I’m far from approaching death – if you must know, I’m under the age of 30. But even so, I found myself getting to thinking recently about what I’d be leaving, and to whom. I know it seems a bit macabre to be sitting on the tram idly musing on the contents of one’s last will and testament. Melbourne winter days will make you do strange things, but hear me out. It’s not as bleak a line of thought as you might be expecting.
The will that I’m internally drafting is that of the flamboyant elder that I intend, in the distant future, to become. The first beneficiary I’d like to nominate is my as-yet unconceived nephew, Wilbur. He’s the son of my sister, Charlene. To Wilbur, I hereby bequeath my extensive library of rare magazines pressed upon me by friends of friends. These will be very rare when it comes time to divvy up my estate. Sure, most of them are missing vital pages and are littered with stains, but come on… it’s vintage!
To my friend Margo’s granddaughter (who has even longer to go before she’s conceived), Arwen, I’ll be leaving a patch-covered waistcoat. I’ve had it since I was 18 and could never bring myself to part with it, even though it’s falling apart. This wouldn’t sound like much of an inheritance for Arwen, were it not for the fact that the artists who screen-printed the patches all developed an intense cult following somewhere around 2045.
Finally, to my robotic companion, Mitchell, I grant all my possessions as yet unbequeathed. Why not? By all accounts, at this point in time robots will have human rights, and probably be considerably more intelligent and compassionate than bio humans. Heck, the robot can even have power of attorney. Melbourne will be among the first cities in the world to adopt a policy of allowing this.
Then again, everything has been valued for probate, perhaps I’ll decide that I want to go on living beyond my organic limit and shell out for some kind of life-extension technology.