I have just finished watching a 1993 romantic movie starring a trio of gorgeous actors, all in their prime : the exquisite Demi Moore, the wickedly handsome Robert Redford, and a surprisingly sensitive Woody Harrelson. The film, “Indecent Proposal”, is well-written, full of surprises and superbly acted. But for the first time in a life-time of watching movies, halfway through it a weird thought occurred to me. It was perhaps inspired by a Netflix film which invites viewers to choose one of several filmed endings (I must confess I never bothered). But I was somehow intrigued by this movie, and began to wonder how it would end. Would Woody shoot his wife, Demi, before killing himself ? Would billionaire Redford, who offered the couple a million bucks for one night with Demi, get shot by one of them ? Or would Hollywood invent a happy ending that I could not even imagine ? I won’t tell you how in fact it ended, just in case you get to see it yourself some day.
All this got me thinking about another scenario – my own. Having just chalked up four score and two, I began to wonder how my personal life-movie would end. Will it be under that truck full of vinegar I have sometimes mentioned in this Blog ? Will it be a sudden stroke or a second, but this time fatal, heart-attack ? Will it involve a drawn-out agony, perhaps including blindness, paralysis, permanent pain, dementia – or the horror of being trapped in a burning building or as a mortally wounded victim of a terrorist attack ?
Obviously enough I realized that there is not a damned thing I can do about what in fact will kill me. But strangely I also found that I am – unusual for me as a worry-wart – almost Zen about it all : “que serà, serà”. I realized too that I am unlikely to spend – waste – any more time thinking about it, probably because I’m subconsciously counting on a continuation of a lucky life, which will be crowned by my dying, without pain, in a comfortable bed, surrounded by my children and grandchildren with whom I will be joking to the very end.
Harsh reality may be quite different from this wishful thinking. But however it happens, it will at least be devoid of a far more serious wishful thinking – that somehow my demise will be followed by something people call an after-life. The last luxury I hope to enjoy is a chocolate-covered mint candy called “After Eight” (“After Eighty” ?). Life has been sweet to me, and wif a l’il bi a luck, so will be my death.