I’d rather not die now. Not this Autumn. It would inconvenience me greatly. There are so many other things I want to do. I have yet to stand at the helm of my destiny. I want to hitchhike from Paris to Monaco and stop along the way to eat a late dinner on a farm with happy lovers and fresh milk. I want to feel the thunder rising from the ground as 12 bulls scuttle by in Pamplona.
I want to taste foods from Michelin-starred restaurants I can’t afford: Restaurant Le Meurice the next time I’m in Paris; Masa the next time I’ve in New York with those friends who are never too busy. I want to know chefs by their first names, and make cakes with laughing old women who never wrote down recipes. I want a loaf of good bread from a Spanish bakery to dip in oils from an Italian oil maker, and I want a bottle of good wine that isn’t for dessert. Then I want four more. I want Vodka with no chaser from a woman named Natasha, and Tequila with two worms; one for me and one for my drinking buddy.
I want summer’s night and the coolness of a distressed hardwood floor on my toes, thighs, belly and cheek. I want deep south winters and the warmth of a lover pressed to me.
More Nina Simone covers by jazz bands on a stage in Montreal. I want to stand at the pinnacle and look over the edge and laugh as loud as I can for as long as I can at absolutely nothing. Stand ankle deep in the Pacific with the sunshine slowly slumping into my beard, then my collarbone, then my bellybutton. Drift a canal. Stand in The Door of No Return in the House of Slaves. Run the wall. Climb the mountain. Find the bones of century old lovers.
I want to sit on a train with my son and teach him the importance of writing letters. Most of all, I want to play with reckless abandon. Play like I played with my cousins when I was a boy. Barefoot at sunset, chasing lightning bugs through fences we were small enough to squeeze through, with my grandmother looking on, and me staring back believing everyone in this moment will never grow old or die.
That’s why I won’t die this Autumn. Some Autumn, I know, just not this one.