A coworker of mine, Corey Seaton cautioned me the other day about the whole “If I die,” part of my blog. Words are powerful. And he would think so, because he’s a poet. I totally hate poets. In my book, that is one step away from mime. But I like Corey. This is him, all getting his poet on.
I kid, I kid. This is him.
Your Auntie Tynesha has cautioned me as well. Ah yes, your Minister of Education and Bowling has cautioned me about flippantly throwing off statements like, “If I get hit by a bus, at least Ami will have this blog.” And, “Ooh, I’m gonna go poke this poet with a stick. If he’s tougher than he looks, make sure Amsden has this URL …”
They are worried that I am flirting with disaster, calling death upon me with my words.
Make no mistake, I want to live. And I do think that words are powerful. But it is not just the words, it is the intent and the passion behind them. I can coolly say that I am going to hit the lottery. I am going to hit the lottery. I am going to hit the lottery. I am going to hit the lottery.
See? No lottery. Because I would have already bought this from The Bloggess.
And the lottery is out of my control. No matter what words I say, I have to put some action behind it. And even then, I probably won’t win. Your Auntie Terry will. And she puts more than words behind it.
Let me explain where the whole ‘dead me’ part comes in …
My mom told me a story about her grandfather. He was the kind of man who cleaned his gun on the porch because he had many pretty daughters. He gave up land in Birmingham, Alabama so that the city would have no excuse not to put a school in his black neighborhood. He dropped out of elementary school, but built several houses in Alabama that are still standing.
But on his deathbed, he was worried about my grandmother. Her husband had left her. For the second time. With three young children. My grandmother’s father was agitated. He could not pass peacefully away without worrying about what would become of his daughter?
I plan to pass away peacefully in my bed under a Galliano chupacabra skin blanket. My Louie Vuitton IV bag at my bedside and my Gucci turban perfectly framing my beatific face. Stuffed Lola and Murray will be posed artfully by my shrine to Patrick Stewart. I’m going to beam at you and your family, and tell you to be brave. Just put my Tom Ford sunglasses on me, open the window and hold my hand.
I do not want that scene to be marred by me worried about that tart you married, your low credit score and the fact that you and all your loser friends live in my basement.
After I had you, I understood his worry with my heart instead of my head. No matter when I leave you, Muffins, it will be the worst cliffhanger of my life. Even worse than the fact that GIRLFRIENDS GOT NO SERIES FINALE. Or that terrible Seinfeld one. Totally unsatisfying.
But what really worried me was leaving you before you would have a solid memory of me. What I look like. What I smell like. What my laugh sounds like. And worst of all? I wouldn’t have had a chance to share all my crackpot theories.
So all of these words, my neatly categorized nagging, have passion behind them. They are fierce and loving and demanding. I am begging you to live a rich life. They have all that is me behind them. And more importantly, they have my ACTIONS behind them.
In my mind, they are far more powerful than a cool acknowledgement that one day I won’t be on this earth for you. That is just a statement of the obvious.
But I am flexible. Perhaps one day I will change the explanation to, “It’s like estate planning, but with brains instead of money.”
But in the meantime? I ain’t 'fraid of no words. All the same, I’m not gonna say Candyman three times in the mirror.
I mean, why invite trouble?