*Warning: Narcissistic, sarcastic, whiny and self-indulgent post. But let's face it, it's all about ME and you wouldn't expect anything less.*
The skeletal remains of an elderly Sydney woman were found in her home last week. She had died on her bed sometime in the last 8 years; that's the last time anyone can remember having contact with her. Her husband was long gone, she had no children, no family, no friends. Awful.
As I lay dying in my bed from Manflu last week, I got to thinking... would anyone miss me? Would anyone really notice if I quietly slipped away, lying here in my mound of quilts, used tissues, headache tablets, Country Home magazines, and vomit buckets, amidst wet patches of drool, snot and excrement? (okay, there was no excrement but I thought it sounded more dramatic)
I have two kids, so you'd think they'd notice. But they are teenagers, not noted for highly keen observation skills. They will stare into the fridge for a few seconds before announcing we have run out of yoghurt, despite six tubs staring them in the face. Or will wander around their room for a few minutes, tossing clothes and shoes aside, before announcing they have lost their wallet/purse/bus ticket/calculator/ipod/keys/wand(don't ask), despite me walking in there and being able to place my hand on the missing item within 17 seconds (my record is 2.5 seconds - would have been less but I tripped over a shoe on the way in). If I started to give off decomposition gases, I don't think they'd notice - you should smell their rooms. I guess eventually they would get sick of eating 2 minute noodles and come in to see if I would get up to cook something more substantial, like toasted sandwiches, and start weeping over my lifeless body. Or arguing over who gets my laptop.
I have a husband, but he was away. He knew I was sick and rang twice a day to check on me, and I would hope that if the son had answered every call and the Husband had not spoken to me at all, he would start to get suspicious by the third day. Maybe even worry a bit, and prompt the son to come in and poke me with a stick. After all, he'd need somebody to wash his shirts when he gets back from his trip, wouldn't he?
I have a best friend, but I only saw her and a few of our other friends the previous Saturday night, just as I was on the cusp of falling ill. I had a headache and razorblades in my throat at that stage, just the beginnings of a cold really, so they wouldn't have been expecting me to die any time soon. It would be another week or so before they missed me. Although, you'd think me leaving a birthday party (free food and booze) at 10.19 on a Saturday night, boobs covered up, still sober and walking upright, might be a sign that I was not quite myself.
I have parents, but I saw them the day after the birthday party when I huddled in the corner of their living room, sitting in the warmth of the sun streaming in the window, with a box of tissues on my lap, slipping in and out of the conversation (and probably consciousness). All I wanted to do was sleep, but I think I grunted and nodded in all the right places without offending them greatly, made a few sarcastic comments and rolled my eyes at appropriately timed moments. A normal visit, really.
I have siblings. Pffft.
I have That Fucking Cat. He would sit on my feet meowing, then start clawing me, trying to get me up to feed him. He would miss me for about one nanosecond, until someone else fed him and he would switch allegiance to their feet.
I have loads of other friends I see less often than my besties, so they would take a while to notice my absence. Although we do email reasonably regularly, so the lack of rude jokes, Maxine quotes and icanhascheezburger animal photos in their inboxes would be the first sign something was amiss. I did manage to flick off one email from my deathbed to organise a dinner in a few weeks time. That's if I'm still alive then.
I am such an erratic blogger and commenter that the blogging community would not miss me for ages. It's not unusual for me to not post anything for a few weeks, then do 3 in 8 days. And I'm so slack at commenting on others' blogs, it's more of a shock if you do see me, than if you don't.
I have Twitter 'friends', but I don't have a 'clique' I speak to every day who noticed my absence. That's okay, I was part of a real life clique once (maybe twice, okay, three times if you count high school, but let's concentrate on the last time about 12 years ago), and when someone gutsily informed me of this ("You lot are so cliquey") I skedaddled so fast out of that situation I caused a dust storm. I had no idea I was being an elitist snob, but once I stepped outside of the 'group' and made an effort to be friendly with everybody I could see how confining (and defining) it was, and how much other friendship I was missing out on. In fact, the dinner I have organised in a few weeks (again, assuming I'm still alive) would not be happening if I hadn't stepped outside that clique, as it is with a couple I immediately met on the exterior of that group and with whom I have maintained a solid friendship.
Anyway, I digress (blame the drugs)... I have missed people on Twitter before; I've been known to post caring tweets such as "Where the hell is @soandso?", "What in shit's name has happened to @whatshisface?" and "Are you fucking ignoring me @arsehat?" when tweeps have gone missing in action. Anyway, the lack of daily Cateisms on Twitter was eventually noticed, and to those of my 2,870 followers who sent messages looking for me, I hope you got my replies and I thank you. All five of you.
I have Facebook friends. But I'm so rarely on there nobody would notice my profile gathering cobwebs. In fact, some idiot would probably *like* it and put me in a group of "People Who Don't Update Often and May Therefore Be Dead".
I have neighbours. But I saw her a couple of weeks ago, it's Winter, so it wouldn't be unusual to go a few more weeks between sightings. They don't do their Sunday night Greek barbecues in Winter, so there's no need for me to hang over the fence hoping for leftovers to put in our toasted sandwiches.
I have extended, in-law family. But they would wait on news from the Husband before wondering if I was dead. And then use his time of grief and mourning and sorting out laptop arguments between the kids to come and steal Gran Green's chiffonier (which we just inherited after a 25 year wait... I don't mean we've waited that long for her to die, she was already dead, it has sat in the MIL's house and we've been told for 25 years that we'll 'be getting it one day'. I think she was waiting to see if our marriage would last)
Lance Armstrong might miss my stalking, err, I mean, scintillating conversation starters. The local courier would miss delivering all the stuff I order online. The lovely ladies at Dymocks would wonder why I hadn't entered their Friday Giveaway and the local bakery would probably go out of business. Okay, and the local boozery. Hey, it's near the bakery.
As a social experiment, my dying and not leaving the house or having much contact with the outside world has been interesting.
As a health and wellbeing experiment, it sucked hairy dogballs.
Oh, and the Husband is back from his trip... with Manflu.