If you were told you only had one day left to live on this earth how would you spend it? It’s a question a friend of mine is writing a documentary about, and it got me thinking.
I would have a helluva day and gather my favorite people around me to max out my credit cards doings all the fun things I haven’t been able to do for lack of money. I might even buy a few new outfits from my favorite expensive store in Montauk to wear for the last day, which I’m assuming would be a hot summer day.
I would start this day by not brushing my hair. Even when I brush my hair it doesn’t looked brushed anyway, so why bother? I would set up a blanket and barbecue area on the beach at Ditch Plain and not wear sunscreen. We’d go way down to the west and sit under the crumbling cliffs to be away from Them. (Locals know who I mean by “Them.”)
I’d swim, maybe even wearing a bikini, which I haven’t worn for years, because, really, who’s going to bad-mouth the cellulite on a woman who will disappear from the face of the earth at the end of the day? I’d eat as much junk food as I’d like, hot dogs, cheese doodles, chips, and chocolate bars. I’d drink beer, lots of it. And then I’d take a nap while the sun beats on my back. I’d even turn my face to the sun so I have a little color on my last day and not have to worry about wrinkles or skin cancer.
We’d stay at the beach until sunset, and while everyone else goes home to shower, I’d go to church. I’d like to remind the good Lord of who I am. Although we talk every day, I don’t often go visit Him at His house and I think He needs to know what I look like these days. I wouldn’t have to tell Him all the good things I’ve done because like Santa and the Easter Bunny, He already knows if I’ve been bad or good. But I’ve been good, for goodness’ sake!
On my last day I would stop saying hi to people who really don’t like to say hi back. You know, the ones who do everything they can to avoid you at the post office or the I.G.A. I don’t understand why some people do that since I’m not a big talker and am too busy myself to stop and chat. I’ve just been taught that it’s polite to say hello to someone you know, but if it’s that hard for others to reply they won’t have to worry about it anymore.
When everyone else was showering for dinner, I wouldn’t bother. As I said earlier, my hair is pretty complicated so why waste time trying to tame it into submission on my last day? I’d pile it in a bun on the top of my head. As I write this, though, I’m realizing maybe I should just shave it all off. It’s not like I’d need it anymore.
We’d go to my favorite Montauk restaurant overlooking the harbor and eat a broiled lobster that they cook like no other place in Montauk. We usually eat and run but since it’s my last meal I might linger a bit longer at the table and just keep eating. Once I filled up on the lobster I might go for an order of shrimp scampi, another item my favorite restaurant makes really well.
Afterward, I’d pile my loved ones into my Jeep and we’d all head down to John’s Drive-In for a banana split or hot fudge sundae. Yum, this day is sounding better all the time.
I just hope that when I do enter the garden gate that St. Peter will be there to meet me with my beloved grandparents and all the animals I’ve loved and owned. There’d be Jake, a chick magnet for my guy friends, who would borrow him because he was so weird looking that girls would stop to talk about him and pet his head. My cat Bauble would be there too. We almost lost Bauble on one of my first trips to Montauk when we had to go through Riverhead. We stopped for gas and the wily cat got out of the car in the middle of the traffic circle there. Many hours later we coaxed her back into the car and continued our journey to Montauk.
Surely, Jack the Whack would be waiting to greet me as would Suzie, Muggs, Pugsley, Winnie, Patches, another Muggs, Kelly, Puffball, Ivy, Rosie, and many others. Maybe even our iguana, Nora Hewitt, named after my husband’s sister, would be slithering about.
After this amazing day during which I would spend a lot of money on my credit card, I only have one concern. That I’d be resurrected! That might get me in a bit of trouble. But if all went as planned, it would totally be worth it.
Janis Hewitt is a senior writer for The Star.