For those of you new to The Nutshell Version, allow me to fill you in: This Friday, on the 26th of September, year 2014… I will be stepping out of an airborne plane and plummeting 15,000 feet toward the earth.
(This is the part where you’re supposed to fall over yourself, shrieking and fainting and gasping for air.)
But FEAR NOT, dear reader. THERE IS HOPE YET. For I will be saved, mid-freefall, by a 15-foot rectangular piece of nylon fabric, supported by a few three-millimeter-wide cords.
(I know, phewwwww, right?)
That’s right, ladies and gents, your dear old pal Susie is going skydiving.
It’s a funny thing, skydiving. It hasn’t even happened yet, but I’ve been doing so much damn talking about it lately that I already feel it becoming a defining moment in my existence. My whole life has become segregated into “people who would” and “people who wouldn’t.” I’m starting to feel like it’ll be an initiation of sorts, and that afterward I’ll belong to a super secret special exclusive club. That later I’ll look back on the experience as a coming-of-age story, and my life before it and after it will have a huge black line drawn between them like chapters of a book.
That is… unless I die.
As absolutely stoked as I am about this adventure, whenever I start getting excited about it, a tiiiiiny little detail begins to nibble at my brain. It crawls in through the back of my neck, nestles in right next to my cerebellum, and slowly gnaws away at my consciousness.
And I have to remind myself that OH RIGHT, there’s that itty bitty possibility that it will be the last thing I ever do. That my parachute won’t deploy. Or that the instructor will forget to fasten all the hooks. Or that my jumping buddy will have a stroke and I won’t know how to work the pully-thing. Or that a flock of razor-toothed birds will fly by and slice all the strings. Or that the jump goes off without a hitch, but then we land in a canyon of sharp rocks and get shredded to bits.
The company we’re using boasts a perfect record of zero accidents… which I should find comforting, but instead I can’t help thinking it means they must be long overdue.
Fear of malfunction wouldn’t be quite so terrifying if the end result wasn’t certain death. There are really no loopholes here. If something goes wrong, peace out brother. Sayonara. Avedazane. Bye-bye, you’re done. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.
Which is why, in light of this upcoming adventure, I would like to send the following off into the world:
I, Mary Susanne Wittbrodt, being of (relatively) sound mind and body, declare this to be my last will and testament.
I hereby bequeath my estate, live savings, portfolio assets, worldly possessions, and holding properties to my baby sister, Christianne. (That should all add up to like $20 or so, squirt. Knock yourself out.)
I would like the possession of all of my childhood journals to go to my middle school best friend, since she and I have a long-standing agreement on this. (I trust she’ll know what to do)
I humbly request that Mr. Tom Waldron take over my blog, since it is to him that I owe my current love of writing. Try to post at least once a week, Mr. Waldron. Make sure to portray yourself in the most unflattering light possible. Only be funny when nobody’s watching. And above all, close each post in a way that sums up nothing, and leaves everybody unsatisfied and underwhelmed. No one will even know the difference.
To my parents, I leave my eternal love and affection, and the $140 or so I currently owe my dad for car insurance.
As my dying wish, I declare that all of my best friends should have an epic slumber party -slash- scavenger hunt -slash- movie marathon in my honor, and that they all talk in British accents all night and wear funny hats. You also all have to get super nerdy embarrassing tattoos, like the deathly hallows symbol. (That seems like something I’m allowed to request, if Hollywood is any indicator.)
If my life is ever made into a movie, Natalie Portman should play me. It’s really only fair.
From now on, every time anybody mentions my name in conversation you have to touch your nose. And it’ll be a game of nose goes, and whoever is the last to touch has to buy the next round of drinks.
I do hereby declare these to be my final requests, should I jump to my death on Friday. By the power vested in me, I now pronounce myself absolutely terrified. Lead us not into temptation, and deliver us from evil. And everyone lived happily ever after, with liberty and justice for all. Fin.
P.S. It has occurred to me that if I DO actually die, this will be like the most morbid post ever. But it seems highly unlikely that I would post about it and then have it actually happen, doesn’t it? So consider this my insurance policy. I’ll talk to you guys on Saturday. 😉