For several months I’ve been badgering K about something I need her to do when I’m dead. It’s my last request — my only request, post-death — and it’s simple: If there’s a memorial for me, I want everyone who speaks to say at least one significant thing they couldn’t stand about me. (I actually wrote about this nine and half years ago.)
I’ve been hounding K about this because I’m certain that if she doesn’t enforce the rule, my friends will either ignore it or turn it into a running gag, as if to collectively say, “Screw him, he’s dead and he was a controlling fucker anyway.”
Each time I bring it up K claims that she won’t let this happen, except she says it in the sort of voice one uses with an impossible child, someone to whom you’ll say anything to get him to leave you alone.
For a time I did leave her alone, but then we spent New Year’s weekend in Connecticut with three close friends, and over breakfast on the last day I described the problem to the group. In short order my request was cast as an attempt to control what gets said at an event which, while it would be about me, wouldn’t actually be for me since I would be dead. K nodded the whole time.
I chose to mention it at this breakfast in large part because Andrew was there, and I long ago pegged him as a likely saboteur. However he surprised me by responding in a way that only someone who knows my heart ever could.
“I don’t think it’s a big deal,” he said. “It’s a minimal ask that challenges folks to skip the bullshit. You’re asking to be remembered.”
It was Lucy, though, who had the best line: “Can we start now?”