"Dear World. I am leaving you because I am bored. I feel I have lived long enough. I am leaving you with your worries in this sweet cesspool. Good luck."
~ George Sanders' suicide note
BOOKS READ THIS YEAR
Elaine Stritch: At Liberty
And, of course, The Sopranos
Law and Order: CI
Breakfast: Grape Nuts and one huge strawberry
The funny thing about this test is that I took one of their other tests: What kind of annoying Internet Entity are you? I had to laugh when I came out a WebLog!
FAMOUS LAST WORDS
9 February 2004
I thought about "famous last words" last night, as I sat here, hunched over this computer, coughing and hacking, feeling the burning in my throat and knowing that it was midnight, goddammit, and that I should be upstairs under a few blankets trying to sleep off the cold that was threatening to take over my body. But it didnt feel right to go to bed with a journal entry left unfinished.
Feeling at death's door this morning, I did some research on peoples last words. Some great stuff, and some mediocre stuff out there by people who are breathing their last breaths.
There are the notable quotable heroes, like Nathan Hale with his "I regret I have only one life to lose for my country."
There are the "screw em all" quotes like W.C. Fields last words to his mistress, Carlotta Marti, "God damn the whole friggin world and everyone in it except you, Carlotta." or murderer Johnny Frank Garrett, whose last words were "Id like to thank my family for loving me and taking care of me. And the rest of the world can kiss my ass."
There are the last words of people a little afraid of what lies just "beyond," like O. Henry, whose last recorded words were "Dont turn down the light. Im afraid to go home in the dark."
Or people who have made their peace and are ready for whatever lies just "beyond." Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Cantebury said "I see Heaven open and Jesus on the right hand of God."
Others leave messages a bit less lofty. Some leave behind instructions. George Gipp, of course, gave us the famous "Win one for the Gipper," but I loved hotelier Conrad Hiltons final words of wisdom for the world, "Leave the shower curtain inside the tub."
Tallulah Bankhead's instructions were a bit more succinct: "Codeine...bourbon."
French Jesuit grammarian Dominique Bouhours last words are reportedly, "I am about to or I am going to die; either expression is used." (One must be grammatically correct to the very last!)
Theres another great quote which is attributed to activist Joe Hill (alias Joe Hillstrom, Joel Haaglund) which I swear will some day be Martha Stewarts last words (or perhaps The Fly Lady's): "Dont mourn for me. Organize!"
However, the quote that hit closest to home with me was attriubuted to German poet Heinrich Heine, who died in 1856. It is reported that his last words were "write...write...pencil...paper."
That will be me when my time comes. I wont say anything memorable or profound, but if I can crawl to a keyboard, Ill leave behind something that you can publish on those "famous last words" pages.
There are two unique facts about me that people who know me face to face can attest, and those who know me only from this journal might be surprised to learn. The first is that I am very shy. I am usually "the quiet one." I dont often contribute to discussion, often feel intimidated and self-conscious when in a group of people but apparently I was thinking this just last night as I sat at a table surrounded by several conversations, none of which I was participating in give the impression of being well read, well opinionated, and intelligent. Lord only knows why because it seems to me, anyway that whenever I open my mouth, I stick both feet in it. (this isn't self-esteem Saturday, Jeri!)
One-on-one Im a bit better. I can rant and rave with (some of) the best of them, but generally speaking, I gain my brilliance by the way I apparently listen in an attentive enough manner that makes the person speaking think I share their opinions. (Of course it helps to usually only hang around with people whose opinions I share.)
However, with a keyboard and a blank screen under my fingers, I feel no such reluctance to speak my mind. I can be witty, (somewhat) brilliant, opinionated, and not care one whit who disagrees with me. I suspect a great part of this comes from the fact that as I write, I sit alone in an office where nobody is likely to put me on the spot. I can write boring prose and think Im Noel Coward who is going to disagree with me?
Writing has always been second nature for me. It comes much more fluently than the spoken word does. From the day when I mastered the typewriter keyboard and could type with a speed that was able to keep up with the thoughts flowing out of my head, the keyboard became an extension of my brain. It is completely comfortable for me, for example, to carry on a conversation with someone in instant messaging because I write as I think. (This sometimes is not exactly a virtue!)
Some of my closest relationships have developed because there was a keyboard in front of me. Friendships that might never have blossomed at all were I to meet or get to know the person face-to-face become deep relationships because there is a keyboard where I am not afraid to expose myself. I often wonder what might have happened with our friendship had my friend Gilbert not died before the birth of the World Wide Web. We were both shy people who understood each other and who understood and accepted that about each other, and we were both more comfortable writing. If we had had e-mail, what levels might our friendship have reached?
When my time to shuffle off this mortal coil finally arrives, I hope that there will be someone with a laptop nearby so I can make my final goodbyes.
Im sure it will be brilliant.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Weight Lost to date: 44.8 lbs