Content Warning: Death and dying
I think about death a lot. Partly because it’s a requirement to receive admission into a liberal arts graduate program and partly because she’s my favorite character in Sandman. Coming from a giant Sicilian-Italian-Irish Catholic family that absorbs people like some sort of basil-scented, hand-flailing siphonophore*, we go to so many funerals they’ve become social engagements where we compliment each others’ outfits and coffin selections. I have my own mourning makeup routine.
Suffice to say, despite the morbid milieu surrounding my birthright, I don’t plan on dying, like, ever. Currently I’m banking on Science developing San Junipero or vampirism, but I realized that I might need a backup plan just in case I accidentally ingest some Blue Bell Homemade
listeria because food regulations are for communist coastal elite antifa liberal hippies besides listeria never killed anyone except for all of those people we killed Ice Cream.
So after careful consideration**, I’ve decided that, should I not survive Breakthroughs In Immortality, I want to be a lime tree. Any variety will do, but give preference to those with lots of pulp and juice.
Plant the aforementioned baby lime tree in Hermann Park and bury me underneath it with burlap covering up my nethers. What the hell do I need clothes for? Donate that shit*** to Dress for Success or Bering United Methodist Church. Also, if the mayor gives you nonsense about permits or whatever, offer a not-so-gentle reminder about Houston’s legendary anarchic zoning laws and point out that it’s far more important to address the gentrification of Third Ward and other traditionally Black and Latinx neighborhoods than the whims of an internationally unknown Z-list comedian and writer.
Deploy some sweet ninja moves if you must.
At the foot of the tree, please place a commemorative plaque reading, “I’M A TREE NOW, BITCHES!!” in the VCR OSD Mono font. It has to feature a photo of me smiling and making finger guns to the left of the text and an illustration of a penguin riding a unicorn across an outrun-style sunset while a glitching bear and owl dance to some funky tunes on a pastel island. All of the animals are wearing neon shutter shades.
Now, it will take about 2-3 years for the tree to mature into bearing fruit, and I’m sure all of you will want to commemorate me and my unfortunate consumption of
contaminated monocytogenes sugary dairy delights a little sooner than that. Don’t worry. You can still have a good time.
Sadness super blows, so the festivities should be as joyous as possible. People can cry because I’m sure it’ll suck to not have me around if you’re someone who likes having me around and you shouldn’t stop them, but I’ll consider it a success if everyone can smile and laugh at least once. Preferably twice. I want improv and sketch comedy and standup and live music and dancing and art and readings and pretty much anything fun and energetic and creative that makes you happy. It probably made me happy, too, and if it didn’t then I was probably happy that you were happy. Attendees deserve to have the safest, most accepting possible experience for themselves no matter their backgrounds, and all I ask is that they use biodegradable glitter and don’t feel the need to wear pants or skirts if it’s super humid outside and booty shorts would feel cooler. Comfort over convention. Everyone better have their identities and expressions respected or I will totally fucking haunt the fuck out of you. Anyone who can’t do this is clearly no friend of mine or anyone else, really, and should be impolitely demanded to go be hateful elsewhere in the park.
Unless you count Beexcellenttoeachotherism, I don’t adhere to any particular religion, but I love a lot of people who do. So if they want to make space for their faith, they all get equal time to do so and better receive equal respect or I will totally fucking haunt the fuck out of you. Anyone who can’t do this is clearly no friend of mine or anyone else, really, and should be impolitely demanded to go be hateful elsewhere in the park.
Once the tree begins fruiting, the bacchanal really begins. Only take as many as limes as is sustainable to ensure future harvests. Then consume them however you like. Drop a slice in your Topo Chico? RADICAL!! Shake or stir up some margaritas? TUBULAR!! Squeeze them on a tilapia filet? GNARLY!! Nutrients that may have once been me will surf on your white blood cells while Dick Dale and Swimwear Department and Lizzo blare in the background. And if you don’t like or otherwise can’t eat limes, then I hope you find some other method of preventing scurvy. Also, I love a lot of people with alcohol and/or dietary restrictions and they shouldn’t be pressured to consume anything they can’t or won’t or I will totally fucking haunt the fuck out of you. Anyone who can’t do this is clearly no friend of mine or anyone else, really, and should be impolitely demanded to go be hateful elsewhere in the park.
The year after, donate the picked limes – again, you better leave enough for future growth – to Houston Food Bank’s fresh produce initiative. Then repeat the party the year after. Then donate to Houston Food Bank. You get the pattern. You’re a smart one.
Also, I’m leaving my giant unicorn head to Scott White. I can’t force him to wear it to the festivities, but it sure would be nice if he did.
Fortunately for me and, to a lesser extent, you, my consciousness will get uploaded to the Cloud so all of this remains in the realm of pure fantasy. But if you still want to throw a lime party…
*Are you not Sicilian-Italian-Irish Catholic? OK, but are you friends with one of us? Then congratulations you’re now Sicilian-Italian-Irish Catholic and your name is “Pasquale O’Leary.”
**A conversation with my beloved bon vivant second cousin Gary on the way to another wake.
***It’s not actually shit. I try to take good care of my clothes.
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