The Great Beyond

Sooner or later, we're all gonna kick the bucket, but I'd sure like to know what the deal will be afterward

Meryl, wherefore art thou?

I figure it's gonna happen—perhaps sooner rather than later. I turned 61 a few weeks ago. I'm a heart attack survivor. I've had quintuple bypass surgery. I can't get life insurance. Not a day goes by when I don't see it happen to someone else. Yeah, it's gonna happen. I'm gonna kick the bucket, just like everyone else. So, what's going to be the deal?

There's Hell, of course. I've done some wrong in my life and have a few apologies that I'll likely never make. It keeps me up sometimes at night, but I don't believe I've ever done anything intentionally evil. So I like to think that Hell might be out of the picture.

Next comes Purgatory. Purgatory worries me, I have to admit. I'm thinking I'm a definite candidate. Yeah, fuck-ups definitely have a place there. A nice uncomfortable seat like what you'd find at the Department of Motor Vehicles, paper ticket in hand, waiting for your number to come up. Waiting … waiting … waiting. I can see myself as Albert Brooks in "Defending Your Life," although something tells me that Meryl Streep won't be there.

Limbo, I think is out. That's for unbaptized babies only.

I have a daughter. She's about to turn 20. I'd like to stick around to see her get married, if that's her choice. And to be a grandfather, if that's her choice.

I'd like to outlive my new chihuahua puppy Mikey and my old cat Sophie, just so that I know they have a good home with love.

I'd like to make some more music, a talent I never knew I had until recently. I've got two guitars, four ukuleles, a violin, a banjo and eight accordions. I can play them all—at least enough to make me feel alive. Five years ago, I'd never touched an instrument.

RELATED: I Walk the Line

I'd like to read the complete works of F. Scott Fitzgerald again. I read him first when I was 20 and have read him through and through once a year since that time. Fitzgerald died in his 40s. Yet he still speaks to me. Will he speak to me on my deathbed?

I wrote a book once. It didn't sell. I'd like to write another.

I made a beautiful friend this year. His name is Sage. As long as you live, there are friends to make. I'd like to meet those friends to come.

Though I suffer from chronic depression, I love to laugh. There's a laugh out there to be had every day. Keep the laughs coming.

I've been married twice. Amazingly, I'd like to try it again.

I'd like to meet Bob Dylan, even though he has no desire to meet me.

I had a friend once, a long time ago. I haven't seen him in over 20 years. His name was Kurt. Kurt took amazing care of himself. He said he wanted to be ready to be among the first earthlings to colonize Mars. I thought he was nuts back then. Now I'd like to join Kurt in his space travels.

I'd like to live to see Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" performed by a regional theatre company on the moon.

When Jimmy Durante kicked the bucket in "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad World," he literally kicked a bucket. That was kind of cool.

I'd like to see her one more time.

Of course, the likelihood is that there is nothing to come once the time comes. I'm OK with that, too. What I don't know won't hurt me.

Tags: aging

Like us! Really like us!

Follow Purple Clover on Facebook