I think someone, more clever than I, should invent a game. It would go something like this.
You start with a blank screen or paper. Then you randomly pull out a card from a stack of “Birth” cards. On that card is an introductory sentence such as “Your father went to prison just before you were born.” Or, “Your father was an atheist but your mother was a devoted Catholic and from the moment you were born, they disagreed fiercely about your baptism.” Or, “You were the 11th of 12 children.” Or, any number of different situations.
You then get to write one sentence, an After Sentence, connected to the randomly drawn introductory sentence. You then move to the next stack of cards and you randomly pick another introductory sentence describing your toddler experience such as “You refused to be potty trained “ or “ Your grandmother moved into your home.” Or any number of different situations and you write your own After Sentence. There is an equal amount of negative, positive, and neutral introductory sentences. You just don’t know what life will throw your way.
The game continues through the many different stages in life including your death and any ceremony that might follow.
I think we are kind of playing this game already. Some people write amazing and inspiring After Sentences. Some people draw very positive introductory sentences and their After Sentences are a bit boring. Some get very lousy introductory sentences and continue to write even worse After Sentences. Whatever is drawn or written, the game doesn’t go on forever.
Oh yeah, one variation of the game would include taking a shot of tequila after each section. You will be penalized for uncontrollable sobbing. Another would be a form of strip poker where you remove an article of clothing after each stage. In the end, there is just your naked butt self with nothing to hide. Or, combine that with the tequila format and things will get really interesting.