According to a Facebook quiz I succumbed to, I have eighteen years and two months to live. That means my final journey will occur sometime during February 2033. I’ll be 89. Mark your calendars.
I would have preferred a spring or summer death, because it would be nice to have an outside going away party. Maybe my friend Dave Bouldin will write another leaving song like he did when I sold my house and moved to Mexico.
I plan to be cremated so there won’t be a shriveled up body to view, thank god. I’v e asked my daughter, Alice, to have a life-size cardboard effigy of me made (she could pick the photo) for folks to dance with at my wake. She laughed and said she would, but it would still be sad.
Eighty-nine is longer than I expected to live given my rowdy
behaviour. I remember being high on LSD once at a party in San Francisco. I was talking with a friend by the stove when someone used the gas burner to light a joint. Along with the the joint, the accordion sleeve of my blouse also burst into flames. I thought it was pretty. I don’t remember who put th
e fire out.
That was back when you could get a decent bag of Mexican pot for a dime (ten dollars). However, during my stand-up comedy years I chose red wine over the wildly popular cocaine as my drug of choice, and it remains so. Even though most days I exceed the prescribed daily limit, my liver has hung in there, and according to recent medical trends, red wine may even be helpful to my heart. If you hang there long enough medical science will come around to your side. .
Now that I have a more or less specific time of my passing I feel compelled to make a few plans for the future. The first thing I need is a home. Being homeless the last seven years has been fun, but now I want to find a small cottage by water, or (second choice) in the mountains, where I can move the stuff that hasn’t rotted out of storage.
At the top of my adventure list is a kayak trip to explore parts of the Mississippi River beginning at its headwaters in Lake Itasca, MN. Further south I see myself docking at small blues bars along the way, listening to music, and maybe even singing a rendition of You Can Leave Your Hat On. After that, I want to spend a few days camping, hiking and horse riding among the hoo-doos (odd-shaped pillars of rock) and forests in Bryce Canyon, Utah.
The final ‘must see’ river on my list is the Nile. It’s a busy waterway. The section from Luxor to Aswan alone is said to have 200 – 300 ships, with ratings from 0-5 cruising from any given time. The higher the score the ritzier and more international the passengers become. I’ll be on a 2 or 3 with the working class Egyptians, eating big plates of fava beans, and eggplant spiced with jute leaves, coriander, garlic and onions.
Eighteen years seem like a long time, but if they go as fast as the last 70 I’ve no time to waste.