The only thing that appeals to me about prison life is the last meal before the execution. The guards, pleased with the ritual, tell the condemned man to order any meal he wants, they will have it delivered. Liquor too? Maybe not, but I do not really know. I bet sometimes they smuggle in a cold beer.
I suspect that most prisoners do not choose haute cuisine, which would lose its luster on death row. Instead I imagine they choose familiar foods. Barbeque ribs with cole slaw, a thick steak, a burger with the works and an order of fries. I hope they choose a meal that reminds them of happier times.
Choosing one’s last meal is an option the rest of us do not face. We die suddenly from heart attacks or accidents or aneurisms. Or we die slowly in the hospital or a nursing home, where the last meal might be a cup of Jello or stale chocolate pudding, or even a few drips of saline through a tube. Any meal might be our last, including those we do not enjoy.
Right now I am sitting in a café, typing on my iPad and watching the tourists walk along the sidewalk. I am sipping a coffee that is doctored with honey and cinnamon and I am nibbling on a scone, and I am calling it lunch. The summer weather is gorgeous, and I will be enjoying it soon enough with my inamorata–assuming she travels safely, assuming this meal does not suddenly become my last, and assuming that neither of us are arrested for offenses perceived, capital or otherwise.