If I Had Only One Day To Live

(if I am being completely honest)

Would I tell anyone? I don’t think I would tell anyone. If I did, I would have to spend my whole day, the last day of my life, dealing with people’s hysteria, crying, anguish, hand-wringing, wanting to spend some time, all of my time, with me, my last hours, apologizing, reminiscing, hugging, holding hands, feeling sorry for me, talking, singing, praying, thanking the Lord, praising the Lord, and begging Him to give me just one more day. No, one more day and they’d be repeating this day all over again, tomorrow. Begging him give me a long life, seven score and ten, at least.

I am an introvert and I would have to spend my last day with other people, and I think I would like to spend it alone.

But, a whole day. Yes. So, today isn’t my last day, tomorrow is, yes, so I can have a whole day. So, yes, I have been told by someone reliable, maybe God, that tomorrow is my last day. What would I do?

Well, I wouldn’t have to worry about money or bills, anymore, so I’d go to the store, Costco, or Walmart, after work, and buy my last meals, or no, I order them all from UberEats, or DoorDash, have all my meals and snacks delivered to me, cooked and lukewarm, all my favorites, everything I have every wanted to try. Lobster. Shrimp. Ribs. A pound of French fries. Roast chicken and a thick roast beef sandwich. Donuts.

Or not. My last day on earth. I would be so shocked, and sick and frightened, I wouldn’t be able to eat anything. What would be the point of a last meal? How would it taste? Like dust? Like paper? Like Death?

I would probably spend it in shock, rocking in my chair, or on the floor, hands to my face, mouth agape and dried out, unable to look at a clock or a watch as the last hours, then minutes, then seconds ticked away, slipped away, unable to run from the thought of all I didn’t do, could have done, should have done, seen, accomplished with myself, with my talent, with my education, with my intelligence, with my life, in the fifty plus years I have had. I would be sick with regret, numb with fear, flattened by disappointment, and grief-stricken with self-pity.

How could I dance? How could I sing along one more time to my favorite songs? What favorite scene would I watch, what cherished paragraph or chapter would I read?

Well, that was depressing.

Of course, if I had time to get used to my death, time to see it coming, get my mind around it, I would want to make it as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. I would have a big breakfast, maybe a full, traditional English breakfast; I have always wanted one of those. I would listen to my favorite songs from a mix prepared especially for that occasion, for that day. I would would send flowers and gifts to family and friends, and pay someone to clean my apartment from celling to floor, so my family didn’t see it in its normally lived-in state. I would like to think I would thank God for the life He has given me, and the blessings, and the favor, without a wisp of resentment. I would like to drink a glass of dry wine, and enjoy it, for once (dry wine tastes like a chemical). I would like to lay down, close my eyes, and go – in my sleep.

But, I am being honest, here. If I had one day left to live I would go out Like Mark Earnest Johnson, an ugly tear-streaked wreck, bitter and regretful, raging against the dying of the light with an angry and resentful heart, absolutely dumbfounded by my bad luck, crappy unfinished novels flung about my apartment and out every window, unwashed, unkempt, uncaring, and thunderstruck, drunk for the second and last time, and maybe high for the first time, if I can find some weed somewhere, in time.

I obviously need to do some growing up, because I could go any day now.

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