I died for the first time at seventy-four, a massive heart attack. It really did hurt, something I had always thought a myth, as until recent years, the person who suffered one was in no position to report on it’s effects. But I assure you, it hurts even worse than a kidney stone, a pain I became quite familiar with over the years. I really should have stayed away from chocolate, I suppose, but as it was never definitively proven to be the cause of my own particular type of stones, I figured the hell with it. Dying from too much chocolate beat the hell out of dying in a car wreck, in my opinion.
My second death happened at seventy-eight, that time from an improperly swallowed cherry. Don’t ask. Let’s just say I suspected my grandson’s girlfriend. I was never really convinced she knew the first thing about cooking.
When I was eight-five, I died from complications of a broken hip, basically, a hospital-borne infection. It wasn’t quick, and it most certainly wasn’t pain-free, but I did have a young nurse flash me her breasts as a goodbye gesture. Almost made it worthwhile. And yes, I did thank her. I’m not a cad, for sanity’s sake.
My fourth death was uneventful – in my sleep. I later learned it was from a rare sleep disorder, having to do with wife number seven trying to stop my snoring. The thicker pillow did the trick, apparently.
My fifth death surprised everyone else but me, but I don’t really like to talk about it. It’s too humiliating, and they had to burn the bedding afterward.
Deaths six, seven, and eight all occurred within a six-month time frame, when I was ninety-eight. An errant golf ball, a bite from a brown recluse, and a bad taco, in that order.
My ninth death was the best one. I was one hundred seven, and it happened under the ministrations of an eighteen-year-old. It wasn’t my first time, obviously, but it was hers. I donated generously to her college fund, in way of making amends for her legal problems that ensued afterward. I still think of her fondly.
My tenth death occurred in a very curious manner, at a rather young one hundred twenty six. I was driving my solar-powered car down the New California shoreline when the third Big One hit. The stretch of road I was on had once been three hundred feet above sea level, but now was a mere ninety feet above. I could see the quake starting in the distance, because the Golden Gate Bridge (number three, of course,) looked like someone was playing jump rope with it, cars flying in all directions. It was some fifteen miles from where I was, but it was a clear day, and you could even see the top of the Sutro Tower sitting on its little island. I was smart enough to pull over and get out of the car. These things could really hammer you in a car, something I’d learned in the first Big One, back in 2016.
I waited till the few cars on the road behind me had passed by, then ran (well, hobbled,) across the road and started climbing. I knew height was an important survival practice, just as the safety bulletins tell you – get up, or get down. What they didn’t tell you, though, was “get up” did not apply to steep hills with serpentine and other loose rock formations. When the wave hit, and trust me, I saw it coming, I leapt into the air, not by much, to be sure, but enough I was able to avoid being thrown. Unfortunately, this was not the case for major portions of the hillside above me, and I found myself suddenly part of a pinball machine – I, of course, became the bumper. The first few rocks just bruised me, but it was that big section of serpentine that did the trick. It was remarkably green up close.
My eleventh was by the hands of a jealous husband, wielding a forty-four. And yes, it was worth it.
My twelfth was by chocolate. Really. I’d finally, at one hundred forty nine, developed an allergy to my favorite food. By far my worst death, given how little it gave me to live for. Yes, even dark chocolate. Bummer. Big bummer.
My thirteenth remains vague, due to the stroke, but I can occasionally recall an argument at the grocery store over a melon. I was one hundred ninety two. Well, I was going to be, but I missed my birthday by three days.
My fourteenth was at two hundred eighteen. My new body apparently was subject to recall, but the instant message was lost before arriving at my download nexus. Clearly my least-interesting death.
I decided to take a long vacation between two hundred thirty and two hundred sixty-five. The political and environmental elements of life had deteriorated so much as to make them, and life in general, a stupid farce. I thought if I took a vacation, things might settle down to a more reasonable level of insanity. Boy, was I wrong. I did come back substantially richer, thanks to some well-timed electronic bets. Richer has its advantages, of course, and I was able to put off my next death until I was nearly three hundred twelve. But all that wealth could do little against a somewhat large meteor strike. The tsunami was a spectacle worth seeing, however. I later learned it topped six hundred feet! Impressive, especially just before it hit my mountain-top retreat. Actually, I didn’t feel a thing.
Well, this goes on, so many deaths, and all so varied and mostly unpredictable. But it does get tedious in the retelling. I mean, after your seven hundredth birthday, and nearly a hundred deaths, you can’t expect a fellow like me with so much going on to want to spend all day just recounting the mundane facts of a life not particularly well lived and died. If you desperately need to know the rest, at least up to the present, why don’t you go out to the south viewing platform and wake up wife number sixty-seven. For some unknown reason, she loves talking about my deaths more than anyone loves hearing about them. Sometimes she seems wistful when telling the story. That woman worries me, but then, so did wife twenty three. Didn’t I tell you about her? Incredibly adept with common, household poisons.