In John Green’s Looking for Alaska, there’s a character obsessed with the last lines of famous people. This led me to thinking about the last lines of not famous people and about my mom and dad and how I have no idea what their last lines were. I remember things they said that would be good as last lines, such as, in no particular order.
1) It’s your turn for adventures.
2) Is this heaven?
3) I can’t think of a third thing.*
But, these weren’t their last lines. They said other things after these things. Very many of them not terribly cogent. Also, I wasn’t taking notes. Or recording them.** Presumably this is why there are so many last lines from famous people. Because someone was taking notes. Also, because they’re famous people write books about them, and I guess you need to have a last line or two in there. Also, also, people probably sometimes make last lines up, or collect the last, best, cogent thing the person said because having your last line be recorded as, “Aaaaaaaarrrrrgggggghhhhh” only really works if you’re a former member of Monty Python.
I presume that, in one manner or another, the whole remembering last lines thing will become a part of how Looking for Alaska wraps up. I don’t know how that will be, yet. I do know, though, that having a character obsessed with the literature of the very nearly dead is fun. It provides a context frame for scenes because, oh, yeah! Death! It’s always around us. John Green in video, and in words, presents such urgency. His stories have a will to bigness. They yearn.
Happy Wednesday, readers.
*These might very possibly be my last words. Well, not the words I just wrote, but the asterisked ones, well, not those, because clearly many words followed them, but you get the idea. Whatever that means. How do people get ideas? Does our brain have an idea catching mechanism? Is it a mirror neurons thing?
**Well, except I did, after not recording conversations with Dad, ask Mom to let me record her as I asked her question about life, the universe, and everything, and that was a lovely thing to have done and to still have. If you’ve never interviewed your parents. Go for it. It’s fun. Maybe make some cookies, or cake, or tea, if that’s your thing, and sit down and share the eating and talking and make a record of who your parents are and were and who you were when you spoke to them.
***It’s unlikely my last words will be ttfn. I’ve told EG that what they should put on my tombstone is a quote from Kurt Vonnegut.
“If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.”