Thursday, October 29, 2009

Dying in a McDonald's Parking Lot

The sunlight is fading sooner and the nights are getting longer. The nights have been particularly long as of late, because I picked up a stomach virus, and my battles with it have been brutal. I now know what it feels like to have my peaceful village burned to cinders by a swarm of berserkers. Actually, it’s not as bad as the stomach flu I got last winter, but it’s shitty city nonetheless. So that’s my current burden, which will give way to some other burden next week. Right now, I’m not eating anything, and I have all the time I need to feed my irrational fears, and think about stupid things.


One of my biggest fears is dying in a parking lot. Stroking off or otherwise suddenly dying in the parking lot of a grocery store would be awful. And yes, I know that if I’m dead, it couldn’t possibly embarrass me, but I don’t care. I can’t let it happen.

My Hebrew school principal died in a McDonald’s parking lot. They found him slumped over the steering wheel. He had terminal cancer and was fading fast, so it wasn’t surprising that he passed. And even though I didn’t particularly like him (he kicked me out of Hebrew school), I remember hearing about it and thinking it was the saddest goddamned thing in the world. What an undignified way to die. And I thought about who might have found him - A customer? A McDonald’s employee? – And I thought about his family. How could they ever think about McDonald’s the same way again? I know I couldn't. There are McDonald’s everywhere, so the memory would be inescapable. Hell, every time I pass a Brown’s Chicken, and there aren’t that many, I shudder because I’m reminded of the Brown’s Chicken massacre back in ’93. (FYI: The murder site is becoming a Chase bank, which is a fantastic idea because ghosts love money.)

Maybe it’s the thought of dying alone in a flat concrete wasteland that makes me anxious. Maybe it's the soullessness of modern commercial landscapes and the horror of being defeated there. I don’t know why the prospect makes me so sad, but here I am, thinking about it. And it doesn’t make me feel any better.



mike said...

sure...but if you're lucky they'll rename that parking space in your memorium...imagine your name stenciled there in yellow, imagine the fry cook saying..."please pull forward into the brian(i forgot your last name) memorial parking space, your cheese fingers and sugar fries will be up shortly."

Matt and Jeanie said...

i thought a massacre would help their business. there's no such thing as bad publicity right?