I take out a pristine page of original crown mill, finest quality, cream laid, Loire pink writing paper and a fountain pen with gray ink. My letter is entitled "In the Event of My Death."
Having few assets, and less concern for finances, my will (already unique in its penmanship) consists mostly of funereal requests. My sepulchral manuscript lists in detail the hairstyle in which I am to be laid out (1930s curls and a grosgrain ribbon), the color of my post-mortem gloss and toenail polish (I will be wearing open-toed shoes), the cut of my eternal frock (a mildly ruffled Prada, evocative of some time between 1925 and 1942), and an implorement that I not be waked in a coffin but on the satin coverlet of a penthouse suite, arms not crossed over my chest as is traditional I think, but bent at the elbows, hands outward, palms upward, a shrug of sorts. To be precise I suggest to the unfortunate bearers of my pink epistle that they research Sir John Edward Millais' art nouveau interpretation of "Ophelia," which is in the permanent collection of the Tate Britain. I do not think it would be too much to scatter a modest amount of petals around my head.
I hope that my guests at the penthouse, which is in lieu of a funeral home, (I have not investigated the legalities of bringing a dead body to a swanky hotel) will all dress fashionably and colorfully and drink champagne or champagne cocktails from shallow glasses and not flutes. I also hope that they will smoke cigarettes from silver cases but I concede that the only smokes that fit in those damn things are unfiltered.
Not wanting to put too much pressure on Mama and Brother in my moribund memo, I secondly concede that I'll need to be cremated in a crematorium and not a bonfire on the south coast of England. But please, do not force me into a coffin. I am sure, even in death, my claustrophobia will persist.
My devotion to the House of Miuccia condemns burning a Prada, dogmatically a greater sacrilege than nibbling finger-food around a dead body on a bed at the Sanderson. I therefore request that post-party and pre-fire the dress be removed and donated to an unsuperstitious size-zero fashionista and that I be cremated naked with the sole company of my Chanel nail lacquer and the Oxford English Dictionary. You can keep your fashion. But I'm taking all the words with me.