Some days there’s just not enough strength of will, spirit, or plain old heart to get past the fact that one’s completely alone in a strange land, and the thought comes to mind, that I could fall over dead and days could go by, and when they did find me, I’d certainly end up in the public morgue then probably slapped into a cheap coffin and stuffed into a grave in the section of the paupers cemetery reserved for the unknown and unloved. And when this happens I always swear to myself that I’ll put an emergency contact card in my wallet. But the only person who’s at all appropriate to put on that card at this point in my life is my mother, and that’s right, of course my mother should know if I fall over dead in a foreign country… And then I have two options, either I contemplate how long she’s likely to even be around, after which there's no one who’s appropriate, or I go back to worrying the question of what to do with the body: let’s say it’s at the public morgue, maybe they put it in cold storage, but then she’s supposed to do what, fly over here and somehow take charge?? Or is there some sort of service for shipping bodies overseas?? I suppose there must be, but this is all getting rather out of hand when really all I want is to be cremated. Which circles me back to thinking, good god, how much of the body would even be left, it could be quite some days before anyone notices I have, well, expired. OK, sure, that had more currency in the winter in Berlin, but now in the blistering Madrid summer, it probably wouldn’t be long… And with that I'm tidily back to convincing myself cremation's the only logical option as I make a mental note to tell her to have it done locally, since something about the idea of my decayed body taking wing just freaks me out.
At any rate, what I’m really trying to say is that I’ve always been the kind of woman who needed that emergency contact to be a man, and there is no man now and there hasn’t been for two and a half years, and consequently that emergency contact card has not and probably never will make it into my wallet, because dying an anonymous immigrant in a strange place with no lover to mourn my loss (and preferably throw himself on my [newly] dead and still [reasonably] attractive body) is a fate so grim that I have to push it aside and mentally pick myself up and shake myself off, cursing whatever horrid bureaucrat of the moment has gotten me into such a state (in this case it was finding out that the last step to process my residency isn't until October 23, meaning I can’t leave the country for what will total 6 months, which throws me into a claustrophobic panic), tell myself I have it a HELL of a lot better than 95% of the other people who come from truly difficult situations and aren’t affluent and light-skinned and American and close to fluent in Spanish. Yes, I have it so good, but I’ll tell you I always remember life would be so much easier if I could be, just, well, normal, with a beautiful house and beautiful children and a beautiful job and beautiful SUVs parked in my driveway in the good ol' USA, with, above all, no need to think so damn much, then yeah, life would be just great.