OPINION Michael Nath

NWR Issue 105

Every Laugh is a Dice Throw

How long you had that cough?

Since I skated against the wind in Flanders.

Seriously, you should get it checked out.

But you don’t want it checked out, for a long cough can be a sign of you know what.

Though you have been giving thought to the issue….

On the great British cake show, an anamorphic skull. Like, the vanity of baking, and all worldly effort!

You are going to die. Tell a punter on Wind Street, you’ll be slapped, or pinched – repeated three times, it’s harassment…. Unless you’re an oncologist or narcissist – or Big Joe Turner: ‘You’re so beautiful but you’re gonna die someday.’

At a certain age, it comes into view. Wow, look at that! A mountain range. You thought you were just driving, like the younger folk behind, but there it is. Keep quiet. Don’t spoil it for them.

There’s always something to do before we get there. My grandmother wanted to see Brittany (she heard it was like the Gower). Jenks told me he was going to visit the most dangerous farm in Mexico, where killer chillies grow (one of those lads could take out Cardiff). He never made it either. Rita had herself a Richard Dawkins tattoo, against the dying of the light.

Time to plan your last meal.

I’ll have a pound of liquorice hard-tack. By the time I’ve finished chewing, the guards will have gone off shift. And a bottle of Wray & Nephew. Get them pissed and pinch the keys.

Be serious for a minute. Martin Heidegger says you don’t live true to yourself until you’ve imagined your own death as the thing that makes you unique. Ah. Though JP Sartre says the death you imagine isn’t the one you get. When you think of your last meal, you forget the cancer will have made you so sick you can’t stomach anything. They have to stick the morphine in your arse or you’ll throw that up as well.

OK. I’ll imagine cancer more factually. I’ll go out and get a book on it.

Careful! Seen the weather out there? Owch! So much potential and he’s copped it. Wasn’t much older than Jim Morrison. Lifelong ambition to fight cancer with dignity. Sign outside the kebab shop, blew off and broke his neck.

When Dad died, I couldn’t believe he was gone: but believe I must, for he wasn’t in his chair or Merc...

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