Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Hog’s Heart – Gordon Weaver

Gordon Weaver - 2 February 1937- still alive??!!

The final story in this collection. I know that these stories are arranged in this volume alphabetically, but I also can’t help but notice that this story is about the final days of a man.

Could Elkin have picked a better story to round out his selections?

I think it’s rather fitting.

I’ll address the nature of his selections in my next post which will reflect on the BASS 1980, but for now, the death of Hog comes as a welcome death for me signaling the end of me reading of BASS 1980.

This story prompted me to think of my own death and how it might come about. Not so much as how it might come about but the last moments of my life and how I would like those to be ordered.

So, when I die, how would I want it to happen? I think that if it were to happen tomorrow, I would wish it to be non-violent and sudden.

I would hate to be hit by a car as I crossed the street, dying on the way to the hospital, thinking over my life, and of those I’m about to leave behind. That’s so sad.

If I were to die tomorrow, I’d want to be walking to work, feeling the sun on my face, a cool breeze carrying an unknown pleasant scent as I watched a bird fly from the ground up into a tree. I’d want to be thinking of M and our life together. As I tilted my head back to watch the ascent of the bird, I’d want a blood vessel to pop in my brain, immediately causing me to lose consciousness and causing my knees to buckle as I fell slowly into a patch of grass where I would die peacefully a minute or so later.

Quick, clean, natural and painless.

If my death is one that comes at the end of a long life rather than the one I described above, I’d like to be in a place of peace, my home, surrounded by my family. I’d like to go in my sleep...dreaming of them.

Again, quick, clean, natural painless and not coming as a surprise to my family but as a relief because they would know that I lived a full happy life and it was just my time to go. Everyone would be at peace with my passing.

I think it’s fine to think about death. You need to be at peace with it. To not be afraid of it.

The hardest part for me is knowing the pain of those that will remain living.

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