Instructions for my funeral are as follows.
I want live music, except for the part when Lloyd sings an old Tom Waits song to the accompaniment of a handheld cassette player.
It must be two fold.
One must take place in a church, the other in a house.
The church one I want to follow the Orthodox tradition. I am not yet an Orthodox but it looks good and this is the way I want to be represented in my afterlife.
Apart from the fact that there will only be Greeks and Russians where I go, that should be fine.
The home one has to resemble a cross between a dinner party and voodoo summoning. There will be games like hide and seek and charades. I want it to start with a champagne reception. With bites. A young boy or girl playing the piano.
At this point everyone will be in black tie. Dressed to the nines. There should be something a bit sexy about it.
Once everyone’s had a glass or two of champagne, we’ll move onto white - a Riesling or Gewurtztraminer. The host will say a speech, which I have written.
Everyone will then do a golden egg hunt, but instead of golden eggs it will be photos from my life. Everyone will bring the photos together and sit around looking at them.
This can also be the place where the first complaint happens.
Then there will be a space clearing where the group will go about the house with incense singing songs to my departed spirit. If Adam is still alive he can bring some bells.
After the singing there will be a feast with an empty seat for me.
At a certain point, everyone at the table will react simultaneously to my arrival: they will welcome me to eat and drink. They will laugh at my jokes. The women will weep.
They will follow me upstairs.
Where I will disappear.
The women will weep again, while the men will gnash their teeth.
Everyone will then take the dog for a walk.
When they come back, they will open the whiskey and start telling the more risqué stories about me. It is at this point that Olga can declare with blind fury that I am rotting in hell, that I was a detestable, soulless creature who brought nothing but cruelty, misogyny, racism and violence into the world.
After which she will burst into tears and say sorry, everyone, I’m just devastated that he’s gone.
We all are, they’ll say.
We all are.
Then there will be a dance of some kind. It’s probably best if this is done by a professional. I would prefer something like butoh. Light, brittle, delicate, a little funny but mysterious and dark too.
Then the host will say the final speech. Everyone will each be given a flower.
Then they can leave.
I apologise for the instructions but I’ve seen too many bad attempts at departure.
So I had to do this.
I think it’s a white room.
The white room opens on all sides with unseen doors
That lead to other rooms of different colours.
And as you continue out
not only do the colours change
But so do the textures.
So from smooth it moves to grainy, coarse, soft.
And then from the textures it moves to different pieces of nature.
One room is the inside of a leaf.
Another is just grass: floor to wall to ceiling grass.
There is a room for every different kind of grass.
There is a room of feathers.
Every species of feather.
A room of the legs of birds.
A room of just owls.
A room of flying fish.
And so on.
Room upon room in an endlessly sprawling house
filled with every material piece
and the memory of every material piece
and the make up and quanta of every piece.
There is a room of darkness
and a room of rain.
I suppose I’m describing some kind of
eternity house where the only defining feature is
Frankly it could be anything else.
Frankly my idea is anything.
I mean, just anything.
Certainly it’s not something
it’s not something in particular.