There are many sorts of people. For our purposes, we’ll streamline all the variations into two general categories: Workers and Relaxers. Relax has potential as a word if not for the unfortunate lax association, as in laxative or lackadaisical. Nevermind all that for now; let’s not get sidetracked.
Yesterday, in a self-contained fit of frustration and temper, I thought to myself (usually my thoughts are to myself due to their vitriolic nature) “If ever I am diagnosed with a terminal illness, I am so done with this shit.” That’s right. Done, quit, vacating the premises, leaving the building. I will not negotiate another deal, there will be no more phone calls or emails, no account reconciliations. “Others” can figure it out.
To highlight the things I will no longer do, let us begin at the beginning. I will no longer rise and shine at fucking four o’clock in the morning. I will sleep soundly until 6 or 7, enjoying my dreams until they come to a natural conclusion, without the interruption of the company whistle signaling the commencement of work. Once I rise, to a tidy house (keep in mind, I am dying. The house will be kept in the pristine condition that I like), I will have some coffee and sit in my chair in the living room while I, simultaneously, read the paper and listen to public radio. There will be a strict moratorium on television viewing while we wait for the death knell.
I’ll wash the breakfast dishes. I’ll have a nice shower. I’ll dress in the clothes that I love; something other than the attire I wear in this godforsaken sweat shop that I am currently confined to. I think I’ll wear a little make-up and my pearls. I have a strand from my husband and a strand I inherited when Mum died. As my terminal illness progresses, I will give Mum’s strand to my niece. She has a delicate neck and it needs pearls.
On fair days, I will take a walk to town. I will not be going to the bank or to the post office. Both of those places have been sullied by work errands. “Others” will fetch mail and money. I’ll be lunching out, alone, as I see fit. After lunch, I will be going to the library to read magazines for an hour or two. If the weather is not fine, I will stay home dressed in lounging pajamas. I’ll enjoy a creative lunch; grilled cheese with something or other. Lately, I like Ontario cheddar with a bit of blue cheese for added flavor. I’ll have salad too. After lunch, I’ll read one of the twenty or so books I have been dying to read but cannot get to because I am overworked and overwrought, teetering on the edge of total collapse. If my demise meanders through the summer months (that’s my plan), I will be reading outside in a brand new chaise with nice comfortable cushions- no more bargains at $19.99 for me.
I have no idea what the supper menu will consist of but you can rest assured it will not require a lot of messy pots and pans. We will break the television moratorium to watch the News Hour. Since I am dying, I’ll be going to bed shortly after supper. I expect I will continue to be very warm throughout the illness. I will be sleeping on cotton sheets under the new comforter with the windows open. I like fresh air and I don’t want to be too warm. “Others” will have to suck it up Buttercup.
As I lose mobility, “others” will move heaven and earth to see that I am comfortable in an aesthetically pleasing environment. I think our friend, Jim, will have to reconfigure the bedroom so that I don’t feel isolated. It will be expensive, I know. Since we’re going to be spending some money anyway, I’d like a new Bose CD player for the bedroom. I think we can remove the television until I have passed. It always reminded me of hospital decor. Now that I’m on my last legs, I don’t want to be taunted by fragile mortality every day.
“Others” have mentioned that they would like to work as long as they’re able, right up to departure time if possible. Not me. I intend to relax before the journey.