Six months to prepare, doctors say. So, I strike flint, inhale sulfur, flicker sparks until copper flames lick the brittle paper, satin string, faded secrets. I burn through money, scribble checks to heat a stranger’s home, and buy Christmas for families I don’t know.
I give my only heir two antique wooden chairs and then with gnarled fingers pen three wishes. Play only violins, I write. Samuel Barber, Adagio for Strings. Recite two sonnets. Sing a wordless song. Simple, common creature comforts; peaceful pleasures once discovered.
Then, I eat corn on the cob, sizzling in butter and sparkling with sea salt.