By Charles Morgan III
This will serve to abridge previous plans regarding the ceremony leading up to my demise. This is a forward look into a death festival I would consider appropriate.
The not too far future…
I spent three days going through an “executive physical.” The results were not mixed. I received diagnoses of 11 different diseases and they all ended in “tosis” or “titis.” I have several types of dementia and two rare tropical plagues. I was scheduled for eight appointments with various types of surgeons.
Those appointments won’t be necessary.
I’m headed to a small island in the northern Bahamas. I’m waiting for a storm. I’m readying a 23-foot Man-o-War boat. It will be outfitted with a fighting chair harness—hooked to the console—so that I can adequately navigate the boat.
I’m getting supplies. They include a sack of guavas, sour sop, mangos, and passion fruit. I’ll need a gallon of coconut water, a bottle of Matusalem rum, a dozen Montecristo #2 cigars, a box of red Marlboros, 1/4 ounce of Peruvian cocaine and three grams of heroin (China White, “the healthful #4”).
The heroin is the trickiest item, but Dang knows a guy outside of Bangkok. There is a secret portal available to Amazon Prime members (you have to go down a rabbit hole). I need a snorkel and mask, and a clean pair of underwear.
Though I haven’t had an alcoholic drink or used illicit drugs in half a lifetime, I’d be an idiot not to give it a whirl at my age, in my condition.
I’m waiting for a storm. The next category five hurricane that gets in these warm waters won’t be far off. I’m taking the Albury boat with the single outboard engine directly into Hubert or whatever its name will be. I’m looking for a system with a barometric pressure below 28.
I’ll carry a satellite phone with a video uplink to document what will likely be my final voyage. It’s been three decades since I provided reportage for the Weather Channel. This will be a report few people will be able to forget.
My previous plans of the ultimate farewell involved being ripped to pieces by rampaging sharks, with me covered in blood and carcasses of black fin tuna.
This ending might include being eaten up by sharks—but maybe not.
The change in plans is, in part, because getting mutilated by sharks has become almost commonplace. The gruesomeness of it has worn off.
But you can bet you ass on one thing. This waltz with death will be remembered long after being waylaid by some modern disease.
If the alternative is gobbling prescription medicines, lying in a hospital bed with my ass hanging out of a gown and paper slippers on my feet, I’ll take the hurricane—or the sharks—or an unsuccessful cruise into the maw of a giant storm with 40-foot seas in a 23-foot boat AND getting eat up by sharks.
Maybe, just maybe, I make it through the storm and the shark infested waters. And maybe I end up on some off-the-chain deserted island with wild guava trees. And maybe nobody ever finds me.
At least people would be talking about it. When anyone asks my children or grandkids what happened to me, they could come up with a great story.
In the end, that’s really all we leave behind. Stories.