the premise is not the story
It’s not so much that I find life particularly dull, it’s just that I don’t like the fact that we live out our days in a dull order. One after another, we’re born, we age and then we die. Day after day. Boring!
I’d much prefer to live out my life in a random way, where every morning I wake up a random age on a random day in my life. I’m not asking for more days, if I live a particular day then I can’t live it again, I would just like to mix them up so all the shitty ones aren’t waiting for me at the end.
Call it a fear of aging or, more accurately, a pretty good idea of what lies ahead.
Wouldn’t it be much cooler to go to sleep not knowing what the next day will hold; physically, mentally and socially? All the great triumphs and disappointments waiting to be lived, each equally as likely on any given morning. Call it a reorganization of consciousness.
Now the big issue is how it would work. When your eyes pop open how would you know what day it is? Are you in school, are you at work, is this the day you lose your virginity or is this the day you have that double root canal?
That’s the most interesting thing about the whole concept. Just before you wake up you’d have to go into a small briefing room and get your daily update. I imagine it like a police holding cell, a single chair on the other side from a table where two people wait with manila folders to give you the pertinent details. It definitely wouldn’t be like some corporate meeting room, I can’t picture that in any of the various scenarios in my head. Nope, this is a small drab room painted in the colors of a government cinder-block building, perhaps gray or vomit-green. The table is rickety and the chair is one of those numbers that has a gray metal back and a seat that is covered with a green vinyl that is torn and peeling. Heavy and uncomfortable. The light would flicker occasionally as if the universe wanted you to know what a hassle your existence is. Your two handlers wouldn’t be so much ill-tempered as disinterested. It’s clear every morning that they have something better they could be doing than bringing you up to speed with your age and background for the day.
I imagine myself somewhat surly, perhaps even putting my feet up on the table despite its poor condition. I’m sure I’d be excited by the prospects of what lays ahead for me but I surely wouldn’t want them to know it. My face would be a mask of indifference.
But inside … how cool would it be if you were just as likely to live out some great day of your youthful prime as a depressing day stuck in a nursing home or mindlessly crawling around as a baby? Every morning, trying to nonchalantly sit down and wait for that folder to be opened and the particulars of your daily reality to be revealed. I can imagine my fingers nervously picking at the vinyl between my legs, trying my best not to make the hole any bigger, but unable to contain my enthusiasm.
I don’t have the time or energy to run through how all the choices you make impact days you’ve previously lived out. I guess the whole thing presupposes that you’ve already lived your whole life out and now you’re just going through the motions. Whatever. Those motions can be pretty fun and at least you wouldn’t have to deal with the fact that every day you get another day older.
Can you picture the two people sitting across from you giving you the specifics before they see you off each morning? I’ve got one man and one woman. The man drinks bad coffee out of a Styrofoam cup and wears white socks with black dress shoes. I don’t think he realizes that you can see his socks when he’s sitting. The woman is middle-aged and although not unattractive I find her unappealing physically, but her advice on certain topics is sometimes valuable. I like to think when the man tells me “Don’t do anything stupid” each day seconds before I am launched into my life he says it with some affection.
If you stop and think about it, I guess you still have to deal with the fact that every day you have one less day ahead of you. In fact, after awhile you can probably figure out that you’ve never lived a day past a certain age so that must be when you die. You could probably do the math in your head and figure out how many days you have left. Not sure that’s a big selling feature of my little plan but I think it still beats slowly aging and losing virility and mental faculties.
Maybe there will come a morning meeting when your two handlers will point out that this day is your last, and they will stand and shake your hand and tell you it’s been a pleasure working with you. Wouldn’t it be great on some level? Going into your last day feeling great. Perhaps you’re 16 and it’s summer vacation and you can go climb a hill on a cloudless day and stare up at the blue sky.
I can hear the squeaking noise the chair makes as I pull it out from under the table and briefly cross the tile floor so I can sit down. I’m not sure whether each morning the guy pulled out my folder from a well-worn briefcase he has sitting next to him, or if the folder is always sitting there on the table as I walk in. Either way, was that a quick flicker of remorse in the female’s eye as the folder is flipped open for the final time?
I guess there is still the chance that I will spend my last day alone, incoherent and sitting in a puddle of my own urine, even in this version of living out my life, but I certainly like my odds.
Will I be 16 and strong of body and stupid between the ears in all the great ways you can only be when you’re young? Can I lie back on the grass and fold my arms behind my head and watch the sun set and the stars start to twinkle above me until I drift off to sleep?