Life just recently got short for me, though it has always been so. As I see that, if I’m lucky, I’ve got just two more decades left. Yes, life has gotten very short. But I’m not despairing. I’ve come to almost forget the miserable years of my youth that went on for too long, beyond actual youth. I look back with love at that poor silly girl who barely knew what it meant to be happy. In those years, I thought misery would never end. Then I had my final suicide attempt. In the hallway at three in the morning as I was getting over having my stomach pumped, a big tough nurse turned to me and said “What the fuck did you want to do that for!” And I got it. At that very moment I got it and I got up and I left the hospital and went home and took a shower and that was it. I never had another suicide attempt again. And in the forty-four years since, even on the darkest days, even when my husband walked out of our lives, even when I was drinking myself into a swamp, even when my whole life looked like it was abandoning me, I never thought of leaving my life.
Today on the way to my exercise class, the song Dancing Queen by Abba came up. I didn’t ask it to, my phone just played it. And even though I can hardly dance anymore, my mind danced, and I felt seventeen. On my birthday next week I’ll be seventy-two. But this morning I was seventeen.
I am happy to say that I will regret dying.