from there (2)

Feeling better because I looked up the verb to watch in the dictionary and its root is to awaken which isn’t sinister and since I was trying to figure out why it creeps me out so much that an old boyfriend is watching Latvian girls on his computer who do what he asks and answer all his questions, and I had decided it was because he is just watching all by himself in his room, but now I can stop worrying about it because Latvian girls need to make a living and nobody is messing with them in real life, but only getting woken up and I can’t argue with that. Okay, although I want to add that ogling would have made sense but that verb didn’t occur to me.

Since that has been put to rest I allow myself to look around my living room which from this vantage point in the gray light makes the painting on the far wall look like a big head with one pale disappearing eye, one brown eye, an ear and a gaping hole for a mouth. It also looks like a headstone but I’m making my will and death is all over the place. My friend Paul and I have agreed on ways we do not want to die i.e: drowning, pills, freezing, being eaten alive (although Paul points out that those gazelles don’t seem to be suffering when the lion takes them down) so maybe something is either turned off or turned on (state of shock?) in the event you are being et which would be proof of a benevolent universe, something beyond my ken. I want to add I do not want to be murdered. One more thing, I don’t want to die with my mouth open.  More specifically, I don’t want to be found dead with my mouth open.

Paul favors heroin suppositories and dirty martinis but I don’t want anything shoved up my ass and you need more than one to get the job done. (This in service of how we do want to die.) Maybe lying in the sun on a nice beach with good waves and blue water and colorful umbrellas and kids in bright bathing suits and my family everywhere, loving where we are or maybe I could just peacefully die on the red beach chair Chuck bought me last year when we were all together on the beach and although great white sharks were sighted and pursued with a biplane and a boat and everyone came out of the water like lightning (apparently when a biplane turns sideways it means shark and that plus the life guards’ whistles), we stood on the sand shading our eyes for a glimpse of fin but no such luck and as far as I know nobody even came close to dying.

It would be hard to carry me over the dune to the parking lot, it was hard for me to carry myself over the dune, despite help from my kids, but a dead weight is heavier than a live one and I wonder why. No problem, strong young men would put me on a stretcher and take me to a hospital where I would be pronounced dead.

Only maybe this would ruin the beach for my family. I will have to think about it.

Abigail Thomas‘s most recent book is a memoir, What Comes Next and How to Like It, which will be out in paperback this spring.

Photo by Marcia Krause Bilyk