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.

RIDENDA      RELIGIO

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