Kid
-donate me to science but only for the most absurd study you can find
-grind me up and launch my raw, bloody, queer, female, socialist meat at Donald Trump and Mike Pence’s faces (you only get one shot, so make sure you have excellent aim)
-build a pyre out of fireworks and Red Hot Blues Tortilla Chips and light me up
-if you’re curious (and who hasn’t been), why not cut off a hunk of meat and try some human (you know you kind of want to)?
These are just some ideas, but they would all be 100% acceptable and welcome. Anything but putting me in a stupid wood box and hiding me in the dirt. Not that I’ll care, though, because I’ll be dead.
Part 2: The Wake
If you read the last paragraph, you are aware that this wake is going to include a bagpiper. Now, you might be thinking that: wake + bagpiper = Irish Wake. And you would be wrong. Parts of this shitshow will indeed draw from the Irish tradition, but if you know anything about me, chances are you’ll know that I fuck with tradition. Expect no less from me in death.
Let’s begin with a list of necessary persons who must be in attendance at my wake:
-My best friends (you know who you are)
-My family, notably: my mother, brother, sister-in-law, niece, nephew, half-uncle, aunt, and uncle (the cousins are, of course, welcome as well)
-My other friends and friendly acquaintances
-Christian Bale acting as Batman
-The Scottish man who looked like Eddie Redmayne that I almost hooked up with in Ireland
-The 2008 Italian Men’s Soccer team as they were in 2008 (if you can get them to punt my head and yell “gooooooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaalllllllllllll” as part of the wake that would be splendid)
-Lizzo (if she could sing “Good as Hell” to me while my body is on stage that, too, would be splendid; you know, see if you can get her and Gaga to do a duet)
-The entire cast of the Harry Potter films in costume and acting (if you can only get one, make sure it’s Ralph Fiennes as Voldemort)
There are plenty more, and in the days leading up to my death I shall work to expand and perfect the list. This is a very fine place to start for now.
Any of the people of whom I am not overly fond are more than welcome to attend the wake. They should note, though, that they will most likely feel unwelcome by the people I do like. As they should. I don’t dislike people for no reason, and I am certain my friends will have my back even after my back has been destroyed.
Now, onto the ceremony/party. *:
*So help me, if any of you try to incorporate any spiritual or religious malarkey into my wake I will forsake all the nothingness I believe in and come back to haunt you. Let me be clear that I have a knack for knowing precisely how to best annoy an individual, and you do not want a mastermind such as myself dogging your every movement until you yourself pass on.
Part 3: The Bequeathal
The rules and bequeathings are as follows:
This is a document riddled with loopholes. I’ve never been one for legalese. Here’s my deal: I don’t remember a time before being alive and I won’t remember a time after. Stuff is stuff. Death happens to everyone. Here’s an excuse to throw one hell of a bonkers party. While this document is absurd, we all know how much I love absurdity; meaning that whenever it is that I do die, it’s totes okay and more than acceptable to actually do these things in remembrance of me.
Just remember the fucking bug spray.
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© Alessandra Ragusin 2016-2020