If there really is a Rapture tomorrow (does one capitalize “Rapture?”) I have a little list. I have chosen to hedge my bets and work today, since if there is no Rapture, I will not be paid if I take the day off to resolve the various loose ends and savor life‘s pleasures. It would also be problematic if I spent my last penny living as if there was no tomorrow…and then there was a tomorrow. I have, therefore, limited my Rapture Plan to things I can do without traveling or spending more than I might spend on dinner and a first-run movie.
My Rapture Plan
First, I will call everyone I love and tell them I love them. It’s incredibly corny, the kind of thing that cues Morgan Freeman to appear, but it really is what I want to do. I also want to thank all the people I forgot to thank – the sweet-faced girl who helped me find the right suite for my father’s surgery after the pre-procedure sedation rendered him useless, the orchestra teacher who taught me discipline and excellence, the doctor who put up with my rage and frustration during two months of hospital bed rest before my son was born, and dozens more. I still regret that I never properly thanked the 8th grade English teacher who told me that I would be a writer. He, along with that opportunity is long lost to me.
I would tell my son that nothing better has ever happened to me.
Next I plan to say all the other things I was afraid to say, mostly apologies having to do with my own awfulness. Nothing hurtful; there’s really very little point in telling someone that their biscotti are really inedible if the world, and all biscuits, are about to be gone forever. I would explain to the friends in whose weddings I was supposed to be a bridesmaid that there was a time when I was so bitter about my own romantic failure that I literally couldn’t bear to be a part of that kind of celebration. I would tell my stepdaughter that, despite a rocky start, I am so proud of her that I get all misty about it. I would explain to my mother that I don’t know why it has been so hard for me to deal with her aging and illness, but that I’m sorry for my unease and defensiveness on so many occasions. I would tell my husband that I know I’m no picnic to live with.
All of that emoting being done, I could move on to the world of experience new and cherished. I’ve missed lots of things, including skydiving, hardcore porn, pickled pig’s feet and Regency romance novels. None of those is on my list. I want to eat a Banh Mi sandwich, because I’ve never had one. I want to go to a beach because that’s where I feel most alive and at peace. I want to run through a sprinkler one more time, and eat a real strawberry that did not arrive in a box from California. I’d like that strawberry and many of its friends with a hot scone and a good dollop of Devonshire clotted cream. (That may be pushing the cheap and local thing). I want to roll down a grassy hill, drink Prosecco and ignore the laundry, the Inbox, the school papers requiring my signature, and the litter box. I’d like to sit on my front porch, my feet up on the railing by the window box, and read poetry, possibly out loud. I’d like to drive around until my tank was empty playing music that I love at full blast, windows open, making sure everyone had one last chance to hear Phish before their respective ascensions.
At day’s end, I want to have a party and invite everyone in town that means something to me. I want them to bring their children, and their dogs and their cats and their favorite thing to eat. I want to make food for them, maybe huge pans of my superlative lasagna if it isn’t too hot out, and serve everything on paper plates because recycling is a waste of time in the face of a Rapture. I want them all to stay here past their bedtimes, telling stories, meeting each other, making beer runs and getting louder, sillier and happier. I would wish for fireflies, although it’s really too early in the season.
After dinner, the Rapture. I’m not sure where I’m headed, being Jewish by birth, Christian by baptism and Buddhist by choice. In case I don’t see you again, come by for dinner tonight. Bring something good.