Sunday, January 4, 2009

Skeleton Keys

I was having breakfast at Jake's this morning with Dave. He reads the New York Post. I read the New York Times. He enjoys noting that I end up spending more time looking at the Post. I borrow the Times from my neighbor Laura who sleeps later than I do and then re-pack it in the plastic bag and return it to her doorstep and she's none the wiser. I suspect. I don't do the crossword or anything but I wonder if sometimes she has a vague feeling that something is amiss.

Dave said, "How bout them Cardinals?" I do not follow sports. I said, "Football, right?" He said, "yeah." I said, "Who's playing in the Superbowl?" "Springsteen," he said.

Dave and I were talking about suicide, or rather, stomach pain. Yesterday I had such bad stomach pain that I was screaming "just kill me!" out loud to no one in my apartment. I saw my sisters do this all the time over the years. I told Dave if I'd had an on/off switch on my body for my life, I might have thrown it at the height of the pain. Or a key. This seems feasible as some sort of medical/technological option of the future; to have a mortality key installed, carry the key on your chain with its own color coded hat, spare in the sock drawer. Call it a skeleton key.

If you lost your key you could have your lock changed. Once under insurance. Twice and it's your dime. If you turn someone's key by accident, it's manslaughter. So maybe there should be two different locks, one on each hip, and two distinct keys in case your wife, half awake, doesn't shut you down for snoring. I suppose you could choose where your locks went, like a tattoo. I imagine a recording or maybe a small screen on the back of your hand. "Are you sure you want to end your life? (Do not show this window again.)"

If suicide was easier, the turn of a key, how many more people would do it and under what circumstances? I posed the question to Dave. He said, "You know, when a cactus dies, you don't even know it's dead for a few months."


Mary E.Carey said...

I'm sorry to hear about your stomach pain. That remark about the cactus was funny in the context you put it.

Anonymous said...

Dude, people would be turning that key left and right--& there'd be no "duh, I reconsidered" option...
-Caty (what is up w/not letting me sign in?)