Plug Me In

At first I thought the only halfway decent thing to come out of the Terry Schiavo tragedy was watching all those grandstanding politicians choke on their own bugles as they rear-ended each other, sounding retreat on the freeway exit ramp to the Tampa/ St Pete airport at Mach UII. But I was wrong.

Another positive side effect is the vast legions of citizens awakened to the realization that we are responsible for plotting our own deaths. Newspapers are printing primitive, but binding, living wills next to Hagar the Horrible. Which is good. Facing up to our mortality might force a few of us to understand there are more important things to life than which parties somebody was or wasn’t invited to and whose zirconium replica of Paris Hilton’s dog’s collar looks more real.

Right now, most of the concerned introspective muttering consists of chastened yuppies adamantly professing their refusal to end up a vegetable. “I guarantee that’s not going to be me. I refuse to live like a rutabaga. If you love me at all, you’ll pull my plug.” To these well meaning banana heads, I have one thing to say: “Not me brother. Plug me in.”

I want to live. As man, vegetable or refreshing side order of fruit salad with strawberry yogurt sauce. Hell, I never thought I’d make it this far to begin with. When I was a kid, anybody older than 30 was a withered ancient. A prehistoric geezer. A core sample of archaic decay. But even then, I never bought into that whole “hope I die before I get old” crap. And now, I’m aiming for triple digits. A couple more years? If that’s all you got, it’ll do fine. A month. Part of a week. Cool. Cool. All I want is extra. I want more.

You see, now that I made it this far, I kind of like it. Puppies. Sunsets. Bases loaded, bottom of the ninths. Large print Robert Crais mysteries. Jalapeno flavored potato chips. Life is good. And I plan to hang onto it with the tips of my fingernails. If the only way to keep my respirator charged is by fluttering my eyelids 24 hours a day, I will flutter. Who knows what tomorrow’s scientists might come up with? Maybe they’ll uncover a fountain of middle age. A perpetual eyelid flutterer. Why do you think they call it the future?

“So you’re content to linger like a vegetable?” Yeah. Sure. Why not? What’s the big deal? So I’m Mr. Potato Head. Like I wasn’t before. You think my soul will be soiled beyond repair because someone referred to me as the Brussels Sprout Boy? Soil me. Isolate a webcam on my hospice bed and pay per view me as the Human Asparagus Video Blog. Water me from a sprinkling hose. Use my open mouth as a pencil cup and call me Shorty.

Test poisonous toad cosmetics on my tongue. Lend me out as a large prone pincushion at a tattoo arts convention. Fit me with scuba gear, bury me naked with my butt sticking up and use it as a bicycle rack. I don’t care. Let me live. That’s Will’s living will. And if I do sink into a coma or become completely brain dead, someone try and remember to hook me up to an IV drip of pure caffeine, because I don’t want to miss a thing.

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