Friday, May 17, 2013

If I Am to Die on a Trapeze

I will be turning 27 at the end of this year. While 26 fell firmly into the camp of Good, But Dumb Years along with 22, 23, and 24, 27 has a special magic to it.

It's not the square year 25 was, a simple 52. No, 27 is 33. That's three to the third. It's perfect. You could write it in base-3 as 1,000. It's so mathematically beautiful I appreciate it without even comprehending its exact importance.

For the rest of the world, 27 means I am going to die.

No, this is not some preemptive strike √† la Logan's Run. The Twenty-Seven Club is a collection of famous and sometimes infamous persons throughout rock & roll history–though it is often expanded to include film and other media–who have all died at the age of 27. Principally among them Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, and Brian Jones all within three years of each other, then later Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse, and a number of other musicians without a J-name.

Just as I had gotten over the nagging suspicion I would be struck to death by a bus before I turned 25, I have discovered a wonderful new sense of paranoia. And a deadline:

I must achieve fame and notoriety in the next 18 months so that my "untimely" death will include me among these delightful degenerates. I must also knock out my bucket list in this time, which means I have to make a bucket list.

Right now, the only thing I want to do before I die is take a $586 ten week trapeze workshop at the end of which I put on a "recital" for all my friends and family.

You heard me. I went for the first a friend's birthday recently and loved every terrifying minute of it, and it turns out I was pretty good. $586 is a lot to lay-out for a couple months of fun, certainly more than a gym membership, but my time is short and I certainly can't take the money with me when I go. However, this does pose something of a problem for me:

That is one hell of a good way to die.

I don't mean to imply any safety concerns, far from it. The class I had was highly monitored and seemed safe as anything else. Batman-level catastrophes would have to simultaneously occur to defeat the safety precautions put in place by this school. I mean to say it is such a fun way to go I almost want it to be my sign-off.

"Dave died? How?"

"Oh, it was an unfortunate trapeze incident."

Yes, please. It definitely sounds better than "drug overdose" or "drunk driver," the preferred methods of 27 Club alumni. You say, "Cancer," and people just make that pitying sigh. "Oh, that sucks." You know what to say about cancer. You know what no one shy of a ring master has ever had a prepared response for?

"Unfortunate trapeze incident."

If I get to heaven and they ask me how I died, and I said, smirking of course, "An unfortunate trapeze incident," they would usher me backstage with my VIP tickets and tour jacket, and tell me that Jimi wanted to meet me after the show.

Or they'd call me a bullshitter, because who ever dies in "an unfortunate trapeze incident"?

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