Checking out

April 19, 2007 at 3:04 am (Los Angeles, Voices)


Sorry to say goodbye like this. I had to rush for the train I threw myself under. In two to three days you’ll receive another packet with the DVD I made – CCTV footage of my first suicide attempt, which failed (the 5.30 to Brighton was late). It also contains my final speech to the family. It is my wish for it to be played after the funeral. My last request is that Michael be barred from shovelling any earth on to my coffin. I know he would take a secret pleasure in this, nice though he is. If I hear those thuds I will never rest in peace.

I’ve put cash for Tim’s trumpet lessons in the microwave. It’s important that these continue. He has a future as a trumpet player. Perhaps, when he is sixteen, he can learn the harmonica. I wanted to learn an instrument, but I’m dead now. In a month or two – whatever seems reasonable – you and Michael will be shacked up together. He will become something of a father to Tim, I know. Mike has my blessing – he’s a responsible sort. Still, I know you will honour my wish for Tim to learn the trumpet, well after my bugle has sounded.

Jenny, I hope you’ll read my instructions for the DVD player I’ve specially prepared for you. These manuals start off in Japanese, are translated into German, then French. By the time they reach English they are far from the writer’s intention – how faithful to Ibsen’s original was my father’s stab at translating Ghosts into Persian from Swahili. I remember reading Ghosts at college. The teacher said it was about “skeletons in the closet.” I didn’t know this was a metaphor. I read it and read it again – but there were no skeletons, or a closet.

In my coffin I want you to place a double-double burger from In-N-Out – “animal style”, with grilled onions. I know that you can only get them in California. If you can’t UPS fast food internationally, I don’t want any other brand; but do make me a burger yourself. The thought of spending eternity without one upsets me – it’s dark, I’ll need one. Fries would be good too, who cares if they get soggy. Forget all of my last wishes if you have to, but do stuff a burger in, for me, as a goodbye.



  1. Nazy said,

    Salam! You are simply hillarious! I hope you are settling O.K. after your trip. I came to see you in Berkeley this past weekend. I laughed so hard, I think at certain points I may have been howling! It is so respectable to go to events like this by yoursef, where in the darkened theatre, surrounded by strangers, you can do as you please, and by that I only mean laughing like a madwoman! Your wit and sarcasm are a lethal combination! I had a blast in the dark (on the left side) and as I drove home, I was thinking that I hadn’t laughed so much in ages and how good it felt. Thank you for taking the trouble to come visit us. I hope the Bay Area was good to you, and that you come back. I hope you live a long life in which you can have all the burgers you want! I see that you have inherited your grandmother’s gene for burgers! Be good.

  2. Desktopjunk said,

    Thanks, always good posts on your blog!

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