I want to die the way Elvis died. I know this is not the way most H & Q readers would choose, so let me give you my perspective, and maybe you will agree.
My fondest hope is to die in pleasant surroundings. I am pleasantly surrounded in my home’s bathroom. There is always the aroma of bar soap on the little shelf in the shower. Recently, I came to the end of an almost three-year experience with a soap called Safeguard. I remembered it fondly from my 20s, but I discovered after I purchased NINE BARS it that the soap had changed in shape, scent, and satisfaction. The new version (current version, I believe, so buyer beware) disappointed me with every shower. So last week, I replaced it with the new Dial for MEN bar soap, I like the new soap a lot. I purchased it ONLY because no matter where I shop for groceries, I cannot find my all-time FAVORITE soap which disappeared from the supermarkets I shop and resulted in three years of ho-hum new Safeguard, I am looking high and low and cannot find Lifebouy in the BLUE BAR. THAT, my friends, second only to the original Safeguard, was a terrific bar soap. If you know where I can purchase more of it, please let me know. . . . . . but I digress . . . . .
As I was saying. my bathroom is a pleasant place. Only the scent of an affectionate woman could make it any more pleasant. Even so, often the aroma of a still-wet towel from the Saturday shower soothes me like the fragrance of old-old paper rising from newly opened old-old books. I suspect Elvis felt the same about his.
I do not want to be drug-addled as Elvis was if I die in my bathroom. The way he died appeals to me. He was having a hard time letting go, so to speak. If he had taken a laxative, Elvis might be alive today. Using his lower abdominal muscles to “force the issue,” as they say, the increase in blood pressure in his head caused a brain aneurism. He likely experienced a searing headache leaned forward, fell off the “throne” and came to rest in a semi-sitting pose on his side with trousers still around his ankles.
While writing this post, I searched the Web for details of his death, and I must confess, a brain aneurism isn’t mentioned in any of what I read. Constipation was a factor. This affliction is something I would have to develop because I think I was 11 years old the most recent time it was an issue. And with friends like mine, who needs enemas?
Still, a brain aneurism would not be a bad way to go. So Elvis or no Elvis, I’m stickin’ to that demise scenario in my bathroom.
It appeals because the end would come quickly. Even if I vomited as Elvis did (they found him in a small pool of vomit which experts in the vomit field diagnosed as having come from the inner workings of “the king of rock’n’roll.” Knowing I would not have to awaken later in the mess, as I went, I would not begrudge myself leaving a little on the floor on the way “out.” By the time anyone would find me in my home’s bathroom, with doors locked from the inside as they usually are, considering my social life. Suggesting the term “near nil” to describe it is gross grandiosely flattering HY-freaking-PERBOLE), considering how it would probably take three months for enough conventional mail to accumulate in my front porch mailbox for the postman to consider calling the police and coroner, I think the bile and foody bits would be long-since dried; but my body . . . not so much. As a man who hates to go more than a few days between showers, I would hate to encounter me on my bathroom floor two months after my last one!
Another positive about being single — not that you asked — is that any kind of serious distress I encounter at home — away from playing and singing my songs, away from poetry readings and Vachel Lindsay recitations, away from my aviation museum and my employer — is likely to be my last serious distress. I won’t be “clinging to life” in an ICU at hospital — not that anyone would admit me after they examine my financial health.
Dying like Elvis simply seems a tidy way to go — not that it’s part of my “to do list” for awhile. Still, as my hero Ringo Starr once wrote, “tomorrow never knows.”
Don’t give this post a second thought, It was a humorous idea when I began writing it. Now . . . not so much.
Live looooooooooooooong . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . and proper.