I found Blaine Dorr walking in the sunshine on Royal Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans with a bright blue sweatshirt and four dogs: T.J., The-O-Dorr, Honey and Tiny. Blaine was my first interviewee in a new Digital Dying project in which I will ask people I meet randomly on the streets of New Orleans a series of questions about death.
When’s the first time you thought about death?
Being from a Catholic family I have been going to funerals since before I can remember. I was born right here and the funerals were at St. Louis Cathedral, just down the street. In those days we dressed nice. There was a high mass, it was very formal.
Are you scared of death?
Death has never been scary. Being brought up Catholic you were taught through your religious upbringing that it’s just a phase into the next being. It’s always sad but it’s nothing that we were fearful of, especially growing up here. You weren’t afraid of dying.
Do you think there is an afterlife?
In some form, oh yeah. I haven’t been there to tell you (laughing).
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Have you been alive before?
I haven’t had that feeling but several of my family members have always had what they consider déjà vu. A déjà vu might be a window into a previous life. The feeling that you have been there before.
If you could look into a crystal ball and learn exactly when and how you were going to die, would you?
I myself probably would like to do that, so I could do the things I like to do. You don’t want to have a bucket list and not get it finished (laughing).
Are there things on your bucket list right now that you are just burning to do?
No, I am pretty content.
If you could design your last day on earth, what would it be like?
I guess if I knew it was my last day, and I was able to do things, I would go to a very fine restaurant and order a very fine bottle of wine and just say goodbye to the people I care about. You can’t tell them goodbye once you are gone.
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Would you want to live forever?
No, not unless I stay young (laughing).