I am writing myself an obituary. Death invariably follows me whereever I go, so I figure I need to get proactive about it. It is one thing to be living in Minneapolis and be the only person who thinks Fargo represents the quintessential Minnesotan reality , but an entirely different thing to be living on the coastal outbanks of the Northern Carolina when Hurricane Isabel hits. Where's your line of defense? Where are the soldiers marching towards the enemy line, weapon's raised, to fortify your land and protect your honor? Where are they now, Mr. Bush?
I lived in New York when the towers were hit; in Delaware, Ohio when the progressive town's folk served sliced cucumbers protesting the court decision to imprison the women who violated their granddaughter's molester with a cucumber. I was in Tehran when the student riots were about to destabilize the delicate “balance of power” in the Middle East.
In the air with Turkish Airlines when the war started, and staring at a screen when Saddam's effigy was toppled. Sadly, of course, I was in Boston when Eminem's concert got cancelled midway. Interrupting my vigilant and concentrated effort in the way of the obituary, my dear friend LaQuisha DeShawn Johnson called to remind me in her White-enhanced ghetto speak that “who'd gonna take care of yo' phat sack, boo?” hm??!!
Yeah, I guess I needed that. With every death, there is always the issue of the body. What are you going to do with the body? In Fargo, they shredded it in a woodshredder. In Delaware, the cucumber girls tossed the molester's body over the edge of the dumpster with the printed the word RAPIST in red lipstick on his back. The concert audience trampled the dead body in agony at the hip hop artist's exit, stage left and the CNN staff conveniently edited out images of the dead and wounded Americans during the war– Ah yes, The Edit! that's a preferable death… You don't have to grit your teeth until the film gets to THE END. Who wants to wait around for that, anyway?
I mean imagine all the new Iranian films we would have liked better had the editor just decided to get rid of a character by cutting the film strip. Say, the old man with the high-pitched shaky voice in Gabbeh. Or better yet, the little girl with the most irritating un-endearing whine, Raziyeh in The White Balloon. Oh, I know, I know, how about Shohreh Aghdashloo who plays Maryam's mother in Ramin Serry's film Maryam? That's a good Iranian-American example. I'm all for the cut. Who can deal with an uncut reality, anyway?
Okay, so now you have a clue. I'm dead. What do you do with the body? The stars have your back, boo. You just need to execute!
Scatter my dusty remains on the shores of the Mediterranean. Clever! And
indeed my preferred exit.
You, of all signs, will surely have the most elaborate ritual. The setting, the flowers, the music, the polished cars, the color coordinated table cloths and curtains, the appetizers, the entrees, the punches and the “just so” speech to make me sound like the girl I'd never be. But alas, it'll all happen years after you're done ironing that white cloth you're thinking of wrapping me in. Oh, wait, let me help you, there's another wrinkle…
Take me to New Jersey amongst 9/11 the rubble. I think that's been done, honey. Thanks anyway.
Fake a car wreck in your frog green Porsche… Yeah, how about: NEVER!
Do me an updo and make sure my hair dye's covering the gray?! Yes, sure I'll be fly girl for you, boo, but THE BODY, THE BODY!… .ah never mind…
Still filing your nails? Well, yeah, stop frontin' bitch. YOU didn't kill me.
Let's see, how can we make a cultural profit outta this one?! Um… Where do you want me, boy, in a ta'ziyeh or a Shirin Neshat piece? No! Paint me first!
Better get that speech ready… Your posse has already transported the body to the local McDonalds. Hey, even Justin Timberlake's come up with a new jingle for the Madame Burger! Who'da thunk I'd deserve that honor? Eat me!
Ask a friend to put the phone to my ear and sing me one of your long long long long long incoherent songs. Poof! And I'm gone.
Hand me over to Ben and J-lo, they'll tear me up and feed me to the dogs. How lo can Ben-Jen go?
Cut 'em off and hide 'em amongst the dirty baby diapers… you don't care about the rest of the body… The finger tips are what would defame you on a keyboard. Oh, let me run those tips through your hair one last time.
You'll just CuisneArt me in your raw kitchen, won't you? How are you gonna have my body, baby, shaken or stirred? 'cause I'm not going on the rocks…
To contact Madame Bayaz write to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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