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November 30, 2022: Wrapping up another month

Twenty-two days until the winter solstice. A good thing because the darkness feels like it’s closing in around me. As in the past, I am again wondering if after the solstice it will just keep getting darker and darker, ending with their being no light at all. Now, in Barrow, it is dark 24 hours a day. What if, say, in Barrow, it did not get light?

This is one of my fears. Another, still, is about being buried alive. I first experienced this fear when I was a child. I envisioned myself being in a coffin and waking up, and not being able to let anyone know that I was still alive. The origins of this could have come from that awful prayer: Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the lord my soul to keep. If I die before I wake, I pray the lord my soul to take.

My parents saw that I was very distraught and came up with a solution. It was to have a bell put on my tombstone. It would be attached to a string that I would pull on if I woke up. I also asked that a light and a light switch be placed in the coffin, so that I might have light while I waited for those who’d been alerted to come and get me. I was assured by my parents that they would not ignore my request, that I be exhumed.

I know now that dead is dead, although some who have been thought to be dead have not been dead. I also know that my fear, as well as the solution, is nonsensical. For one thing, there might not be any one around to hear the bell. And for another, the oxygen supply would undoubtedly be limited. To this I’d say, put a video camera in my coffin and an oxygen container and mask.

I have pretty much decided (based on this fear) that I don’t want to be buried at all. I did consider doing what Walter Hickel did, and request that I be buried standing up. This way, I could immediately start digging, and thus extricate myself from my premature burial site. Cremation would be another option, but not a good one, for if I was not dead, I’d suffer the same way Joan of Arc, who was burnt at the stake, suffered.

A friend, when I told her about my concerns, suggested that I be buried at sea. This way, I’d become shark bait. I said no ,and for two reasons: the first is that I don’t feel comfortable off shore. And secondly, if I was alive, I’d have to deal with the agony associated in being torn to shreds by a shark.

All things considered, I’d like my body taken to a very remote location, covered with leaves, and left for the critters to nibble at. This way, I could, if I was still alive, get up, get on my cellphone and tell those who left me for dead that I am very much alive. Yes, this is the best option.

Some would say, “get over it.” Problem is, my fears are real, and therefore cannot be disregarded.

Next: 330. 12/1/22: What we Talk about when we Talk about Books

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