Learning To Love You More




Assignment #51
Describe what to do with your body when you die.

McKinley Hellenes
Vancouver, British Columbia CANADA



1)Dress me up in my best dress, and take me dancing. Make sure I wear my best shoes, the ones I haven t bought yet the tweed sling back shoes with the open toes and the flowers sewn right over the place where my toes peek out. Paint my nails red red red, paint my lips red red red, and take me out on the town. I want to see the lights of Vancouver one last time. Let them shine on me. Drag me along the pavement, but be careful not to wreck my shoes. I want my best friend to have them. Dance me down the city blocks, dance me to the ocean. Dance me like in that Leonard Cohen song, to the end of love. Then take off alliuuuuu my clothes, and dump me into the sea. Let the night fishes have me. Let them nibble me to tatters, swim inside my skull, look out at their watery kingdom through the holes where my eyes used to be.
2)Put a party hat on my head, sit me up at the table, and pour me my last martini. Give me three olives. No, give me two olives and one pearl onion. Put the pearl onion in the middle like it is being hugged by the olives. As if the olives are the onion s two best friends. Take my picture and think of a clever caption, or just a really overused one from the movies, like Here s looking at you, kid . Let me sit there until the rigor mortis really starts to set in. And don t waste that martini. Drink it in my honour. Drink it deep. Don t ever let your eyes leave my face. Make a toast with all of the words I loved most. Try these: incandescent, perpendicular, incidentally, actually, and, them, regardless.
3)Wrap me up in blanket on the couch. Cuddle up to me with popcorn, hot chocolate and the cats, and watch the movies I loved best with me for the last time. Watch The English Patient, and Out of Africa, and Angels and Insects. Watch Amadeus and The Royal Tenenbaums and Heavenly Creatures. Watch Eraserhead. Watch the entire third season of Star Trek TNG. Watch Twin Peaks from the very beginning, no bathroom breaks. When I start to smell a little off, spritz me with cheap perfume and pop another video in.
4)Read me my Favourite Book. You know the one. And don t forget to do the voices. Slap my leg and laugh at all the good parts, just like I would have done. Don t be afraid to really pummel me I can t feel it, and besides, you are probably pretty mad at me right now. Just know that I am sorry, and that Everything s Going to Be Okay.
5)Tie me to the tree in the yard, and re-enact the burning of St. Joan. I have always wanted to do that, and you know how authentic I like things to be. Don t forget to shave my head and screech the word Heretic! over and over again. Don t be alarmed if an impromptu enactment of a particular Monty Python sketch breaks out. Go with it. It s perfectly natural at times like these. Turn my ashes into the garden come spring. Plant tomatoes and beets and cabbages, and my favourite flowers with names like Love Lies Bleeding, and Bleeding Hearts. I was always morbid like that.
6)Have a Punk Show Wake. Get my favourite bands to perform (Submission Hold, The Winks, Corbin Murdoch and the Nautical Miles, Moneen, Choke. See if you can get Manner Farm back together for a reunion show. Don t forget John Rae Fletcher and the River. See if you can get Clann Zú to reunite and fly in, or at least Declan) Throw me into the pit and let them tear me to pieces.
7)Drop me off of the lower deck of the Queen of Surrey on your way to my hometown. Make sure to do it near the rear propellers so I will be chopped up very neatly. Marvel over the beauty of my blood and brain matter as it disperses itself through the ferry s wake. Scream Kaddish at the top of your lungs. You can write the words down on a scrap of paper if it helps. Tear the paper up into a million pieces and swallow them. Swallow the words of my People.
8)Take me to a taxidermist and have them skin me for my tattoos. Cure the skin and stretch it over frames, or make it into a book and write down all the stories of our life together. Bury it with you when you die.
9)Get a book about Ancient Egypt out of the library and try a home mummification. Record all of the details, take very graphic pictures with the camera we used to document everything else, and make a zine about it: DIY Mummification 101, and hand it out for free on street corners.
10)Donate my body to Science. Enrol in Medical School to see if Fate will bring us back together.
11)Curl up beside me and die too. Let the rest of them figure out what to do with us.