The Last Bottle of Shampoo

Sometimes, strange thoughts assail me suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere.

It came to me this morning out of the blue.  As I was thinking about how I almost ran out of floss, but I bought more yesterday, just in the nick of time.  The thought was revealed in a flash, a fully formed thought that suddenly popped into my consciousness.  I realized there would come a day when I wouldn’t need to buy more.  A day will come when I will buy the spool of floss that will outlive me.

Just as there will come a day when I buy the deodorant stick that will be in my cabinet after I have departed.  Or the bottle of shampoo that will sit waiting in my shower when I have washed my hair for the last time.  There will come a day when I no longer need to worry about running out of necessities, food, vitamins or gas.  Because the day is approaching when I will have run out of air.  Out of time.

It’s coming.  In the not too distant future.

If I’m fortunate enough to still be living on my own and get to go quickly and painlessly, there will likely be a little food left in the refrigerator.  The batteries in the remote will still have some juice in them.  There will probably be a few dirty clothes in the hamper.  Dishes waiting to be cleaned left sitting in the dishwasher.  There will undoubtedly be a few cobwebs hanging from the ceiling in corners I can no longer see clearly.  Dust that I didn’t get around to wiping away layering random pieces of furniture.  Windows that need washing.

The day will come when I will taste food for the last time.  I will have eaten my last meal.  Seen my last sunset.  Searched the night sky for constellations for the last time, overwhelmed by their beauty.  Looked for familiar shapes in the clouds for the final time.  Felt the sunshine on my face for the last time.  There is a last time for everything.

My laptop, the magic machine that connects me to a social network of “friends,” will be sitting at ready by the couch, the place where I typically sit.  It connects me to my blog too.  To you.  But my fingerprint will no longer provide me access to this vast electronic, possibly imaginary world.  My fingers will be too cold and stiff and lifeless to scan.  When it boots up, my eyes will not be able to see the screen.  I will not laugh or cry at the Facebook posts I read in my newsfeed.  Or make any stupid posts of my own.  My time here will have ended.  The feeble connections I have formed will have come undone.  Because I will be gone.  And the only hole that I will leave behind will be in the land of 1’s and 0’s.  A minuscule pin prick in the internet universe.  Not even a pin prick in the land of shampoo and dental floss.

Someday, I will have published my last entry, both here and in life.

All of these thoughts crashed through my brain and into my consciousness this morning before I even had a chance to drink my coffee.  I must have been ruminating on these dark thoughts even as I slept.

I have no one to leave the bottle of shampoo, the extra floss, the deodorant, the words I’ve written, the stories of my life and the impact of abuse I longed to tell to anyone who might listen or care.  There are no children who will treasure what I treasured.  No friends who will want a piece of me.  I have no idea what will become of the things that mattered to me.

The silly little things that I have treasured will have no meaning to those I leave behind because I will not leave anyone behind who treasures me.

Someday, I will flip the switch and turn on the light as I walk into a room. But I won’t be the one to turn it off.  Because the switch of life will flip off inside of me, leaving the light bulb burning after I am gone.  After my eyes have gone dark and can no longer appreciate the illumination.

Life will go on without me.  Leaving me behind.  And I, I will leave life behind.  Stepping out of it as I step out of the tub after a shower.  I will walk away from that last bottle of shampoo…without the opportunity of even a quick backward glance. 

Smelling of coconut and warm vanilla.  For a few moments longer.  Leaving the light on because the dead can’t turn off a light when they silently leave the room that final time.

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