I’ve gotten progressively “out there,” so yes, Pink, it’s me.
Thankfully my daughter drives and I don’t have to risk dying in a fiery crash. On the way to school today, she and I started a conversation, which I can’t remember much of except that it had something to do with death.
Here’s the thing: we all die. The end of each of us is inescapable, at least according to my fifth-grade teacher.
Random student: “Do we have to do it?”
Mr. K: “You don’t have to do anything but pay taxes and die.”
Some people fear death, and I can imagine how, at the end, if one is cognizant, and even if one is cognizant and as much as casually accepts one’s inevitable end, one would have reservations at the moment of passing. But I can also see how some people would welcome death: people who are old and feeble and tired and ready, people in the last stage of terminal illness, people suffering from major clinical depression, etc.
I am stoic for the most part when someone dies. I feel emotional generally, I just don’t show it. More accurately, I can’t show it, most of the time. I bawled uncontrollably when a friend died of a heroin overdose at a party in college. It was his first time to use it and he wanted to try it out of curiosity. But he was given too much and was dead on a couch unnoticed till morning. Makes me physically hurt inside to bring it up. (Disclaimer: I have never done, nor do I now or ever have condoned using heroin.) His death hit me hard, but I didn’t cry when my grandfather or either of my grandmothers died or when a family friend died of cancer or for anyone else except an old woman, a good friend, who died about four weeks ago. I can’t fathom the deaths of my immediate family members: I can’t and refuse to think about any of them dying. So on to the next paragraph.
On the flip side of avoidance and anger and dread and sadness, I love dark comedy. One of my favorite lines from a movie is from Love Actually. Daniel starts to sob, mourning the recent death of his wife, and then Karen, his best friend, looks at him lovingly with her arm around his shoulders as if to console him and says:
Get a grip, people hate sissies. No-one’s ever gonna shag you if you cry all the time.
Best last line of a movie?
It was a good death.
…on Tristan dying at an old age in battle with his spirit animal, the grizzly bear, in a fateful encounter. Legends of the Fall is the best of all Brad Pitt’s movies, or maybe Fight Club is, which is certainly Edward Norton’s best.
I am Jack’s morbid fascination with death.
I just got to thinking about death is all, and thinking about something usually leads to writing about it.
. . . . . . . .
I wrote the above a few days ago. My body chemistry has since adjusted, though all that awesome working that the medication did is dwindling.
The good thing is that I feel like writing all the time. And I have been.
None of what I’ve written has been any good, honestly, but good really isn’t the point.
It never was.