According to one camp of paranormal enthusiasts, ghosts are people who died with unfinished business. That’s a misnomer. Nobody who died with unfinished “business” actually stuck around to finish it. It’s usually something like a brutal murder or mischievous soul that creates a ghost. The Queen Mary isn’t plagued by the tormented souls of people who neglected to finish their mileage reimbursement form.
This past week a tornado hit about 10 minutes from where I was finishing a bunch of chores. If I had died AFTER buying disposable duster refills, I might come back as a ghost just out of spite, or to hastily do things to make it look like I died doing something more interesting. It wouldn’t have to be strategically placing tabs of LSD and an escaped (liberated) monkey near my rented Tesla. It could be checking out a library book and putting a bookmark 220 pages in, anything to make it look moderately more interesting than having died after buying an industrial sized box of anti-gas medicine.
This is why the adage, “life every day like it’s your last,” is a terrible adage for garbage people, because if you did, your house would be filthy, you probably wouldn’t have a house, and no one would like you because you’d never return a text or email. As I was driving home, I imagined my last moments, the last sparks of my dying brain being neutered rage (so I would die how I lived) because my final taste of life was spent making sure I remembered that coupon for a nickel off at Target if I spend $55 or more.
Then there would be the added insult of a tornado having whisked away all the stuff I spent my lunch break buying. It would be like a roofer putting the last shingle on the roof of an abacus factory and tripping on the last rung down, hitting his head on a rock and causing him to fling the first cigarette he’s had in two years onto the factory’s roof, burning 18 shingles, just enough to have to hire another roofer to finish the job and erase even that trace of dying with a sense of satisfaction at having completed a final masterpiece that he definitely half-assed, not knowing it was his final roof.
I would rather die, be buried in a Pet Cemetery, then come back as a murder-zombie that somehow has the instinct to do laundry before getting my face bashed in with a shovel by the wily neighbor kid I tried to cannibalize, than have just finished folding the fitted sheet
when a heart attack takes me. I’d rather die in a freak frisbee golf accident, have everyone abandon me on the course, and have my carcass found three days later with a possum using my rectum as its burrowed out den, than get in a fatal car accident with my final accomplishment being proper use of my blinkers after just being the person who divided the restaurant bill between 6 people and those people later realizing I didn’t do it right.
But, Death is a swift and haphazard instrument of brutality. It doesn’t care if I just sewed a button back on a shirt I haven’t worn in over a year before ferociously waylaying you. I guess I shouldn’t worry about it…or start creating an internet history that makes it seem like I had something intriguing going on beyond my trunk full of bleach wipes and unsalted chips.