In The Moment

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 Frédéric Chopin Marche Funèbre

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I don’t think I’m walking away from this one. That last bullet went deep, I can feel it lodged in my sternum, just millimeters away from my heart. The idea of getting shot kind of lost its sheen after watching Three Kings. I don’t know what it’s up to at present but, judging by the fact I’m beginning to hemorrhage from my eyeballs, I’d say it’s achieved its bullseye. I guess all I do now is play the waiting game, it shouldn’t be long before I drown internally in my own fluids. Moving isn’t an option, any attempt to budge just culminates in agony and I’d rather opt for simplicity. Shouldn’t be long now, I’ll just lie here for a bit and wait for the inevitable blackout.

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Hindsight is a glorious thing but it sucks when a steel-tipped piece of shrapnel is preventing you from acting on any impulse. If I had just delayed my trip to the 7-Eleven by a couple of minutes then this whole sorry mess would have been preventable. If I hadn’t had that extra coffee earlier then there still would have been enough to feed the cat. If I had taken that whizz before leaving instead of claiming to be Iron Bladder McGinty then I wouldn’t have just pissed my pants where I lay. Shoulda, woulda, coulda; it’s all irrelevant now anyhoots. I may not be fully prepared to meet my maker but I promised myself that, when the time came, I would do so with dignity. That I shall.

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By my current rate of bleeding I would imagine I have a few minutes yet before the reaper clicks his bony digits. How to spend those final moments, I have a lifetime of thoughts crammed into my cerebellum and precious little time to think them so I guess I had better get the ball rolling here. Why is it that when you wish to be all philosophical the only nugget produced is “did I turn off the upstairs tap?” Surely there are more pressing matters at hand than a little running water. Mind you, the water bill last quarter was colossal and I’m due for another next month. Begone pointless thoughts. Focus on dying; worry about what you can change and not what is out of your control.

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I can’t change this shitty bullet, that I’m stuck with. Shit happens; taxes rise and people die, it’s just a sorry fact of life. At some point it’s inevitable that Oscar the Grouch is going to catch hepatitis from lounging in that dumpster. Big Bird and Snuffleupagus can’t always remain best friends, there has to come a time when frustrations boil over and they come to blows. As for Bert and Ernie, we all know that one summer night it will be a touch too humid for pajamas and they’ll succumb to their natural puppet inquisitiveness. They’re only muppets after all, not Mormon. Humans die too and I’m more ready for this than perhaps I’ve let on thus far.

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You see, the thing that scares me most is losing someone I love dearly. Whatever happens to me I won’t be around to mourn, as flippant as that may sound, it’s the double-truth Ruth. Of course it tears me up to consider those I cherish feeling pain but I’d rather that than the flip side. I hate missing shit, I had a little white bear called Benjamin that my grandfather placed in my incubator when I was born that I adored and I know full well he got lost in the move when my first marriage went south of the border. I’ve missed the little bugger ever since and just mentioning his name now makes my throat dry up.

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The best way I can offer tonic to those who are suffering on account of my demise is to report that I’m okay with it. Celebrate me, have a wild party every second Saturday and drink eggnog until you start to cluck. Remember me that way, not laying here in a pool of conspicuous fluid. That’s not who I am and certainly not the lasting image I wish to leave. I’m an optimist, positive through to the marrow and therefore I order those around me to enjoy the living shit out their lives; take chances, have your heart broken, dust yourself off and have it shattered again, then keep trying as what’s the point if you don’t believe? If bitterness was a featherweight boxer then I’d bulk up on creatine and put its teeth through its skull. Wasteful, wasteful, oh so very wasteful.

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They say you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone but who are they anyhoots? Popular consensus isn’t the be all and end all. I don’t need life to be ebbing away to know that it’s a beautiful thing. Having my little boy turn around to me and say “Daddy. I love you…with all of my heart” taught me that one. Funding and filming a three-part fictional insight into relationships; social, personal and emotional, and then having every school in the state use it as an educational tool made me aware that life can be just peachy. Too many people stop believing that and, laying here with my entrails in my palm, that’s the most disparaging fact of all. I have clarity and right now that will do just fine. My essence is fading and I must ensure my final moments are poignant.

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It’s got to be Sesame Street again. I’m sorry but that was all a bit glum for my liking. Surely a little laughter wouldn’t go amiss right now? Miss Piggy taking five from The Muppets, on her knees performing fellatio on Kermit atop a luxurious lily pad. This is helping, right how can I crank this? Kermit is playing a harmonica while his little green balls rest on her chin-crease. I can continue you know. Guy Smilie is submerged in the foliage, yanking his draught excluder with his other open palm against an oak tree. How the hell did Beaker get here? Bunsen, do your job fella and, by the way, how do you keep those glasses balanced? What do you mean where’s my ears? Don’t they have mirrors in your dressing room? Get a fucking eye-dog!

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I think it’s my time you know. With every passing moment I feel a little weaker. Dammit, laughter only seems to speed the process. Must stay game-faced, eek out those last few breaths and make them significant. I’ve decided to split the difference, there shall be thoughts thunk which I will not divulge as they’re intimate and for me alone. I want you all to smile, not grimace. I think I’ve sussed it in the eleventh hour you know. I just want the whole world one big Smurf-filled utopia. Gargamel can suck my blue cheese, let’s all get drunk on pixie juice and replicate fart noises with our armpits. Almost there now, I can feel my heart rate grinding to a halt. I know, I shall force my facial features into a death glare akin to Frank Drebbin at his most bemused. There will be no choice then, that’s something even a coroner can have a chuckle about.

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Damn you sentimentality; I’m getting all gushy now. I know these are my last few breaths as they’re…beginning to get…more labored. Most of all I like that I may have inspired someone out there to believe in themselves, empowered them to change their own lives for the better. I can lead a horse to water but it won’t necessarily be thirsty, but just knowing that I may have helped set the wheels in motion is one hell of a proud legacy to leave. I have never been perfect; far, far from it. I’m as flawed as a chocolate sun visor. But who…wants perfection anyhoots, especially…when imperfection is…just…so…perfect.

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Click here to read Waiting to Die

 

Truly, Really, Clearly, Sincerely,

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