I hope to hell I’m never terminally ill. I can’t think of anything that would suck worse than that.
I'll be the whiniest, most obnoxious, most bitter and demanding and unlovable terminally ill sonuvabitch that ever lived. By the time it’s all over, I won’t have a single friend left. One of my hospice workers will probably get pissed and strangle me. You won’t see me on the cover of People magazine if I’m terminally ill because in order to make the cover of People magazine you have to die with dignity and grace. Screw that. If death is sadistically unleashing a tidal wave of pain on me, I’m sure as hell not gonna sit there and be gracious about it. Who the hell made that rule up? Probably not somebody who was terminally ill. The only way I’ll die with grace is if there’s a woman dying next to me named Grace. The only way the word noble will be associated with my death is if her name is Grace Noble.
I know I couldn’t be all stoic and strong in the face of death even if I wanted to because I hate pain. I’m such a fucking baby when it comes to pain. I’ll do anything to avoid it. I used to see this grief counselor named Frank. Frank was super cool but he always told me I should “walk into” pain. When he said that, it made me think of the outhouse on my grandma’s farm. I have warm childhood memories of shitting in that outhouse. Grandma had a perfectly fine and functional bathroom in her house but for some reason her husband always went out to shit in the outhouse, even if there was a foot of snow. So when we visited, I really looked forward to going out there with him and shitting like a real man! It was so cool. There was even a girly picture centerfold tacked up on the back of the outhouse door. And it was especially cool to shit in cold weather because the shit steamed.
But I was also afraid of going to the outhouse because I feared I could easily fall down the hole into the bottomless quicksand pit of waste below. The hole was man-sized and I was just a boy. Walking into pain, it seemed to me, would be like willfully jumping down into that hole just for the fullness of the experience. Thanks but no. I ‘m more comfortable executing a purely defensive strategy of avoiding falling down the hole in the first place.
If I was terminally ill, I would probably be insanely jealous of the healthy. Because when I was an inmate at the state-operated boarding school for crippled children, aka the Sam Houston Institute of Technology (SHIT), I was jealous of the free. I envied the employees, the visitors, the delivery guys. I envied anyone who could just walk out the front door with no pass, no doctor’s permission, no escort, no questions asked. Consequently, I signed up for any lame-ass field trip opportunity that came along just to get the hell out of there. I must’ve seen “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown” and “Up With People” on stage 50 damn times, though it was probably just once.
That’s the kind of crazy shit jealousy will drive a person to do. So God knows what I’ll be like if I’m terminally ill. But I know myself well enough to confidently predict that I’ll be a real douche bag. So you should start thinking up polite excuses to avoid me, just in case.