I came to the conclusion not too terribly long ago that, when I graduated college I wanted to become a writer, not because I especially liked writing or thought I was that much better at it than the average F. Scott, but because I wanted to leave some small nugget of immortality so that I would not be forgotten.
Not an especially awesome way to choose a career, I know. But there we are. There are worse reasons to select jobs, I suppose. I mean, Christ-- Reagan did it for all the free jellybeans and blowjobs.
Anyway, a career as a writer was clearly not meant to be for me, and I've come to terms with the fact that, when I die, people aren't going to say, "Wow-- he was a really great writer. See, I know that because I have twelve of his greatest works propping up my third floor guest bedroom window." More than likely they're going to say, "I wish he would have eaten more-- we might have gotten another year or two out of him." They'll probably also say, "Well, he sure loved his mother," and "He always wore neckties-- why did he specifically request an open-casket funeral and dictate that his body be clad in only Bermuda shorts and hot pink nipple-clamps?"
Ah, still seeking immortality after all.
I was reminded this morning, though, that you don't have to be especially talented, or even good, to be remembered-- to be remembered even in the vaunted New York Times, no less. You can be perfectly mediocre, unpopular, and way past your prime-- as long as you're the last.
Folks, meet the Mercury Grand Marquis:
Forever memorialized in a rather long article in The New York Times on November 26th, this vehicle will be out-of-production soon. The "last of an era," it has been called-- the rear-wheel-drive, V-8 powered titan, a vehicular anachronism with its plush bench seat and column-mounted shifter, it is going the way of the dinosaurs. And it's about as fucking big as one, too.
Every year, a few grandfathers who didn't save their nickels and dimes as well as they should have (and, thus, couldn't afford a Lincoln Town Car) purchase this vehicle so that they can tool around neighborhoods at at least 9.4 miles-an-hour below whatever the posted speed limit might be, infuriating those hot-blooded, young creatures who drive behind them. The build-quality was notoriously poor, the technology archaic, and the design, well, thoroughly 1980s. So few Grand Marquis' are desired, in fact, the writer who penned this eloquent ode in the newspaper had to borrow one from a car rental agency.
It's a pathetic gas guzzler. It's a bit of history. It's an old fart on wheels. It's two couches and a steering wheel. It handles like a toy boat in a bathtub of applesauce. It's about as sexy as Mike Wallace's underwear collection.
And, yet, there it is: front and center. In The New York Times.
Why? Because it's last.
So, I figure-- why sweat immortality? It'll come to me, as long as I'm the last... something. The last underweight, Jewish, neurotic blogger with messed-up teeth, a sincere disposition and a propensity for inattention to detail and an ardent love of nice shoes?
Start those tributes early...