A friend and I joke all along about euthanasia. 65? 70? Our timelines stitched and sealed carefully like a wedding purse in a bag. A done deal, a finishing flourish. A sprig of lavender to keep the moths away. The point at which the body is too far too along in it's disintegration to go back.
Childless, we are exquisite. Unburdened by worries of reckless daughters or feckless sons. We won't fret over no one coming to our deathbeds, because the point is no one is coming. No one running the length of hospital hallways in heels. No one heavily climbing the stairs. Our bodies smooth, undamaged, ravaged only by years. And who wouldn't want to die beautiful? Beautifully
strewn across a bed in your best dress? I's dotted, arms crossed. Suitcase packed carefully and waiting by the door.
For a while, I sleep with my bags unpacked. I go fishing for hand lotion and find my mother's hairbrush in the side pocket, accidentally purloined in the rush of one of those final visits. For months, I keep losing things, keys, pens, batteries, pairs of plastic sunglasses. All lost things falling to the bottom of me like a worn-out purse and making their way, hidden into the seams.
I make lists of suicide scenarios for my geriatric years--head in oven, car parked in the garage. Pills, rope, the quick step in front of an oncoming bus. But everything sounds horrible and bloody, or at the very least unpleasant. My mother's final moments spent on a hospital gurney, mid-turn. November with all it's knives in her.
For a while, I sleep dreaming of women in white gowns lining up to jump quietly off a cliff and into the sea. This, and the location of every lost thing I've ever owned suddenly found alive and completely, perfectly intact.