mad drunk genius

I used to have all sorts of problems. Now there's just the one.

Tag: death

Fading quickly

I’m so tired. Why, I’m practically falling asleep upright. Or am I dying? Am I the dead?

If this is death, I can’t say it’s that bad. Definitely not something to look forward to, but okay.

We are the dead. Conscious corpses shuffling about. Not really alive, just weary.

Or maybe that’s life. Routine and mundane and willful neglect of the everyday divine. Maybe death is when you become unconscious of all this and just lie down to rot. Or get hit by a car, or blown to pieces. Or torn limb from limb by a pack of wild dogs.

I wonder.

Now, let’s say this is life and we are living it. But in a way that’s only slightly better than being dead. What then? Shuffle on and appreciate life for what it is? Or reach higher for things beyond the mundane?

Nah, I’m too tired. I think I’ll go to sleep.

Arriving

To be perfectly honest, in the weeks leading up to it, I didn’t think about moving out of my parents’ house. I forgot it immediately if I did at all. I could say my mother thought about it enough for both of us, but it’s not like I was oblivious to what was going on, or its significance. It’s probably the most jarring change of my life so far, but it meant something completely different for me than it did for her and everyone else I knew at home.

So as I got in my car and drove out of the driveway, I wasn’t crying, but my sister was. She wasn’t there to actually see me, but I’d talked to her on the phone just before and told her I was going. She had to hang up and call back several times to get through it, but that was okay. My mother was standing there on the lawn, bawling her eyes out, and my dad was hugging her with one arm while he teared up himself, but stayed composed, probably for my sake as much as my mother’s. They were happy for me, but obviously that wasn’t why they were crying.

I waved and they waved and as they got just out of sight, I became sad as well, but not because I was leaving them. Like I said, I hardly thought about that at all. I was sad for them, sad they were sad, but not really sad myself. I was leaving to them, but in my mind I was going to college. I had spent the past weeks, and really my entire life, preparing for that day. Getting an education, getting the social skills to interact with people, learning and maturing enough to be able to survive independently. My life had prepared me for the time when I would go, and that meant that what I had lost mattered very little to me right then. All they could do was look back at what had been, but I was looking forward.

I was departing in their eyes, but from my perspective, I was finally arriving.

Cruel or morbid as this may sound, in a way, I was actually happy watching my parents cry there on the lawn. I said to myself, “God, I wish this is what my funeral is like.”

I mean that with the best intentions, really I do. Without applying the metaphor too broadly, I think moving away from the people you care about is a slice of your death that you actually get to witness and in a way where you can reciprocate their good-byes.

But just as the other, you’re gone and they’re left with everything in their lives the same, except that you’re gone. You get everything new and different and in many ways better, but they have the grief of a hole around them you used to fill. They’ve lost a loved one, and I think in a selfish way we all hope and pray that our actual deaths are the same way, but to a greater degree. We hope that we lived in such a way that people mourn our passing. We hope we had enough of an impact on the lives of the people around us that our passing is noticed. And we pray that when we leave this world, we arrive somewhere new and different and better. We pray that we’re only sad for other people, excited, though, for what’s to come, what we spent our whole lives preparing for.

As I drove away, I said to myself, “God, I wish this is what my funeral is like.” That’s my hope and prayer.

De Nada

To understand, we must start at the end and work our way back to the beginning.

He is dead and in a casket. He is at his own funeral. People are crying, but why? There are not many people around to cry, but why? Where did they all come from?

He is in a hospital bed, the nurse covers him with a white sheet. In the hall outside, a doctor tells the people that he is dead and they burst into tears. There are less here than before, but their tears are no less genuine, the scene no less moving.

He is quiet. He is very quiet and the people around him do not acknowledge his existence as they chat and interact around him. He is there, but he is not. He may as well not be there, but he is unavoidable. It would be impossible not to notice him, but no one does.

He is at work, it is his last day. Tomorrow he won’t be able to come back. He has known for a very long time that this day was coming, so he has had a very long time to accept it. He has accepted it. But what will he do?

It is dark and he is asleep in bed. No, not asleep, but lying still as though he were. He is sad. Why is he sad? There are no tears, there are no words. No sounds, not a sigh or groan to give a glimpse into his thoughts. He is sad. He must be. There is no one else.

He is very young. He is in school and afraid. Of what? Who knows. But he is there and he is alone because he is afraid. He sits, surrounded by others, but he might as well not be there. He does what he does quietly and proceeds without fanfare. He is not the target of hate or love, but indifference.

He is playing. There is a swing and he swings on it. Other people play with a ball or on a merry-go-round, he stays where he is and swings. Now and again, boys and girls swing next to him, but there is little talk.

He is very loud. He is crying out, screaming with every ounce of power his small body provides to him. He is hungry, uncomfortable, and frightened, but no one is near to help him. Someone must be in the house, but they do not come.  Eventually, there is food, there is milk, and there is changing. He is content.

He is pain, terrible and seemingly unbearable pain. He is a parasite forcing his will on another body. She could not turn her thoughts elsewhere if she tried. Those around her might, but dare not. He is the reason for their occupation, too.

He is warmth, tingle, and explosion. He is the only thought of two minds for a single moment, and the only reason for their existence. He is life itself.