God dammit. God. Dammit. Do you guys remember what you told me months ago, after you asked me if I wanted to go on the 7th Annual Kid Rock Cruise and I said no because, even though it could be fun, I was worried about the slight possibility that the ship would sink, and I’d die on the fucking Kid Rock cruise of all places? You said, “There’s no way you’re going to die on the Kid Rock cruise. Come on — it’ll be fun.”

Well, look at us now — here on the Kid Rock Chillin’ The Most Cruise ship, which has a hole in it and is slowly sinking into the Western Caribbean. I want to thank you guys for this. Thank you so much for convincing me to come on this Kid Rock “themed” cruise, which is going to be the last thing I’ll ever do.

I try not to dwell on death too much, but I’ve always wanted to at least go out with dignity. I wanted the story of my death to not be tragic or embarrassing, and now the story of my death is going to go like this: “He died on the Kid Rock Chillin’ the Most Cruise — a six-day festival at sea curated by Kid Rock, featuring acts such as Steel Panther and activities such as the Hot Tub Bellyflop Contest — after an inexperienced roadie tried to hammer a microphone plug directly into a wall socket, started an electrical fire and exploded a hole in the ship.”

I don’t mean to make this all about me. I know we’re all on the same literal sinking ship here, but… I can not believe this is how I die. I can’t believe the last song I’m going to hear is “American Badass.” I can’t believe the last meal I’m going to eat is grilled “Bawitda-bratwurst” with a side of “Cowboiled Peanuts.” I can’t believe I’m going out like this. I can’t believe my last words to my mom were, “Sorry Mom, but I can’t drive you to physical therapy this weekend — I’m seeing Kid Rock on a boat.”

I should have never let you guys talk me into this. I’m sorry, but it just hurts to think that you guys shot down my idea to buy tickets for the Weezer cruise or even the KISS cruise, and instead insisted the Kid Rock cruise would be more fun, and now I’m quickly sinking into a watery grave. I payed $5,000 to drown to death. I would have been okay with dying on the Weezer cruise or even the KISS cruise. It wouldn’t have been ideal, but in my final moments, I probably could have made peace with it. But this sucks.

Okay, okay, I’m sorry for yelling. The water is up to our waists now, so let’s just stop fighting and accept our deaths peacefully. For what it’s worth, I did have kind of a good time these past few days. After fifteen Coors Lights, I did sort of get into the music. I realized that Kid Rock’s music was meant to be appreciated live, on a big huge boat. And I guess Kid Rock Karaoke Night was a pretty good time. It did feel good to belt out “All Summer Long” after drinking a gallon of rum and coke out of a big bowl shaped like a cowboy hat.

But at the same time, it kind of fucking sucks that that’s the last fun thing I did with my life.

Okay, sorry. I’ll let it go. At least I get to die with my friends. I wish it wasn’t on the Kid Rock boat, but there’s worse ways to die. And, not that it matters, but for what it’s worth I guess I do respect how Kid Rock has chosen to “go down with the ship.” He’s still up there on stage, singing “Devil Without A Cause”-era b-sides even as the stage is being slowly swallowed by sea water. That’s pretty cool. I gotta say, it’s a badass way to go out. Good for him.

Welp, anyway, this is it. The water is up to our necks now, so I guess this is goodbye. I love you all, and with my last words, I’d like to tell you guys I forgive you for this.

You know what? I’m gonna swim down to the buffet and see if I can grab some more Bawitda-bratwurst before dying. They weren’t half bad.

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Lucas Gardner’s debut novel
Quietly, From Afar…
is available now.