The day Georgie Fisher died was a record breaker, the hottest April afternoon the city had had since the nineties. Her trainer had warned her about overworking her body in this heat, but Georgie ran ten miles a day every day, and she wasn’t about to stop because of some nice weather.
Death must laugh at plans and routines, thought Georgie, as she stood beside her body, flopped across the gravel jogging path like a diseased fish. Concerned citizens were gathering around her body, but Georgie was certain that if she was already non-corporeal it was far too late for amateur CPR to make any difference.
“Well, shit.” She tried to blow her long blonde bangs out of her eyes, but not having any breath, was unsuccessful. “Shit,” she repeated, her hands on her hips. She looked around the park for Death, or some other grim specter come to escort her, but found no one who was not of this earth. Disappointing.
Tired of getting walked through, Georgie adjourned to a nearby bench and, lacking anything else to do, waited for the ambulance crew to arrive. What had done her in? She could remember a sharp pain in her chest before she collapsed. An undiagnosed heart problem? She was sure she’d been hydrating well…
At least she left a nice looking corpse, she had to give herself that. Georgie sighed, sinking down in her seat while being careful to avoid sinking through it. She hoped they wouldn’t put that on her tombstone. Though there wasn’t much else to say. She was, or had been, only 27 after all. No significant other, no friends, barely any family, a mother she didn’t see all that often. Her life had consisted mainly of keeping two things in shape: the company accounts and herself. She ate only organic fruits, veggies, and whole wheat bread, lifted weights on her lunch break, did calethestics while talking on the phone in the office, and indulged in a snack of ten different vitamins and minerals each and every night.
The EMTs pushed through the not inconsiderable crowd, which was quite flattering, slinging bags off their shoulders, jaws clenched tight. No, it did not look like this would be a near death experience to be bragged about later.
She’d kill for a cigarette right now. The thought made her jump, having weaned herself off the death sticks when she was nineteen. Or a slice of cake, yes, just one more slice of cake. Georgie hadn’t eaten cake since her 8th birthday. It was amazing how clear the memory was now that all the clutter of living was gone from her mind. The taste of the vanilla cake, the way the butter-based frosting melted on the back of her tongue. Georgie had been happy then. But very little since. Happiness had somehow become less important than other things. Things to have, things to be, ways to look.
All seemed a bit silly now. She couldn’t take any of it with her. But the happiness in her life, the bits and pieces she’d had over all the years, they wrapped around her, warm, like an invisible blanket. Georgie Fisher pulled it tight, the world around her blurring and fading, like a chalk drawing in the rain. Maybe she’d do better next time.
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