Deathwish 011: Gigi

Editor Matty Byloos, Editor's Choice, February 24th, 2015

My ashes are scattered every day.

gigi little
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I don’t need to be cremated. My ashes are scattered every day. Skin cells, hair, eyelashes. What I’d really like is to be devoured by wolves. Yes, after I’m already dead. I don’t know why I chose wolves—any animal will do, any animal that feels pleasure sinking its teeth into food. Yes, I know I’m a vegetarian.

And, yes, I know there’s that other, less romantic aspect to being devoured by wolves, I know what happens to food after it’s digested. But some of me would be taken up by the wolf and run through its blood. Some part of me would fly on the wings of industrious crows.

Every night when I come home from work, my ecstatic-to-see-me chihuahua Nicholas licks my face for twenty minutes. He smears his hot-stink dog-breath tongue across my cheeks and tastes my ashes. He licks right up my nose. I know that’s gross, but he loves me and I don’t want to be rude.

Lying in her hospice bed at the end of her life, small sips of breath, her arms bruised eggplant black all up and down from old I.V.s, Noni said, “It takes so long to die.” Noni was cremated. My best friend Christopher, who died when I was a kid, I think he was cremated. If I touched my tongue to their ashes and swallowed, maybe a tiny bit of them would be taken up in me. How long could I keep them? Noni, Christopher, Mammaw, Pappaw. My lovely old, long-gone chihuahua José. If I could, I’d taste all of them. Yes, I know I’m a vegetarian. If I could, I’d take them up in me and hold on, so that when I die, all of them will still be there, to scatter with me to the wind.

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Gigi was born in Washington, DC, and lives in Portland, OR.

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Matty Byloos

Matty Byloos is Co-Publisher and a Contributing Editor for NAILED. He was born 7 days after his older twin brother, Kevin Byloos. He is the author of 2 books, including the novel in stories, ROPE ('14 SDP), and the collection of short stories, Don't Smell the Floss ('09 Write Bloody Books).