What I wanted was to live another 87 years. What I wanted was to see my grandchild beam at me from a Paris catwalk in May.
What I wanted was to write more novels, one a year, with ever increasing quality and more readers until everybody, including me, knew my true name.
What I wanted was to go out like Caesar on the steps of the Senate with Rome behind me, knives in my back, my tunic bloody, history all around me. What I wanted was to resurrect myself, pull myself out of the swamp of self-pity, a magician turned rabbit.
What I wanted was another shock of hair, rainbow black this time round, shiny, the mane of a brigand. What I wanted was to survive my most devious antagonist and see my favorite protagonist be carried off to the literary skies by angels dressed up as ballet girls. What I wanted was to get to heaven in whatever shape God chose for me.
What I wanted was to meet some of the Russian writers who’d died long before I was born. What I wanted was drinking with Dylan Thomas until we’d both pass out. What I wanted was to look down at this Earth, all of it, with one laughing and one crying eye. What I wanted was to bed another 1000 women, or 100, or 10, or one. What I wanted was to feel a man’s thigh next to mine as if it was my own. What I wanted was to win a marathon for senior citizens.
What I wanted was to live on three continents at once, moving between houses like in a pinball machine. What I wanted was a garden residence of cedar wood to write in. What I wanted was to meet my wife again and smell the Mediterranean all over her body. What I wanted was to use bougainvillea and Beowulf in the same sentence without regret. What I wanted was just enough pain to be feeling to the very end. What I wanted was a fraction of a second to relive the best of it and the worst of it.
What I wanted was a last chat with my dad and a last hug from my mom.
What I wanted was language deep like a mountain lake with a plug at the bottom guarded by a troll-like creature with my face, a tail and princely manners. What I wanted was to be a fish, a bird, an insect and a deer at once, standing at the precipice of the world not judging, a perfect being in the final moment of my deconstruction.
What I wanted was to see aliens in the moment that they pollinate another planet with their consummate seed as if painting on a grey grounded canvas.
What I wanted was what I might get if time does what I expect it to do, namely turn around in the moment of my death and start all over again from the sweet beginning. Jesus Maria and Joseph, yes.
“What I wanted” is a wonderful group founded by Susan Tepper over at the Fictionaut writers community with the prompt to write about past wants. It’s generated exciting pieces so far and I finally thought I should give it a try…I like writing about myself anyway…since I’m writing this from the POV of my 87-year old self, I should be OK, at least I hope I didn’t break the rules…I think we should all, following a time-honored tradition of Wells, Shaw, Russell and others, regularly and routinely write our obituaries. It has a strengthening, centering effect. Let the mystery out, because