UW-Madison senior Felicity Meyer recently began smoking in a bid to shorten her lifespan and so escape “whatever fresh hell awaits us by the turn of the century.”
“Look, with advances in medical technology and whatever, I could probably live to be 100, with insurance,” Meyer said. “Well, fuck that. Do you think I want to see what this country looks like in 2100? Are you kidding? I barely want to see what it looks like now.”
Meyer says she doesn’t necessarily want to die young; instead, she plans to have lived a full life by the time she dies of lung cancer in late middle age.
“I’m maybe shooting for 55 or 60,” she said. “For their sakes, I want to outlive my parents, and I still have my own goals: travel, work, maybe have a family - you know, the usual stuff. But I want to make sure it’s short and sweet, and I’m gone before America is.”
Ask if she had considered simply leaving the country, Meyer said she had, but didn’t see much hope there either.
“Can you name a single country that hasn’t been in the news for something shitty in the past year?” Meyer said. “New Zealand? In 70 years, the only people left in New Zealand are going to be crowded on top of the three hills that aren’t underwater in bunkers I won’t be rich enough to afford. I’m an ed major, for Christ’s sake.”
Meyer considered moving into a house full of asbestos, eating McDonald’s every day, and becoming an Alaskan crab fisherman as other ways of shortening her lifespan, but ultimately decided on cigarettes as the most manageable option, noting that the expense and periodic withdrawal are stressors that could hopefully raise her blood pressure and hasten her demise.
“It’s a race between my body and civilization to see which is going to succumb to entropy first,” Meyer said, “and I intend to win.”