X-Message-Number: 27750
Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2006 21:32:13 -0500
From: "Jonathan Despres" <>
Subject: A letter to the Cryonics Institute from a Lieutentant in Iraq


March 2006
Experiment in Cryonics
  H   Lieutenant K :: email link

To: The Cryonics Institute

From: Lieutenant K

To whom it may concern,

I am writing this letter in preparation for my departure from a combat
deployment with the United States Army. Upon said departure from Iraq,
I will have been in country for approximately 12 months and away from
home for 18. This should occur within the next 6 months.

I realize that Cryonics is "the preservation of legally dead humans or
pets at very low temperature (below -200 F, -130 C) in the hope that
future science can restore them to life, youth and health," but I
would like to make a special request. It involves the transport of a
living being. My expectations of home are so vivid, and my excitement
so immense, that I would ask you to show your "support for the troops"
by using me in an experiment. This will allow me to optimize the
enjoyment of returning to my "normal" life from the environment that
I've been in, which is, shall we say, less than optimal.

Here's what I'm thinking: Once I am out of the Middle East, I will
allow you to cryonically freeze my body so that time essentially
stops. I would like some type of device that allows "push-button
meltdown." In other words, I want to be able to wake up with the push
of a button. This undertaking could bring your research and exposure
to a completely new level, as it could be televised, recorded, and of
course used in advertisements. I would request that you provide a
personal aide to assist in getting me prepared for each new scenario.
Perhaps we could get "Suspended Animation" involved?

The following are just a few examples of the places and situations I'd
like to "wake up" in the midst of, though I have many more, as you
might imagine. And if you agree to this, we should consult further to
finalize the specifics because I will most certainly have changed my
mind by then:

Push the button

I'm sitting on a bus at 7:00 am in Salt Lake City. It is winter. I'm
wearing a beanie cap, jeans, hiking boots and a jacket. It doesn't
matter who I'm sitting next to, as long as they have a smile for me.
My IPOD is in my jacket pocket and the ear buds are in and I'm
listening to some new alternative rock song that mixes slow, clearly
sung lyrics with hard, grinding guitar and drums. I wake up exactly
five seconds before one of the parts where the drums kick in, and the
song is like a soundtrack for my life. I'm feeling good as the bus
takes a turn near the University of Utah and stops.

I watch the college kids lug their backpacks off the bus and I can see
their breath in the air as they trudge across the snowy lawns to their
warm classrooms. I'll just hang around for a few more stops, and then
I'll get off the bus myself and grab some breakfast.

Push the button

It's dusk and I'm sitting down leaning against a nice fat log in front
of a campfire. The sun looks optimistic as it spreads its orange and
red hues across the mountainous horizon, making absolute sure its
audience does not forget it. There is a stick in my hand which is
stirring up the fire. The weight of the stick and the heat from the
fire feel good. My dogs are running around behind me, chasing
something in the brush. I see my children five feet to my left
sleeping in the warmth of the tent. The tent flap is half open, and
swaying with a subtle breeze. My son is snoring. I look up to the
horizon and smile with the realization that I'm in the Blue Ridge
Mountains of North Carolina .

Push the button

This war is over. Iraq is a relatively stable country with problems of
its own, but it handles them using its security forces and military
and political system. The world watches as waxes and wanes, but shows
that it has its own identity beyond Saddam Hussein, and that its
citizens are willing and capable of improving their quality of life
day by day. Other countries in the area see Iraq/s resilience as an
example of what they might do themselves.

Push the button

I'm standing on the highest point on the planet,Mt. Everest,
stretching my arms up towards the sky, filled with wonder at the
richness of life.

Push the button

I'm tucking the kids in. I tell them a semi-scary story. It's the kind
that leads up to the tense ending in a whisper, and then actually
explodes in a small scream. They both jump in fright. My son laughs. I
laugh. My daughter laughs. We all just sit there laughing at nothing.
Looking at each other and laughing together for no good reason at all.
They want me to lie in the middle of them, so they can put their heads
on my arms. After they fall asleep and I move silently out of the
room, making sure the blankets are pulled up just the way they like
them. I put on my favorite CD and spend a couple of hours writing and
doing some on-line research. Before I go to bed, I check on the kids
again. They're just fine.

Push the button

I'm sitting in a hotel room in London, drinking a cup of coffee,
eating a bagel and looking out of the window at the Queen's Gate
Garden as I write in my journal about all of my recent experiences.
The pleasure of true relaxation is upon me. I've been home for six
months, and have taken a vacation to London. I have absolutely nothing
planned for the day, except to walk aimlessly around the Knightsbridge
area, maybe do some spontaneous shopping - hit some museums.

Push the button

I'm handing a cute young woman who has her hair in two big ponytails
on the back of her head and a lovely smile a five dollar bill for a
couple of draft beers. She laughs when I spill some beer. I'm at an
Audioslave concert at an outdoor amphitheater in California. It is a
cool night, but not too cool. The huge crowds and the music are
emblems of my generation, and I feel like a normal thirty-something,
not a soldier who's been displaced from his day to day life. We did
it. My unit went through 18 months of combat training and combat, and
we're home now. We had a few losses, but we did the best we could and
made our mark on the mission. It's something to be proud of. The kids
are at the babysitters, I have a designated driver, and life is damn
good. I sip my beer and smile at the people around me. They have no
idea just how good they have it.

Push the button

I'm standing on the lowest point on the earth's surface, the North
Shore of the Dead Sea, stretching my arms up towards the sky, excited
about my long adventure home. I have a Camel Back on that is full of
cold water, and I start walking to the nearest village 

Push the button

The sun is in my eyes. I have retinal burn as I turn my head around to
see where I am. I'm sunbathing on the deck of a large yacht in the
middle of the

Caribbean Sea. Led Zeppelin's Physical Graffiti CD is playing. Not too
loud though. I can still hear the water slapping the sides of the
hull, and the sea birds trailing us for scraps. I smell like tanning
lotion. I walk to the edge of the boat and I can see coral reefs way
down in the crystal clear blue water. I have a frozen Margarita in my
hand. I sip it. It tastes good. I place it on the polished wooden deck
and it makes a satisfying dull sound when the glass meets the deck. I
notice we're anchored, so I step onto the gangplank, put my arms up in
the air, and dive in. The water is very cool and refreshing.

Push the button

I'm driving east down an unknown highway in a convertible Mustang. I
have no idea where I am, but the red rock formations lining the road
hint southwest, and that's a flavor I am familiar with and like very
much. I can taste the arid desert air in the wind, and feel the chill
that will accompany the retired sun when it departs my rear view
mirror in the west, where it clings now only gently as a purplish
stain that nevertheless colors my vision when I try to stare right at
it. I'm driving blind into futurity and I like it. My smile
personifies my hopeful mood, which is truly indefatigable.

Please know that I realize these requests may seem a little
unconventional. But I really think they could be great for Public
Affairs, and possibly get the Cryonics Institute some national news
coverage. I am still serving in Iraq, so e-mail is the best way to
reach me. Thanks in advance for your consideration, and I hope your
decision is an amiable one.


Lieutenant K

posted Sunday, 29 January 2006

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