[This article was first published in An-Nahar in April 2019. This is a work of fiction. Any similarities between actual wives and events is purely coincidental]
We were young.
We were poor.
We fell in love.
We got married.
We had two beautiful children.
We rose up the socioeconomic ladder.
We went on phenomenal vacations.
We saw the world.
We enjoyed life.
We enjoyed each other.
We hit midlife.
Then we started to worry, even though our life expectancy was still quite respectable. Does money buy you happiness? To a certain extent, sure. According to a paper by Daniel Kahneman and Angus Deaton, there’s a direct, almost linear, correlation between happiness and income, up to a salary of around $6,000 per month, then it plateaus and you’re on your own in your quest for happiness and self-fulfillment.
But money doesn’t buy you immortality, or that’s what I thought, until my geeky brother Alex told me about something called cryogenics. The idea is simple. When you die, they freeze you, and for a monthly fee they maintain your dead body in a hermetically sealed pod, protecting it from putrefying, until the technology catches up. That’s when you get revived and just continue life wherever you left off.
I was older than her, so I died first, in the year 2050, because that’s the life expectancy of a 45 year old male. She died in the year 2060, because she was 6 years younger and women have a life expectancy 4 years longer than men. Then in the year 2100, they revived us. We’d agreed that I would be revived first, to make sure it worked as advertised. I woke up and found myself extremely rich. I had picked some good investments before I died and the compounded rate of return did its thing, especially that being dead is conducive to minimizing your non-cryogenic expenses. So my fortune grew from a measly $100,000 in 2050 to $11.739 million in 2100.
When I was revived, I didn’t like my looks, which were a bit too senior citizen for the times, so I went to my favorite plastic surgeon, Dr. Abraham Blond, and did some aesthetic tuning. I now looked like I was in my late twenties.
I started dating some “truly” young girls, attracted to me for my rugged good looks and charm, and maybe a little because of the $11.7 million.
My wife was revived next, and she went straight to our penthouse wearing her medical robe, with the slit in the back, and found me in the Jacuzzi, naked with a couple of young models. A hundred years ago my wife was hot, but now at 126, after being frozen for 40 years, and without doing the beautifying procedures I had just done, frankly, she looked like sh*t.
Then she started shrieking.
“What the f***! You’re married to me and you’re with these whores?!!!”
I was dreading this moment, but was well prepared.
“Honey, welcome to the future. Read the fine print in our marriage contract. It says ‘till death do us part.’ Technically, we’re no longer married.”
“I’ll show you what no longer married is!”
And that’s when she shot me in the face and I died again.