Monday, June 29, 2009

Morbid whimsy


In this house someone once died. To have done so twice would have been careless. But people are quite careless in houses. I once left the gas on.

Die outdoors. Also live outdoors, though first become deeply and irreversibly famous (living your whole life outdoors should probably suffice). Bereft of a suitable wall, the blue Heritage plaque that shall doubtless come to mark your life and its passing will have to do so by wavering indecisively but impressively in mid-air (on the ground it would simply be stamped on, walked over, or perhaps even danced upon. This of course would be unseemly and would not do. Not for a national treasure. Not for a national treasure like you).

I hear that going outside helps. True, more people die indoors, but often they've been outside first and are desperate to get away from it. Even if it kills them. This is especially true of the ones in hospitals.

If I have words of advice for you, consider these four: Never share a house. When you are elsewhere and wondering whether the gas has been left on your memory cannot speak for the others. Soon, to leave home fills you with worry and trembling. Neither, however, are you unaware of what happens in houses... What to do?

On their return, your housemates, who have been on holiday all this time, find you frozen on the threshold. Rigor morits has set in, and the door frame, still in the petrified grip of your indecision, will have to be removed, and you with it, if they are ever to use this entrance again (or perhaps it is now just an exit). Didn't we tell him an electric cooker had been installed weeks ago, one of them says, meaning, instead, 'I'm damned if I'm paying for that doorframe.' (At the time you were of course upstairs sobbing uncontrollably, once again, and failed to notice – exactly the kind of trying behaviour, your housemates will say later, that drove them to sunny Spain to recover in the first place. People will nod sympathetically and reassure them – it wasn't their fault, these things happen, don't beat yourselves up about it – while all the time privately thinking, Clearly the signs were there, and surely the postman, if no-one else, should have done something. (So long as there was someone to accept the letters and sign his silly forms, though, that man was happy, and anyway you died on a Sunday – surrounded by junk mail, and two parcels intended for nextdoor)).

On reflection, maybe, too, someone should have clipped the hedge.


Anonymous said...

How I worry about you!

Occasional Poster of Comments said...

You must stop doing that. It's a terrible habit ;)