23 June 2008

Expectedly Unexpected

An old friend died the other day. Not completely unexpected. He was getting on in years, his body slowly failing him. Nothing too obvious. Creaking knees, hunching back. The usual suspects.

The clearest indicator was the energy. He was known for weaving passion into fluid tapestry. As time wore on, the fabric was less and less fluid, more burlap in texture. Rough, itchy, almost irritating.

Our friend always imagined such wonderfully creative ways to die. He really wanted to go in one of those ways.

Being run over by a bus full of nuns was one of his favorites. They would pray away, clicking off the beads, one, two, ten. Hail Mary! Our Father... He would be crossing the street. Just minding his own business. Walking here, walking here! But Sister Mary Wonderful was behind the wheel. Somebody at the DMV with a single-digit IQ issued the blind and deaf old woman a commercial license. She wouldn't see him. She wouldn't hear him. She'd just keep on keepin' on. Thought she hit a pothole, the silly biddy.

Not as graceful, but equally original, was death by television. He would be sitting there, enjoying the suffering of the world for his amusement. So much humor to be found in the tragedy of others. Eventually the TV would have enough. In a fit of manic depression it would pull itself away from the wall and strangle him with its cord. Not nearly as likely as the nuns, but a fitting end he thought.

In the end, the mediocre got him. That cynical heart of his just threw in the towel. He probably told the little ticker to get back in the ring. Pump you lazy bastard! We've got things to do! It was for naught. His heart had enough. Seven million, four-hundred and sixty-three thousand, five hundred and twenty rounds was it. No more! It said. I concede, I give up, uncle for chrissakes!

And he didn't fight too much. He knew it was coming as much as we did. He went to the hospital to see if they could convince the heart to go a few more, just for shits and giggles. Alas, the doctor's arguments fell on deaf ventricles. No more! I concede! Go away and let me rest!

Our friend was tired anyway. He had said all that could be said. Perhaps in the next life there were more idiots and tragedy. So much more he would be entertained for eternity. He probably wanted to meet the originator of his suffering. His originator probably wanted to meet him too. I imagine they had plenty to say to each other.

Regardless, it was expected. Expectedly unexpected.

We knew it was inevitable. Death was the only certainty, as our friend pointed out so many times.

In loving memory of
George Denis Patrick Carlin