I’m Not Dead Yet

It’s good news. I’ll never die. My cousin Jerry didn’t put it quite that way, but that’s the jist of what he said. I learned this at lunch a couple of Fridays ago. Once a month we, the cousins, get together for lunch and to catch up on this and that. During lunch, I mentioned that about 18 % of my high school graduating class is now dead. Jerry sells insurance and is familiar with life expectancy tables. He said that makes sense you’re 70. I wasn’t wearing a Monty Python “I’m Not Dead Yet” t-shirt, so it’s understandable that he didn’t know that 70 is still months away. Not wearing the t-shirt was a mistake but telling him that I had one, a little lie, made me fill better, not immortal but better. The hope of immortality came later after a discussion of actuarial tables.

It’s promising, this recalculation of life expectancy business. If you’re 70 you have 14.07 years to live but If you make it to 71 you still have 13.4 years left. You’ve lost less than a year, and it keeps getting better. At 80, the tables say you have 5.78 years but when as I intend to make it to 81 it is 5.34, and you’ve lost less than half a year. And If you make it to 97, like my aunt, and why not, your life expectancy will be 2.47. And then on your next birthday it will still be 2.34, and you have hardly lost any time at all.

You can see where I’m going with this, life expectancy according to this theory is not linear and if that’s true it may follow that I’m immortal. I’m sure my cousin will disabuse me of this notion, but I don’t intend to let it go easily.

It’s a paradox not unlike those of the Greek Philosopher Zeno, and as we know and contrary to what Zeno postulated, rabbits catch and then pass tortoises all the time. And we also know that death travels with us and will one day claim us, just not this day we hope.

I should probably let the Olympus High class of 63 in on the secret. The tables predict that we have 14 more reunions to organize and attend, and ten years from now we will still have approximately six to go. So we will have already passed the expected 14 reunions and should we reach 27 reunions, and why not, we will still have a couple more and each of those counts as fewer than one. It may just be that Titans too are immortal.

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4 Responses to I’m Not Dead Yet

  1. bettyjo says:

    Not altogether sure immortality would be a blessing. Just read that nursing home costs are already at $90,000. per year. Hell, that’d pay for an ivy league college education for some kid who might do more for the world than we ever did. just saying’

    ps, BTW, husband is once again allowed to drive. what a relief….

  2. jbh says:

    i agree with bettyjo– my father died in february after a 10 year decline with senile dementia– sometimes i wonder if i shouldn’t pick up the bottle and cigs again– alas, i am too “smart” for that– i ‘ll just pray for a mack truck at the right time–

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