(Husband and wife walking home after brunch. Afternoon.)
Husband: A guillotine. It seems so final. So demonstrably permanent.
A quick death. A severed head. A blade falling to the earth, me getting in the way, slowing it down, stopping steel for a nanosecond while it tickled the back of my neck. My body would sit and twitch as all of my little lost nerves scamper around wondering where the mothership is and why are they are alone without direction or purpose. A silence. A nothing. Blood pumps out quietly, rhythmically.
Very final. Very dead. If I die intact, I’m still me – dead – but me. But without a head, that’s different. Now I’m in two parts. I couldn’t possibly be myself if I were in two parts. I don’t want to be myself if I’m dead, I’d rather be in parts.
Wife: That is severe. It sounds very severe. Creepy.
Husband: Yeah, well, I want a simple, quick, efficient death, and this is about as much those things as you can get. Gone. Done.
Wife: But it is so horrific!
Husband: No, that is where you are wrong. It isn’t. Only in the eyes of the audience. Not to me, I’m just parts, I’ll be dead instantly. So I guess I’d have a rule that no one can watch. You can’t watch.
Wife: I would never watch! I’d lose it completely. Creepy, a guillotine?!
Husband (shrugging): You said we could be as imaginative as possible.
Wife: Yes, we can…
Husband: So how would you do it?
Wife: This is weird. I know, but I’ve always wanted to die from a dragon.
Husband: A dragon?
Wife: Well yeah, I’d like to see one, with my eyes. I’d love to be face to face with it, see its scales, how hard they are, and its claws, here the click, click on the ground they make when he walks, like Max, but much louder. And nostrils. I’ve always wanted to walk into a nostril, just, to do it. Can you imagine something that big? I cannot, not alive anyway. Nothing exists like that. Sadly, though, because it is a dragon, if I saw it, it would probably kill me. So dying would be a consequence. But that is how I’d choose to die.
Husband: So your perfect death is dying while doing something you’ve always wanted to do (but never can because dragons don’t exist) even though this dream thing means dying?
Wife: You said we could be as imaginative as possible.
Husband: Yes, we can…. Ok, so how do you die? Fire?
Wife: I don’t know. Maybe it spews something else.
Husband: Like what? Dragons have fire, that’s it.
Wife: I don’t know… batteries? I’m being imaginative.
Husband: What? Batteries? Like the little AA batteries?
Wife: Yes! Those would hurt!
Husband: So would rocks. Or large trees. Why batteries? They wouldn’t kill you, either.
Wife: Fine, batteries with the acid seeping out.
Husband: Why not just have the dragon spew acid?
Wife: Because we said we could be as imaginative as possible.
Husband: Ok yes, we can… but you need to make it somewhat real.
Wife: Why should I make my dream death real? It’s not like it’s going to happen. Or yours. Neither of our dreams will ever come true.
Husband: Mine could happen.
Wife: How? How on earth could you die in a guillotine? There aren’t any.
Husband: Oh, it’s not too hard. You use the same concept, not the apparatus itself. And it could be glass or something else, doesn’t have to be metal. You string it up so that it’s triggered and when you open a door or anything, whoosh, gravity does its part. And that is that.
(Looking around.) Our dining room door, the swing one. that would work. You swing it open and that triggers a thread which pills on a box that has been stuck there to prevent a large piece of glass from falling but when the box is removed it does, and it crashes down on your head. Done.
Wife: That’s horrid. I can’t walk through that door now. How did you just think of that. Did you see that on TV?
Husband: No. I think it’s the vitamins I’m taking, you know, the Vitamin D – to help with my season issues? I’m not sure they are working, not at all. I can’t sleep either. Sometimes I just lie there, after you fall asleep and you take up half the bed – do you know you take up half the bed? And I just, I don’t know, think of things. I’m an engineer, it’s what we do. Think of things in the house.
Wife: Whatever. This is weird. Your dream is weird.
Husband: Well, yours is weird too. And at least MY dream death was real, it could happen. Your dragon isn’t anything. It couldn’t happen. It’s impossible.
Wife: Well at least my story isn’t completely crazy and now something I’m going to imagine happening to me as I walk around the apartment. Thanks for that, now I can’t talk through that door anymore.
Husband: You said we could make it as imaginative as possible. You always said we can talk about anything. We’re the couple that can talk about anything. Anything. You always do this. You always, always do this. You said we could talk about anything.
Wife: (walks ahead a bit). Yes we can, but that doesn’t mean we should.
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