Tuesday, November 13, 2007

There's this phenomenon that occurs in my days which I call doubling. It's as if God were underlining something that She wanted me to pay attention to.

For instance, today a woman in Trader Joe's noticed and commented on my ox-blood (sorry, that's the real name of the color) red Dansko shoes, and then when I went to the dentist, the dental hygienist remarked on them also.

I wear those shoes all the time, when I'm not wearing sneakers--they're comfortable and they pass for almost-stylish among Berkeley hippie-types of A Certain Age. Most of the time they pass unremarked, as every woman of A Certain Age in the Bay Area has a similar pair of Danskos in her own closet. So, I have no idea what it means that two people said something about them today--probably nothing--the underlining thing doesn't have to mean anything, it's just a way I keep my eyes open for synchronicity.

More important-seeming was that I had two appointments today which both reminded me of my mortality. One was a trip to the lawyer, to draw up a will. Because he's responsible and thinks ahead, and because he had a bad motorcycle accident last year and because my ex-husband died at age 45, C and I have been dealing with all the legal and financial stuff of partnering. Among other things, we've made each other beneficiaries and given each other power-of-attorney and done all that other morbid stuff that everyone, no matter what age, really should do but that no one wants to think about.

And then, today, the will. I should have had one drawn up a while ago; I own a house, I want to give money to my nieces and nephews, I contribute to non-profits that are important to me. And everyone should do the medical things that state your wishes, and put them in writing, and do it legally so they can't be contested.

What I have said to everyone--friends, family, and I'll say it here on this blog--is PULL THE PLUG!! My worst fear is not death. My worst fear is lingering in some semi-vegetative state for weeks or months, or God forbid, years. When the Terrie Schiavo case surfaced a year or two ago, my family and I all spoke with each other and agreed that if any of us allowed another member to be photographed in a comatose state and then have that photo broadcast on network television, the comatose person would come back after death and haunt everyone else as a poltergeist FOREVER.

I hate that our culture denies death. I believe in reincarnation. Let the dying die, and let everyone move along. Keeping people on ventilators in nursing homes is disgusting. I hope, by the time I die, I'll have given everything away and there won't be anything left to settle. I'd like to die like Gandhi, who left only a loincloth and a begging bowl and a pair of glasses, but I'm not exactly living like Gandhi, so chances are I won't die like him either (although there is always hope for evolution.)

Anyway, it's not every morning that you sit across a desk from a total stranger who starts sentences with phrases like, "Upon your death..."

Then I went to the dentist, and they took X-rays. There's something about seeing your own grinning skull, with its mouthful of slightly crooked teeth, distinctively, inarguably your slightly crooked teeth, that was yet another reminder of mortality. It seems very appropriate that all this happen in the month of November.

It's of a piece with cleaning out the house, which we have been doing--cleaning out, and unloading and getting rid of. Full inventory. Sweeping the slate clean. Getting ready to create something new. But first, to look death in the face...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Only a poet could elevate the experience with the dentist. Beautiful and funny post.