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Entry date: 2-13-2022 - Funerals and football - Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,


When it is my time to exit this planet, I want you to throw a party. If I had my way, I would want to have either a Viking funeral where someone shoots the flaming arrow into my little boat, and I drift off burning before sinking into the water or I want to have an Indian-style funeral pyre so you can all smell my burning flesh.


Wait, that sounds like an awful thing for you so scratch that. Besides, some of you might get hungry and that would just be weird.


Right?


I kid, of course, but having attended a Zoom celebration of life yesterday for my friend and old boss, Stephanie, it made me think. What do I want when it is my time? The reality of it is that I will not care. I will be dead and that is okay. It’s expected, really, and I want you all to remember me fondly and have a party.


When I was younger, I wanted my friends to load up some of my ashes in a bowl and smoke me. I have decided that is probably not safe or healthy for anyone. I would not be opposed to a core group of people eating some mushrooms or dropping acid, though, and taking a trip with me in mind. If there is an afterlife that includes a conscious ability to be aware of what is happening here on earth, then I will be there tripping with you.


Music should be part of my celebration, too. Play music and listen to songs I loved. Listen to Fugazi and the Damned and the Butthole Surfers. Listen to Gordon Lightfoot and Ben Kweller, too. Listen to Buck Owens and Hammerhead and the Melvins. Listen to it all. I have made a lot of playlists so tear through them. If Spotify still exists, play my travelling music playlist. It is 49 hours long at this point.


That is how long the party should last. At least 49 hours. I am going to keep adding to the playlist, too, so it might end up being like 68 hours or something. Who knows?

That is what I want, though, and I want people to talk about me and tell stories, too. The good and the bad. If I pissed you off, tell that story. If I made you laugh, say why. But tell stories because I love to tell them.


So, throw a party, listen to music, have a blast, drink good beer and scotch and smoke a thousand joints. Tell the stories and have fun. I certainly have had fun in this life and intend to have a lot more before I am through.


*****


Fucking funerals.


I do not care for them. I understand the necessity of them, sure, but they still suck buttermilk. I feel like I have been to too many of them. I especially dislike the ones where you have to go to the grave site. That just shreds me on the inside and is probably why I want nothing to do with a coffin. Burn me up. Spread me somewhere.


I used to want my ashes spread at Dodger Stadium when I was a boy and loved the Dodgers, but fuck that (and them) now. I want my ashes either sinking at sea or a lake or combined with a tree so that my DNA will grow leaves and provide shade and comfort. I like that idea. Then you can visit me and read my stories while sitting underneath me.

I hate that I have memories of funerals.


The hardest one, by far, was when my grandfather, Tom, died. I did the eulogy and it wrecked me. I am proud that I was the one to do it, but it was the hardest thing I have had to do so far. He was my guy and I miss him every day, but the feelings were so raw at that moment and exposed. It was if my heart was on the outside of my body and each word was a knife slowly sliding into it.


I think the day he died was the hardest I have ever cried in my life. I do not think I had ever really had the type of uncontrollable sobs you read about, at least as an adult. I hope I never experience it again, but I know it is inevitable. The fact that we stop existing just too there. Sadness is healthy, I think, in the right doses and cathartic when you need it to be.


*****


Enough of that for today. It is Superbowl Sunday. The biggest American holiday. People are gearing up for the big game and the big commercials and halftime and yada yada yada. As a Cardinal fan, the days have only meant something once. I guess I hope the Bengals win but mostly to not have to hear about the world champion Rams for a year. I used to have this theory that it was best if your team lost to the eventual champions, but now I just do not care.


I will be watching the game later, though, with some of my oldest friends and that will be great. I am sure we will have a good time and I’ll be a little tired for Valentine’s Day at work with 29 lovely little candy fiends. The sugar will be flowing, for sure, at school tomorrow. Uggh.


Back to the game, though. I predict the Rams will win, 27-14. Cooper Kupp is very good and will make some big plays and the Rams defense will be Joe Burrows face all game long. However, if you are reading this, take my prediction with a grain of salt. I am terrible at prognosticating football. Therefore, I never bet on it. My gut is not in turn with the ways of the pigskin or something like that.


I hope all of you enjoy your Sunday. I will be thinking about my friend, Stephanie, some more and preparing myself mentally for the meeting we are having tomorrow afternoon about Casa and what to do with it. I was hoping to never have to attend a meeting like this but here we are.


See you tomorrow.




Not sure why I chose this picture, but I like it. My dad took it when we were in Erie, PA. Home of the oneders.




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