“Today’s the Day,” by Andrew Porterfield

Feb 20th, 2009 | By | Category: Prose

Radiant sunshine bursts through the living room window with enthusiasm and the birds perched on the blossoming trees outside chirp a cheery tune.   Dolly Parton is on VH1 singing, “Better Get to Livin'” and there I am lying on the floor, after choking on the first bite of my bagel, dead.   Clichéd and ironic, don’t you think?

Man-oh-man, it is the worst time to have died.   I mean, after years of working like a maniac, I finally reached the point where I could rest on my laurels for a few years.   But I better get over that because there’s no point in worrying about such things when you’re someone in my position, right?

I guess I should be more concerned about where I am going next; I’ve lived a decent enough life but, then again, not all of the time.   So, I suppose now is as good a time as any to start to praying.

Thus, to you dear Lord, forgive me for I have sinned (Sorry, you know as well as I do, I’m not even catholic but that’s how I’ve seen this done in the movies).   Anyway, please forgive me my sins.

For starters, when I was sixteen, it was me who stole the homemade porn from my neighbour’s garage.   The only reason I did it was that Mr Thornton only paid me a pound an hour for cutting his grass.   So, I always considered it an educational perk of the job.   Although, in saying that, the girls I went out with were never the up for doing the things Mrs Thornton did.   Anyway, this was all wrong and I know it now.   Sorry.

As for that thing you have about honouring your parents, I must plead clemency for putting my dad in an old people’s home after my mum died.   I do love him but the thought of him mulling around the house all day pointing out my incompetence as a father and reminding me on a daily basis that I don’t live up to his standard was not going to be a healthy move for anyone concerned.   And besides, while the management frown on his Benny Hill antics, he’s happy there.   Chasing all the old widows around keeps him healthy.   So, if anything, I did a good thing, right?

What else?   Ah yes, that summer in India, the summer I somehow ended up in a temple worshipping Buddha.   In all honesty, it was a one time thing.   I was under peer pressure.   It meant nothing to me.   You know that you are the only God for me.   The only reason I did it was to impress a girl who ended up breaking my heart.   Surely, that was punishment enough?

And then there was Halloween 2003, the year I thought it might be funny to dress up as your son.   I now realise that doing so while intoxicated was neither big nor clever.   And my party piece of pretending to let a marble fall through holes in my hands was in the worst taste.   Again, sorry.

Dear Lord, if you’re even still listening, I must ask for a favour.   You see, the wife’s freaky upbringing has made her rather prudish about certain things.   For God’s sake (whoops, sorry), when we were first married, she didn’t talk to me for a week when she found a copy of Jugs in the garage.   And that was even after I managed to convince her that it was Tom’s from next door.

Anyway, to get back to the point, mmm, how should I say this?   Well you see, it all started innocently enough last year.   I bet Tom that United would beat Chelsea in the FA Cup.   Of course I lost and, as per the rules of the bet, I had to play a round of golf dressed as a woman.   Well, I’m not ashamed to say, I looked smokin’ hot and the exhilarating sensation of the silk panties every time I took a shot was simply mind blowing.

After that, one thing led to another and before you know it, I turned from a he to a she, but only on the weekends.   And, if truth be told, I like to mince around the house when the wife and kids aren’t home, just like this morning.

Ahh, God damn it (again, terribly sorry), she’s going to explode when she finds me all dolled up in Prada and Manolo Blahnik (extravagant I know, but sometimes you just need to feel special, right?).   In any case, I really need you to bless her with enough compassion to see that my wish to be cremated is carried out.   I can’t stand the thought of being buried down there in the dark with all those worms and bugs and whatever other creepy crawlies that would seek me out.

So, that’s about it, I cannot think of much else apart from my swearing and impure thoughts, which of course I am totally remorseful for.   I just hope what I’ve mentioned is not enough for a one way ticket to the seventh level of hell, or for that matter any level of hell.   I’m not terribly fond of pain – that’s just not my thing – and from what I hear that’s all they have on offer down there.   So, I really hope I see you soon.

Thanks and Amen.


Andrew Porterfield is a displaced native of Northern Ireland who left home for a one-year trip to Asia seven years ago.   He currently lives with his wife in the south of Taiwan where he spends his days selling English, trying desperately to learn Mandarin Chinese and, when he has time, training with swords in the dojo.

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