I’m considering burial at sea. And I don’t mean having my ashes scattered in the Hudson like so much pollution. I want to be tossed overboard like an unwelcome stowaway or dropped over a waterfall like, well, like a suicide, only I’d already be dead. What I’m saying is simple: I want to make a splash.
If I’m present in the body at all after death, I think it would be a much better way to go. I’d get to take a vacation of sorts, rather than be locked up in a Houdini box for eternity. I’d get to snorkel without the worries of all that nerdy snorkeling gear. And if I dissolved, well, that’s so much better than decomposition. My body would liquefy and my cells would spread across the world and even evaporate into the air. It’s so much better than land burial, where you sort of just rot in your casing, and — if you’re lucky — ooze through the coffin cracks into the soil, and — if you’re even luckier — eventually climb your way up through the tree roots toward the air. But if you are interred at sea, you might become a foul skin that floats on the water, like a tourist bobbing comfortably on one of those pool lounge chairs.
I mean, aren’t our bodies something like 98% water, anyway? We’re more like Michelob Ultra than the Guinness we think we are.
Oh, okay, I looked it up. It’s more like 60%. So Miller Genuine Draft, then.
But back to my point: Why feed the garden, when our ancestry of oceans and rivers and lakes awaits? Why do we bury the dead like a dog buries its bone? You might think it’s all about the stink, and you’d have a point. But submersion not only covers up the foul odor of death, but also saves you the sweaty armpits of the digging, so it’s twice as nose-friendly. Unless you’re hauling a particularly flabby body overboard. Then you might have sweat and, well, gas, to deal with. But contrary to the belief that fat floats, weight sinks, and water swallows the stink.
Would you bury the dead in mud to honor them? Do you always lock the people you respect most up in a box without any food or deodorant and toss them in a filthy hole? I don’t want to be replaced with a symbolic chunk of stone. Even if you made a statue out of me, you’d be talking about, essentially, a concrete doll, and I’d much rather be an action figure with kung-fu grip. But seriously: if we really wanted to memorialize the dead with statues and stones, why not invent some sort of embalming fluid that actually petrified the corpse, so we could keep it in our living rooms or barbecue pits for posterity? Why don’t we start mummifying ourselves in high tech ways? I’d much rather be dipped in high gloss resin. Of course, the problem then would be my never-changing fashion statement. Unless a family member played dress-up with my cadaver in the same ritual fashion as others renew graveyard flowers. Out of love and respect.
And yet even if my dream of corpse resin never comes true, I’d still rather dissolve than be perpetually frozen in time, trapped behind a veil of plastic, watching the world change around me as seasons come and go, without ever being able to say “I told you so.”
Now, I know there are other options. But cremation just isn’t as creamy as it sounds. And I could donate my body to science, but I wouldn’t be able to write it off on my 1040 the next year, no matter how inevitable death and taxes are supposed to be.
So water it is.* I will dissolve myself of this world. Water is as quick-actin’ as Tinactin. And it prevents dead foot fungus just as well, too.
There’s no easier method to return from the dead, either. Nothing recycles like water. Look in your drink and tell me I’m wrong.
* Disclaimer: Don’t hold me to this, Mr. Lawyer. I’m still waiting for my patent on that body resin idea to come through. And as far as burial goes, well, to be honest, it really all depends upon the real estate, doesn’t it?