I don’t much believe in reincarnation–I figure I have one shot at having a good life and being a decent person–yet I do fantasize about who I could be were I to come back. Don’t tell me you haven’t considered a similar next-life transformation at some point.
You might expect I’d first make myself beautiful–imagine a tall, thin body maintained by an unnaturally high metabolism, long voluminous hair, a certain je ne sais quoi?–when in fact, I’m much more interested in changing what’s on the inside.
First and foremost, I’ll be healthy as a horse. No ailments, no medications, no side effects, no complications, no hanging out in hospitals or doctors’ offices. Nothing personal, docs.
Since I’ll be able to ditch the low-sodium diet, I’ll eat salt and lots of it. That means limitless pizza, french fries, and bacon. I’ll go out to restaurants and order whatever I want without careful scrutiny of the menu on line, without calling ahead to see if my low-sodium needs can be accommodated, without the server rolling her eyes at my special requests.
Being thin is not a priority, so long as I can find pants that fit. That means my waist will no longer be second-trimester pregnant and out of proportion to the rest of me. I’ll have a hint of abs and an innie–no six pack, let’s be realistic–like I did before all this health stuff interfered.
I’ll still want to be a psychologist because I enjoyed it so much the first time around. (How do people survive in jobs they don’t love?) I’ll be able to work full time until retirement age and will always have great confidence in my abilities.
Outside work, I’ll have boundless energy to entertain and cook gourmet meals and go to movies and indulge in my varied interests. I’ll surely be a much more cultured and interesting person.
My great friends will again be kind and supportive even through tough times, and I’ll be as good to them as they are to me. Maybe I’ll even shed my social anxiety.
I’ll travel to far-away lands because I won’t be worried about my immune functioning or the medical care or cleanliness of the water. Imagine me exploring other cultures and eating exotic foods, except perhaps durian.
I don’t even have to tell you I’ll have a dog. Maybe even two.
Oh, and of course, I’ll again find and marry J. and we’ll live happily ever after. Maybe we’ll even meet when we’re young and healthy so we can have a few enviable kids. (Who am I kidding? At age 4, our dog still jumps on the counter any chance she gets.)
Yes, that means I’ll be gay again, even if I have a choice. Homophobia will be a distant memory by then.
There’s nothing in J. that I’d want to change next time around; she’s perfect the way she is. At least her life will be easier if she isn’t again tasked with caring for a sickie.