At your favourite wave during the swell of the year?
Yesterday, a Little Avalon local, and by local I mean…local… drowned while surfing his favourite wave. LA Bob or Homeless Bob aka Bob Bevern was sixty-two and lived in a van on the clifftop overlooking the little Sydney reef after a divorce, a kid, lack of work and so on soaked up his cash reserves.
After a while, the low-cost breezy lifestyle grew upon him.
“I’ve been called crazy on a number of occasions,” he said in a featurette made last year. Bob described the joy of “laying back enveloped by the wave” and vowed to live next to the surf until he died.
Now, drowning ain’t pretty.
But neither is being eighty years old and living in a dementia ward, rattling around the corridors in a perpetual state of confusion or being eaten alive by cancer in front of your family, your final days, months, lived in a morphine haze.
Click, click, click.
And the prologues to old age, as written by the author Mary Roach, “loneliness, decrepitude, pain, debilitation, depression, senility. After a few years of those, I imagine death presents like a holiday at the beach.”
How do you want to split this mortal coil?
Like Bob, at your favourite wave, during the swell of the year, your van still parked on the headland, full of your books, your clothes? Your memory still warm in people’s hearts?
Maybe hit by a White?
Or would you prefer the common end: hospital bed, muttering doctors, plastic tubes, toxic chemicals, fluorescent lights, before straight-lining and being sent to the ice box at the morgue and then prepped and readied for cremation?