I’m thirty-eight years old, so I should have another forty years of meaningful days left. (Preferably the last ten will be spent with my husk of a body poured into a corduroy lounger, propped in front of Netflix, with a never-emptying bag of Doritos.)
But I still worry about my lifespan. Cancer has long claws. I jaywalk. I don’t chew each bite of my steak fifty-six times before I swallow. I forget to take my daily multi-vitamins and then I double down, thinking that’s “healthier” as my liver slowly screams.
I honestly worry the most about how my death will affect others. What if I die in a really dumb way? Like, so dumb that Buzzfeed makes fun of me.
At night, before I fall asleep, I imagine the worst ways to be flung off this mortal coil. Here are three very real possibilities:
Death by Poop
Every day, I have 675 things to do. Sure, half of them are “watch Tom Hardy movie trailers,” but still. I’m busy. So when my guts rumble and I’m in the middle of something, I HATE taking a bathroom break. Only when it gets unbearable do I waddle-run to the nearest toilet, de-pants, and whip out my phone.
I have this thing: I NEED to read something awesome while I loosen my bowels. So until I find that perfect chunk of text, I maintain a tense grip on my sphincter. One day I will end up holding that wad of digested Doritos in for so long that it will become absorbed into my blood stream, and I will die a wretched death all because Gawker failed to load.
Death by Garage Sale
This death will be so awkward that all future garage sales will be cancelled and everyone will realize what these events truly are: “Here, Buy My Shit That I Don’t Want Anymore But I’m Too Lazy to Haul It to the Dump” Sales. (Though I understand that’s too long to fit on the scraps of cardboard duct-taped to every telephone pole in the neighbourhood.)
My one garage sale rule is this: I only stop and look if it is teeming with people. There needs to be a small mob of looky-loos surrounding the broken blenders and scuffed hockey skates, because if I am forced to make eye contact with the sellers and chat about their goods, it causes anxiety that makes my blood pump so violently that my moles pulse. They will SEE my judgy eyes. They will FEEL my palpable, sneering body language as I gaze over a cassette collection priced much too high for 2016. Our back-and-forth will be heavy with “BUY THAT” innuendo so thick I can see it. Then, when they realize I am going to leave empty-handed, the looks in their watery eyes will strike my heart like a stingray, and there I will collapse, swallowed up by a stack of shitty vinyl and mildewed camping blankets.
Death by Lycra
My closest brush with death happened today. Hands up if you’ve purchased clothing based on the size noted on the hanger, only to get your Final Sale item home and realize some retail goon has duped you, and you are now the proud owner of a Size-Small running bra. Regular people would… what? Donate it? Give it to a friend’s pre-teen? I stretched it as far as I could and wedged my upper body into its iron embrace.
On the ensuing run, I can assure you that nothing above my belly button moved. Then it came time to take off the bra. Without the lube of my sweat—long since dried–I found myself panicking hard in the office bathroom. Wiggling, jumping, swearing—all futile. I paused and panted. If I kept doing this interpretive dance in this tiny stall, I would surely slip and crack my skull on the cold porcelain toilet. I would be discovered with both arms broken, my open mouth adjacent to a mountain of pubes, my purple-veined stomach oozing around like chicken gravy.
Using some untapped adrenaline, I crossed my arms, grabbed handfuls of the deceitful Lycra, and yanked upwards HARD. The bra reluctantly chafed a long path up and over my head, as a symphony of triumphant horns rang out.
I WOULD live long enough to eat the amount of Doritos required to completely negate that run.
Not today, death. NOT TODAY.
This original piece was written exclusively for In the Powder Room, a division of Hold My Purse Productions, LLC. Featured image © martyhaas via depositphotos.com.