Let’s just say that as a severely asthmatic child since the age of three you soon wise up to the fact that you may not leave the hospital alive. And having kinda old parents and no other relative under the age of fifty when you’re born helps, too. Growing up death was not a bit mysterious. It actually seemed sorta boring. One day you croak and then they put you in the ground so you don’t come back to bother anyone, and that’s that.
So, y’know… I was never under the illusion that I was immortal. I was, however, the most morbid kindergartner you’ve ever met. One favourite anecdote my mother lives to tell to shame me in front of strangers goes a little something like this: Three year old me loves to play with mummy’s jewellery. Mummy is scared shitless I could ruin something, because apparently I’m secretly the Hulk, so she locks the stuff away. Cue toddler complaining. Mum tries to console me with “Don’t worry, you inherit it all when I’m dead.” Cue me, “But that’s going to take forever!”
I spent an unorthodox amount of time planning an elaborate funeral for myself. Shiny black coffin! A wagon with six black horses! Huge parade all the way to the cemetery! My childhood megalomania lead me to imagine how my parents would even go so far as to pay people to come and say really nice things about me, how I had been just the best kid ever.
I became a bit obsessed with death, but I guess that’s just what happens when simple things like having a good laugh can send you to the ER. My mother had to answer questions about why a perfectly happy, if always a bit wheezy, kid was drawing nothing but skulls, albeit in pink. I wanted to see a real funeral. I started to put “before I die” into a lot of sentences. Usually whiny sentences like “I need a last piece of chocolate before I die!” To which my parents, who never so much as risked taking me to the playground, would reply, “Stop it, you’re not dying, okay!”
It all went downhill from there.
Teenage me never thought I was immortal, but certainly acted like I was. The funeral details took a backseat because between all the heavy drinking and depression induced recklessness I just didn’t have time or brain enough for planning. After all, all my normal friends were being shitheads who never thought of the consequences for anything, so don’t mind if I do! I mean, all teenagers are like that, right? After all, in the Middle Ages we would already have been considered adults, I mean everyone died at like forty, so it made sense to have a sixteen year old monarch and throw lavish court parties.
I think I just explained the entirety of human history in one sentence.
But seriously though, who thinks they’re immortal, then wakes up one morning like “Well, golly gee, guess I was wrong!”