mulling over Mailer

One of the reasons I enjoy my long rides north out of town is that I can get NPR on my radio, WAMC out of Albany. (The mountains block the reception at the homestead.) On the way back from my daughter’s after Thanksgiving, I had a chance to hear an interview with Norman Mailer when he was at Hunter College last January.
I was able to find this blog post, which not only displays a photo of Mailer from last May, but offers some of Mailer’s best lines from his Hunter College interview. Unfortunately, the post doesn’t include his comments about death.
Mailer died on November 11.
From what I remember about what I heard him say in the taped interview, Mailer hinted at believing that we all come back, that there is some kind of reincarnation that happens. He told this story (and I’m paraphrasing.)

I’d like to come back as a Black athlete, Mailer says.
Hmmm, the clerk says, looking through the papers stacked on his clipboard. I’m afraid that one’s terribly oversubscribed. And it appears that we do have your future all set, however. You’re going to return as a cockroach.
Gee, says Mailer, that’s not exactly what I was hoping for.
Well, says the clerk, if it makes you feel any better, you’ll be the biggest and fastest cockroach in the block.

And that’s what Mailer had to say about dying.
Whatever happens, happens.
If I’m thinking a lot about death these days, I’m sure you’ll understand.
A small herd of deer made it’s way across our property yesterday. Today, a herd of happy hunters, dressed in the season’s camouflage, gathered at the local apple orchard stand, loading up with cider donuts and hot apple cider.
I just missed hitting a possum that ran in front of my car this evening.
My mom sleeps, eats, goes to the bathroom, sleeps, eats……
At least the new meds seem to make her less depressed.
Whatever happens, happens.

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