Choose how you will die

I’d like to die before I turn 100. The year I turn 100 it will be 2093 and that is cutting it just a little too close to the year 2100. The way I imagine the year 2100 is very similar to the way Ray Bradbury pictured the future in his book Fahrenheit 451, and frankly the fear of a world like that alone would kill me. There’s no doubt in my mind that entire walls will be television screens airing nothing but reality TV. Are we not headed there already? Authors will still be needed, but all physical forms of books will be banned as a way to prevent anymore trees from being cut down. In 90 years from now, a lack of trees could definitely be an issue. Children of the future will laugh at the simplicity of a Nook or Kindle. Backpacks will be obsolete when a tiny tablets holds everything people need. A world without JanSport? I’d rather die.

How I will die might raise a few eyebrows, but let me explain. I’d like to die in a brutal car crash and I’d like to be a perfectly healthy 93-year-old when it happens. The year will be 2086. I believe at this point, cars will be able to prevent themselves from crashing so, this car would need to be a collector’s item. It will be a 2012 BMW 3 series sedan. It has all the technology 2012 could offer a car, including guided parking, a genius feature if you ask me. The cars of 2013, according to my parents who recently bought a Nissan Pathfinder, carry features above their peak of technologic understanding, which honestly makes me nervous. I’d like to be the one driving the car, not the other way around. Plus, aren’t BMWs just beautiful to look at? Who wouldn’t want to die in that car?

By 93, I believe the majority of excitement in my life will have been completed. Besides the birth of a great-grandchild or creating my own daily versions of Betty White’s Off Their Rockers, I’m not sure what kind of thrills I can manage past the age of 93. I certainly won’t be riding on the backs of elephants or attending dubstep concerts. However, I really don’t want to be sick. The last place I want to die is in a hospital. I’d like to leave this world by an epic, painless, and instantaneous death.

If I could, I would prefer to have my husband by my side, my gorgeous successful Jewish husband for whom I will still madly be in love. Perhaps it’s a snowy day and the roads are slick. We’re driving up to our ski house in Vermont, a family home in the Burlington area bought when my parents retired and has been passed down to me and my brothers. It’s early winter and we are driving up to clean it and get it ready for ski season. At this point, my snowboard hangs above the fireplace at the house. Arthritis in my knee from a memorable accident I had as a teenager and many years of boarding after that has made it too painful. However, I still enjoy going to the various ski resorts in the area, packing lunches for my children and grandchildren, and reading a book (or writing one) in front of the fireplace in the lodge. I lead a very comfortable life.

Anyway, there we are, me and my husband, taking the scenic route around the Green Mountains. The windshield wipers are swishing back and forth as fast as they can go. My husband is driving and I plead with him to take it slow. He does as I wish, which is why the marriage has lasted all these years. We chose to take the old BMW for reasons of pure nostalgia. To carry this nostalgia even further, a CD is playing. (I will not attempt to name a song title at this point because I don’t want to ruin it for myself by thinking about my death every time I hear that song.) Suddenly, another car drives past us on the other side of the narrow road. This is a much larger car, a 2086 model, and the driver clearly has no control over it. The car takes up more road than it should and my husband, in his old age, nervously swerves out of the way. Unfortunately, the tires on our car lose traction and we skid off the edge of the road, go right through the fencing that was supposed to prevent us from falling, and tumble down a cliff. The shock of the fall stops my frail old heart and I die before I feel any pain.

What happens after I die is actually quite existential, but I will save that for another day. I do know however, that our car will be put to good use and donated as an example for Project Prom.

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