Curiouser and Curiouser

Hold up on the wake, folks.

When you die your your identity ceases to exist, in more than the obvious ways.   The fact of your death becomes a matter of public notice.  Your social security number is no longer a not really so closely held secret to be hidden from all but those who would extend you credit.  Your name no longer belongs to anyone, it’s published in the newspaper, no matter if anyone cares enough about you to have a service, or even pay to have an obituary written.  In short, you are immediately outed as a non-person.

No matter if your remains end up in a great marble tomb in one of the better cemeteries, or in an unmarked hole surrounded by the bones of hobos, your name ends up on a list that anyone can see.  There really is no way to hide this.  It’s all very democratic.

If you don’t make the list, you are not dead.

I’m not on the list.  Neither is my mother.

It’s a great day to be alive.

The Big Sleep

Much has been made of faking one’s own death in fiction and film. It seems to be a subject that fascinates. Something about being able to start over with a completely clean slate, being able to leave past transgressions behind.

As an adoptee I’ve never found the concept that appealing. Maybe because something very much like this was done to me. I was innocent, I didn’t have anything I wanted to leave behind. My death was faked, in a way, in order to allow others to leave things behind.

On some level I can see where this could be satisfying. With one action, the problem just disappears. I can even see how this could become addictive.

The thing is, like everything that seems to solve all problems, you have to be very careful with it. If you use it too much, it will come back to bite you. The use of this clings to you, like the smell of bourbon, like the acrid woodsy smell of weed. Somebody is eventually going to know your using.

They say an addict can always spot an addict. I think that those who have had death, even in this guise, forced upon them can also always spot an addict. A little bit of that smell always clings to them too. It’s familiar.

How many times can someone expect to be able to get away with something like this, killing people for convenience? Once, twice, even three times?

I think that just once. With every use this power becomes weaker, the high less satisfying, the risk for exposure greater.

Yep, it will turn around on you, but fast.