My Death

I wish to be laid in a hollowed out tree, if decor requires it,  and lowered into a roughly dug pit, but would very much prefer to be buried with my skin to the dirt so the maggots can get to me and carve me apart in a thousand trajectories of life to build generations upon generations from the sheer sustenance of my benevolent flesh, spreading myself out into the world. A fruit tree, or a big bramble of tart berries is to be planted above, to benefit from my fertilisation of the earth, and subsequently, be enjoyed by my brood, my little gene carriers running about with sticky fingers unsticking from sticky smacking lips.

The funeral will begin after the wake, where I am displayed in the front of an ancient oak with its green spring shrouding my unembalmed self for the world to goggle upon, surrounded by raised saucers (so the dogs don’t get to them) of water filled with steeping caps of amanita muscaria sugared to attract the flies to their death. Incense billows from steel cauldrons hung from the oak branches. My arms are crossed on my chest, my death blue lips pushed in rigormortis to a grin, and the coins on my eyes are scratched and pitted doubloons stained with the ancient blood of pirates.

The word goes around, whispered to transients, whores, businessmen, college age kids, baseball players, artists, madmen, senators, trash men, fast food spatula jocks, aviators, actors, more madmen, suburbanites, suicide girls, drug dealers, gamblers, priests, janitors, witch doctors, and all kinds of people in a litany of language “…it’s a party. Yes, it’s a party. It’s time to party, it’s a party, yes, a party, it’s time to party, to party, yes, it’s time to party. It’s a party!”  Buses with a peculiar destination heading are gathered on streetcorners, and pile up with the oddest assortments of people, occasionally unintentionally hijacking somebodies headed for work. Small airports fill with private craft, sleek single propeller jobs, thopters, rockets, bicycle floats, hot air balloons, jetpacks, a thousand pelicans strapped to a lawnchair, its often bare parking lots filled with flashy cars, beaters, bicycles, footprints. A Zeppelin spurts into the sky, its crew of sky boys whooping as an empty keg falls to the ground bouncing higher than the members of the Sewing Circle of Greentown, who scatter, wizened mouths cursing like sailors above wobbling wattles. Lakes are arrowed with scratches of speedboats, wharfs find their yachts departing, and the oceans fill with primitive tribes hauling fish as their sails send them over the cresting waves. Aborigines clutch dolphins who slip like quicksilver to whales where they ride the blowhole to the coast. Hobos hear word on the wind and change their direction, squinting against the sun. It is a mass peregrination of eccentrics, madmen, the decadent, religionists, the people who can hear the whispers, that hushed tone that sends the pulse racing, the hair on the hackles rising, sparks running from toe to head, the people of a special breed, with an understanding of madness, of vibrant existence in the moment, of being real.

It begins gradually. Servants, as from thin air, transport several acres worth of tables which are draped with an assortment of cloth, set with all sorts of culinary tools (What does this do? the guests clamor later, Oh! What is that for?!); flowers cascade from the sky thrown from a Lockheed Hercules by a demented florist to be caught and set at each table by bustling butlers; polynesians carrying canoes full of torches with which they puncture the ground and send light blazing from each chemically distinct torch until the grounds resemble a wavery rainbow.

Usquebaugh, Caribbean rum, Russian vodka, French wine, sake, the Green Fairy, bourbon, bubbly, good ol’ pissamerican beer fill the massive row of bartops that seem to have sprouted from the very earth like an extremely alcoholic mushroom. The bartenders run about with springs on their feet, already serving the firstcomers who nervously inch up to the stools and order their drinks, delightedly discovering that no drink is too obscure, too tawdry. The woodstock crowd is one of the last to arrive, in a bus, driven by the ghost of Ken Kesey, its windows spewing smoke and unwashed bodies; on its yellow, flaking hull a badly sunburnt Irish yogi is sitting padmasana, blissed.

The guests congeal, scatter, linger, become a study of probability. Noise abounds, from jukeboxes, boomboxes, portable mp3 players, live bands with saxophones and drums and guitars or a lone soul sitting in a tree with an erhu. Drinks are pushed from hand to hand, lips are pressed from kiss to kiss, whispers licked into ears, gestures flung into the stars. It is a party. Oh, is it a party!

Just after dusk fashionably late international celebrities shuttled in by diamond encrusted helicopter (pursued by sky pirates who elected to join the revelries instead of engaging in the usual routine of pillage and rapine) emerge into the spectacle wearing their finest fineries exclaim, “Whose birthday is it?! Oh, look at how pretty that is! What a party!” A panda costume detaches itself from a yiffing soiree to pursue scantily clad women who leap into the warm pool, giggling, the panda falling in after, followed by a jackrabbit, Big Bird, two giraffes (both upset that the other had brought the exactly same costume), and a goldfish. Fire jugglers set a small tent afire and firemen with “I was there on September 11” pins coordinate smartly to extinguish the fire, to the utmost fright of a pair of acidheads who find their tented ceiling flamed open to the sky to promptly run up a tree, yowling like alley cats in heat. The firemen spend the next hour trying to get them down and finally resort to pointing their magnum hose, pumping brack from the lake, cranked to full blast at the pair, who finally falls onto a cat. The sea monster visiting from the Pacific by way of a vast underwater tunnel surfaces, tugging at the hose now looking very much like a single strand of spaghetti in that monstrous beak. The frantic firemen wage a losing battle. Finding the climate distasteful, the sea monster surges back to its cool ocean home, leaving behind a well of ink. A drunk bigot nazi Ku Klux Klanner falls into the lake and finds himself permanently black for the next year, and completely ostracized by his peers. The wealthy unwittingly converse highbrow with the poor, whose mud-streaked visage they misunderstand as an eccentric affectation. The bartenders tirelessly twirl and toss their drinks, burst the champagne into thimblecups, and fill their pockets to overflowing with tip dollars in a hundred currencies. Secret agents meet in the throng to profess their love for country, anguished by their love for each other, and leave with the other’s cereal box decoder. Retirees of the Vietnam war find themselves face to face with the retirees of the Cong, engage with toothless arguments, begun half-heartedly, and conclude with a rousing rendition of America, Fuck Yeah, arms slung around each other, sopping cheap whiskey down their collars. A knife ejected from the grip of an exhausted butcher finds itself dividing a man of Kentucky from his arm. Not to worry, not to worry, the redneck cries, throwing aside his beer and fishing deep in a back pocket to eureko! withdraw a dense roll of duct tape. A snake charmer has his basket knocked over by a Merry Prankster and begins to play his pipes so furiously that the snakes creep from the forest until the man is frantically weaving his way through the crowd, a veritable pied piper anguis. The Irish yogi floats above all the chaos, his third eye centered, and through stems of bamboo primitive children blow spitballs that tack against his freckles. A kite drags a joyously yipping chihuahua by the harness deep into the sky, pulled along by laughing boys who crash through little princess tea parties to the great indignation of the pink frocked lisping girls who quite personally take into their hands the cause of rescuing the poor dog from a obvious case of animal cruelty. As the girls beat the boys down and haul the kite back to earth, the chihuahua whimpers mournfully. It had sniffed a bitch smelled good on the wind. A carnival bursting with clowns (on methamphetamines) establishes itself with madcap speed, its instantly erected tent almost immediately sending out stomach-wrenching smells of nostalgia, of popcorn and funnel cakes and manure. The clowns spread through the crowd, amusing amid pickpocketings, and fit thirty in a Mini-Cooper to roar away, crashing into the side of the tent, thus freeing the elephants who then crash the bar, overtaxing the diligent bartenders. A coven of witches throw hexes at random, and spirit away on broomsticks. A pair of philosophizers formulate an exact theory of the world, and in tandem with another pair of physicists, finally compose, through elegant mathematics and intense metaphysics, a verifiable Grand Unification Theory! As they puff at their pipes ecstatically, they shortly (gigglingly) find their tobacco stashes have been switched with potent CIA developed marijuana; before the evening is over, they have used the scribblings of elegant mathematics and intense metaphysics as rolling paper! Couples fuck on lawn chairs as brisk butlers whisk past, grabbing drinks that glob from gasping women’s straining grips. Some rut on the ground, green stains on coat and knee of pant their badges of faux guilt. A clown rushes by ballyhooing, his rump clung to by a dozen snakes. The snake charmer wipes his brow with relief and slumps accidentally onto a thrashing couple occupying a chair he believed empty. He leaps up but is pulled into the fray by manicured hands. A band called The Titanic Quartet play strings and instruments on a mechanical stage heaving to and fro to mimick the motion of a furious sea, sliding back and forth from either side of the stage. They are soon upstaged by a pair of muscle cars crashing through a billboard (My God, I didn’t see that billboard! What was it advertising? whispers a scandalized aristocrat) advertising a male enhancement pill that also raised one’s IQ and cured depression. The cars furrow in the grass, throwing the bands from the hoods drumming, howling, gesturing, onto the stage to knock the quartet into the lake with a splash (they go on to become the first famous modern day blackface troupe). The bands battle and the crowd rocks, throwing behinds and breasts every which way, greasy suave men with goatees and hands curled around wasp waists whirling, the children clapping their hands at the punk goth singer slipping on sweat smacked onto his ass still screaming into the microphone.

One by one, while all the clamour rings out in a flurry of colour and sound, they approach my outstretched body and wonder, marvelling at his pinkish flesh. A scholar whispers to another, “Don’t you suppose he’ll come roundabout alive, like the Finnegans?!” Some simply cry without knowing why, taking a snotrag from nose to expel a sob and bringing it back. Most just laugh radiantly and return to the saturnalia. They lay flowers at this unknown person, the host of this strange beautiful party. The dogs and cats bring the caught corpses of woodland creatures who also flock at the edges of the forest, their black eyes glittering with some unfathomable sentiment. The distasteful surrounds him also: vomit and excrement halos his coffin and bits of it are on his shirt, a bird loosed its bowels onto his cheek (to which watching from death he giggles to death), and the worms that crowd from the loam are crushed to death, letting up an earthy smell.

As the party slowly winds down, dawn spreading its fiery gaze upon this side of the world, the deathsleeping host is pulled away silently by four men who walk carefully over the sleeping bodies and corpses of guests to the grave, silhouetted against the east. Surrounded is his family in various poses of grief. As they make to lower his corpse, he lifts his head, winks, and descends. The four men drop the rope inside and pick up the shovels. As dirt is shoveled onto his rictus grin, an alchemy occurs, a transmogrification of soul… his children, released from the paternal yoke, that constant eye, are free to come into their own, to blaze a path into the future without doubt of judgement or a standard to stand by. The final shovel of dirt is shovelled, and the grave patted over and the fruit seed is inserted in its heart. His children resolutely tear away the tears that crawl down their cheeks with a determine hand and stand tall, chests puffing. The future is a translucent chrysanthemum of possibility, the eight arrows of chaos revolving, ripping round and round like this little chunk of rock revolving around that good ol’  hydrogen candle in the void, itself a whirligig in a spiral of light a mere arm in an incandescent  spinning top hurtling in a horde of discs falling to infinity ad finem.


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