Literary LEO 2013
Something Different — Third
In The Last Moments Before I Die
BY CHLOE FORSTING
In the last moments before I die, I will not think about China. I have no reason to think about China during my waking life, either. It’s more or less irrelevant to my personal existence, although I can certainly see why many people in and outside of China would be concerned with it. That being said, I will not think of China before I die, unless I end up going there and it changes me somehow, in which case China may very well be the only thing I think of before I die.
In the last moments before I die, I will not think about my oven. I can almost certainly tell you that I will not go as Sylvia Plath did, because gas smells awful, and I don’t want that to be the last thing I smell before my brain suffocates and my heart stops beating. If there are any smells, let them be pleasant, and let them not remind me of my oven.
In the last moments before I die, I will not think about wanting to hurt someone. I would be in no mood to exact pain on someone as I lay on the ground, my blood oozing from a bullet wound and watering the soil, because what would be the point? Perhaps I would utter a few words in their direction, but not hurtful ones, because when I die, I want to go peacefully.
In the last moments before I die, I will not think about blogging. I want my death to be one where I think about people carrying me up to heaven, not about the obsessive triviality that is running my blog. But maybe I would think about the people I met through it, or found out about through it. I want my best friend to meet me there and show me the places where he finds the most peace with existence.
In the last moments before I die, I will not think about Donald Trump. I find him repulsive, and I do not want to think about repulsive people as I die, even if they are included in the crowd of people sitting by my deathbed. I may order them out so as to ease the experience for me. I will not think about Donald Trump, or his awful hairstyle, or his barbaric financial view of the world, because those things lead to the opposite of where I want my mind to be, and where my mind probably will be, as I breathe my last.
In the last moments before I die, I will not think about what sort of shoes people are wearing. If I end up curbstomped out of existence, then perhaps I would grant my assailant an exception, as shoes would play a major part in my death, but even then, the style, the color, the brand would not concern me — only the pain. So I will not concern myself with the kinds of shoes people wear to my deathbed, or even to my funeral. I will make sure the usual dress code is abolished when people come to mourn my corpse and wail as I go to be cremated.
In the last moments before I die, I will not think about frowning. This seems horribly positive in the way that self-help programs tell you to just Love Yourself and be done with it, but this is less a piece of advice that I intend to tell others in order to dictate how they must live their lives and more of a simple consequence of expectations — I will be carried into the light, and who knows what will happen next? May as well smile.
In the last moments before I die, I will not think about the future, because my future is moot, and the futures of others do not concern me.
In the last moments before I die, I will not think about the possibility of God existing, because I’m okay with it either way, although I’m fairly sure I’ll go somewhere else — but not completely sure.
In the last moments before I die, I will not think about where people will go after I expire, because I don’t think they should, either. When you have watched someone die, there is nothing you can do that is inappropriate. All is appropriate. There is nothing left to do but carry on.