The Lifetime Achievement Award

*Applause. Applause. Applause.

*She walks to the podium.

*She stands next to the big shiny indescribable thing.

*She unfolds a piece of paper.

*She looks at the mic.


*She begins.

“Ahem. Thank you very much for this lifetime achievement award. It’s an honor to be receiving it right before I die tomorrow, which, as we all know, is exactly when we discover whether or not we’ve won the award for existence achievy-ness. It also means a lot that I can give a speech right now before I’m super dunzo. Much obliged.

Yes, I’ve achieved a time of life, and I have to tell you, it is so exhilarating to know that when I am nothing more than a rotting corpse in the ground, people will briefly reflect on my formally living self and think, ‘Wow, that Alison, she really executed her life perfectly. PERFECTLY.’ And then while I am withering away into non-existence, another person will quickly smile and think, ‘I mean seriously, starting from a young age that woman was determined to do everything right, and nothing wrong, ever. And look at her now. Dead.’  Then, surely, as I am becoming one with the earth and no longer a separate being of my own, a third person’s brain would chime in to think, ‘For if she ever did anything wrong, she knew it was all her fault, and there was no excuse for it, and it was important that she beat herself up mercilessly for it because otherwise how would she win this big shiny but otherwise indescribable thing that she only knew she  won the day before she died?’

I have lived my life in hopes that it would be abundantly clear that in the end I ticked all the boxes. And, barely able to think or breath or stand because I am dying tomorrow, I finally know for sure that boy did I ever tick those boxes! Check. Check. Check. That’s what I’d say to myself every time I ticked them. Check. Check. Every last one of them. It was ticking all the things that proved that I achieved my life so well.

Because if I wanted anything at all in this existence that is currently this close to not mattering anymore, it’s the satisfaction that I was exactly right at being and doing all the things, all at once. Oh, look, that’s what this big shiny thing says!”

*She pauses.

*She folds her paper.

*She steps away from the mic.

*She turns the big shiny indescribable thing for everyone to see.  

In Honor Of Alison Tafel

For memorably making the world better in a very specific, unique, and important way all while being chronically intelligent, thoughtful, kind, approachable, tough, breezy, blunt, popular, hilarious, and LIKED with an exceptional body, face, style, and hair to match.

Once more, everything appeared to come easy to her. Like, no big deal whatevs easy.

High Five, Alison. Way To Go. Pat On The Back. You Did It.

Now Go Ahead And Die.

*Applause. Applause. Applause.

“Ahem. Wow. What a powerful way to be remembered, at least for the second or two before I fall into the cracks of memory that are inconsequential and hard to reach in the end.

I hope you all know that in my determination to be all things good and not any things bad, – and again, with ease,– I never once bothered to stop and wonder if this otherwise logically impossible feat was something I even wanted in the first place.

I symbolically hold this now, this big shiny indescribable and unnecessary entity, and my mind is already racing on what’s next on my To Do list. I mean, I have mere hours left on this earth and wouldn’t you know it, I still haven’t hit the gym today!”


“Yes I know, I know. If I don’t make it to the gym then I will have failed the day and this award would be worthless, despite the fact that it is made out of the concept of PRICELESS and ALLYOUCOULDEVERHOPEDITWOULDBE.

You can be sure I will be on an elliptical machine first thing this afternoon, right after I make my final donation to the charity of my choice – the one that makes all the difference – and right before I drink one of my final protein shakes that tastes like a laid-back demeanor. (I’ll multi-task while on the elliptical with solving that big thing we are all suppose to solve together, but I can somehow solve alone.)

So, as you stare at my toned body and wonder how I drank all the beers (like one of the guys), and as you gaze into my eyes that hold all the inspiring wisdom you admire and all the endearing naivety you relate to, please rest assured that in the end, this has all been fine. I mean, I’ve been fine. I’m fine. Totally fine. Like, I’ve never been better. It’s been so great in this pressure cooker of a brain I’ve got that nothing has ever been on the brink of pure madness and hey is it hot up here I guess it’s only a little hot up here no it’s not too hot I think I think I just think it’s good, you know? It’s alllllll good, man.”


“Woman, I mean. It’s alllll good, woman! Or, people. It’s allllll good, people. Apologies.”

*Sighs of relief.

“So yeah. Thanks again. It’s all been totally worth it. This award. Not a doubt in my mind about that. As long as I can end today, and my life, hearing a stranger’s whispers in the next bathroom stall…

‘That Alison, she was always go go go, huh? Always on to the next forcefully wonderful, subjectively exciting thing. You know, that attitude was actually how she got from one thing to the next with such massive (and easy peasy) success. It was all due to her go-go-go-never-stopping-to-smell-the-roses way of impeccably being.’


‘For most people, life is messy and complicated and, uh, what’s the word? Right, HAPPY — but not straight-shooter, list-making Alison. Her deliberate hops from point A to point B were as fast as they were solid, not that I am calling her solid, in fact she was always light as a feather – which is the correct way to be, I tell you – light as a god damn feather. Low number on the scale, a laughter that’s contagious, and a personality that absolutely no one in the world would clash with. No siree, or ma’am, or miss, or they – Alison is single-handedly the only person to not annoy a single person while also being incredibly fascinating to everyone who knew of her, without at all being intimidating or boisterous, but rather powerful and encouraging and chill. P.S. None of this blog is intended to be self absorbed writing at all, even though her new worry before she posts it is that is how it is coming across.’

Yes. It is so exciting to know that these convos will be happening, for perhaps a little less than twenty minutes in total, as I fade into oblivion never to feel or know or love or exist again.

This award is truly my life’s work.

You know, I have heard of some people who, on the last day of their life, (again the only day in which we discover what we’ve won for being here), actually took home the Happiness Award instead of this big shiny thing. And those people I deeply, deeply feel sorry for. I’m so sorry your days were filled with hardships and joy and struggle and laughter and growth and sadness and peace instead of ticked boxes and self-competition and appearance scrutiny and over-analyzing and pedestalizing others and impossible standards and unseen anxiety. I’m sorry that in order to achieve calm you had to go through turmoil. I certainly never went through turmoil, on account of how meticulous I was to avoid all things wrong. It’s a shame that after all was said and done you knew how to appreciate the little things instead of focusing of the overall-ness of your worth, that you never got to know which tabs you had left open that should be closed, which loose ends you needed to immediately tie into an (evenly pulled) bow, and how you were utterly unable to distinguish and harp on your very obvious failures. Rumor has it the Happiness Award is not a big shiny, hard-to-make-out-in-your-mind thing, but rather a metaphorical box that you can indeed take with you.

I mean, seriously, who would want that when you can have this… this…um, thingy here? Right? Haha. Ahaha. Ha.”

*The appropriate and sincere amount of joining laughter.

* Immediate silence.

“Who would want to cherish deep personal connections with close friends and family when you can relive bad interactions with strangers that can’t possibly be fixed because they are in the past?

Who would want to enjoy traveling the world, seeing new sights, and trying new foods when you can instead log calories and examine your protruding belly every day, knowing there is always a better way to look, a better way to be?

Who wants to find inner-beauty when there is motherfucking Instagram?”

*Nods of approving agreement in regards to the perfectly timed use of a swear word.

“I hold this award – or rather stand next to it, because it’s not something you can have or keep or comprehend, really – I stand next to this award, and I am honored. Honored and proud (but not too proud, humble proud) that my life’s work has led to this ultimate, final, nonsignificant moment. The moment right before I am done with being alive forever.

So, thank you everyone. I’ve won. I’ve won at life. And if you want to win at life too all you have to do is do exactly what I did. Just remember:

It doesn’t count if it doesn’t come easy.”

*Applause. Applause. Applause.

*She steps away from the podium.

*She motions to the big shiny indescribable thing.

*She bows.

*She cries.

*She bows and cries.

*She bows and cries.

*She bows and cries.

*And farts.

– One L

“I don’t deserve this, darling, you look perfect tonight.” – Redhead on GoT


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