Thursday, February 12, 2015

A Wish for Dying

I’m the one who has to die when it’s time for me to die,
so let me live my life the way I want to.
-Jimi Hendrix
It’s no surprise that one day the party will end.
We are all going to die. Blah, blah, blah. Big whoopity-doo.
But this mortality places such ephemeral beauty in all of our decisions. Every thought we possess is an irretrievable moment, every action is already lost in history. This humanity makes us all death artists; our lives are our one great performance.
Where we find ourselves at the final curtain call is perhaps the ultimate statement of our personhood.
I often hope to meet death at the poker table:
Cards flying across the green baize,
Surrounded by a table of vague faces,
Mind lost to the clack of riffling chips,
And the distant music of slot machines.
A dreamy cocoon of fantasy. 
I like this thought because it holds a number of tacit probabilities about my future. First, I am healthy enough to still play, and not finishing out in hospice or hospital. Second, I have enough leisure time for cards, likely retired, free of the burden of work. Finally, if I’m still at the table, the game I love hasn’t passed me by.
I wonder how my final hand will play out.
Perhaps I will have just raked in a big pot, piling chips into mountainous stacks in front of me.
Or, maybe the final vision will be a brutal suck-out, where a huge dog hits runner-runner on me.
Will it be one last bluff? A hero call?
Or just a couple of rags, an unplayable hand, junk I automatically flick back to dealer with a wry smirk, happy to have simply played the game.
Well, anyhow, I just pray I don’t bite it in line for the buffet.