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name so safely in your mouth

Whenever I think of the last night on earth, I remember the scene in the movie “Signs” where Mel Gibson is having dinner with his kids and brother. They all cook whatever they want for their last night. There is a long history of “last meals,” so I think there must be something to it. My last meal would be a huge medium-rare steak, creamy garlic mashed potatoes and gravy, biscuits, corn, and cheesecake for dessert. I would have a glass of each in front of me: water, sweet-tea, wine, and sprite. To finish my meal off completely would be coffee and as many cigarettes as I could fit into that time period.

Surrounding me would be the ones I would give my life for, and who I can’t live without. I would hope that for once, I mean it would be the end of the world, my parents would be able to be in the same room together. My mother, Meryl, would probably be in the kitchen laughing, singing, and dancing to the classic rock that would be playing from a radio perched on the kitchen counter. My father, Atticus, would be in jeans and a tee-shirt lounged on the couch with a cigar, glass of scotch, and a book. He’d probably be nodding off as he waited for dinner, but his girlfriend Beverly, and her two kids, would be there to wake him up. Kate would be on the floor with Katie and James, changing diapers, praying, telling stories, smoking, crying, all of the above. Most of all, she wouldn’t let either of them out of her fingertips reach. Josh would be there, which would immediately make me feel ten times safer. He would be telling jokes and poking fun of me to distract everyone from whatever impending doom was looming closer with the passing of each second. Drew would be there, head bopping along with the music drafting from the kitchen, chiming in with me when we know the part. She would be trying to help lighten the mood while puffing on a cigarette, hiding it from Josh who would break it in half if he saw her. Hutch would most likely be in the kitchen with Meryl, and making his rounds to everyone in the room. He would pray, crack jokes to try to make me smile, and nurture everyone. Abigail would probably have a knife or gun glued to her hand with a fierce expression on her face, ready for whatever form the angel of death may take. When she would take a break from walking the perimeter long enough to laugh at a joke or insert her opinion into whatever we were talking about. Of course, my beloved, Matt would never leave my side…even if he wanted to. He would be whispering to me all the love he had for me, wiping my tears away, kissing me, and just holding on to me. His mother and stepfather would be sitting at the dining room table with his two little sisters, probably playing a game, and helping in the kitchen; their voices and beings melding in perfectly, our group becoming one big family. My grandparents, and Matt’s, would be sitting back relaxing and chiming in with the stories being told. Our dogs would be there, a nuisance that we wouldn’t want to trade for anything.

Before being executed, you see many people given the chance for “any last words.” I think last words are important. I would want to say my goodbyes at the beginning of the night, that way for the rest of the time we shared, we could laugh in merriment and just be. I will not say what I would say to each of them; that is for me to keep until the time actually comes, which I pray to God isn’t anywhere near our lifetime.

There we would sit, a big, loud, obnoxious group until whatever we were waiting for found us. I couldn’t think of a better way to go. The love I have for each of them just pours from me and almost chokes me with the force of it. Luckily, I am able to see most of these wonderful, exquisite, unique people daily. Some I don’t, and it’s hard, but I know they know how I feel for them, and how much I love them. Whatever form “the End” came in, when it comes for us, we will go out to a sick guitar solo playing in the background, a kiss here, hand holding there, mid-inhale, mid-chew, and a strength of love and kinship most will never understand.

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