The Theme of The Dream: Death Becomes Me

He’s hoping a disturbing dream of his own death is not a premonition - especially now he’s swapped hangovers for clean living, clementines and hopes of a date or two. Here’s Matt Roper on meeting the Grim Reaper…

I awoke suddenly from a dream this morning in which I found myself looking down at my own dead body, which was laying in my coffin. I have to say that I thought I looked lovely, actually, all laid out. Completely peaceful and without any stress or worries whatsoever.

A bloke I know who drinks in a pub in Devon told me the last time I saw him that he was in the middle of reading a copy of the Bhagavad Gita, following years of dabbling around in the pages of the Bible, the Koran and the Tanakh. He was obsessed with the idea of life after death and told me “I just don’t want to be wrong when it happens”.

I’m a big believer these days in life before death. I’ve taken up swimming, climbing flights of stairs instead of taking the lift and I had my last hangover at the start of this year. We’re now into the month of March and I’m still teetotal – keeping company with such inspirational people as Anne Robinson, Donald Trump, the Aga Khan and Adolf Hitler.

What strange habits I’ve picked up since kicking the booze, though. I ate fourteen clementines last night, one after the other. I’m also guzzling around three full size bottles of San Pellegrino water every day. And needless to say, it’s doing wonders for my dreams.

Sometimes I’m amazed that my liver and I are still on speaking terms and that’s a hell of a lot more than you can say for some of the relationships I’ve been in.

But it was that view I had during my slumbers, looking down at my own dead self that I just can’t get out of my mind today. It was an image so stark and clear that it has me wondering – as I imagine most of us sometimes do – exactly how and when I shall be kissing this arse of mine goodbye.

Would I wish to end my days like the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche – no marbles left, riddled with syphilis and talking to a horse? It’s probably a far happier end than the one offered to the singer Bing Crosby. Having a heart attack while playing golf in a sweater? No thanks. The most undignified way to go, surely.

Perhaps that dream is nature’s way of telling me that my number will be up suddenly sometime soon. I imagine I’ll be found by one of my flatmates, alarmed by the fact that the trash hasn’t been taken out for days as none of them can figure out how to do it by themselves. Here in my room on Hope Street one of them shall find me, buried beneath a pile of nectarine peels and surrounded by empty bottles of San Pellegrino, with a dozen bluebottles buzzing around my lifeless, decaying carcass.

Maybe I’m ready to start dating again. Applicants apply within.


Matt Roper is a British comedian based in New York City. His relationship with Lush goes back to 2011 when he performed for the muddy festival-goers of Lushfest, returning the following year to curate the line-up of the comedy stage. As he travels around the world, he shares his musings with us here in a series of writings – a sifting of thought from a restless but always seeking imagination.                     

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Twitter: @MrMattRoper
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Looking down at my own dead self had me wondering – as I imagine most of us sometimes do – exactly how and when I shall be kissing this arse of mine goodbye

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