Wednesday, January 12, 2005


Where will I be when Death casts its shadow in my direction? Probably doing something stupid and/or embarrassing and/or illegal, no doubt. But, maybe, just maybe, I'll be one of the fortunate few who are lucky enough to live out one hundred years, problem free, to die peacefully in his sleep. Pain free, I'll slip behind Death's back to the Greatest Darkness beyond. I can only hope.

No one here gets out alive. Life. As my own father pushes past two-thirds of a century this month, I'm reminded of my own mortality. Because that's what birthdays have become, you know - reminders that Death draws nearer, the Final Mystery. Gone are the balloons and party hats of yesteryear, and in their stead, dread and anxiety.
Time rushes towards us with its hospital tray of infinitely varied narcotics, even while it is preparing us for its inevitably fatal operation.

-Tennessee Williams

A cursory glance reveals to me that no one is getting older, no one is aging, no one declining. We're in stasis, all of us, everyone I know. Of course, this illusion's integrity is undermined as you, my friend, smile. Then, three faint lines appear at the corner of each eye, where they didn't exist just ten years previous. I have the pictures to prove it. Now, sunlight glints off a single grey hair hidden amidst your blonde, and my heart is racing. Is your skin as smooth as it once was? Your teeth as white? I search your eyes, and find them as lively as ever. Your smile is the same, and as you raise a pint to your lips in the same way you've always done, I am relieved.

I know we all make it to the end - no one will be left behind - and I suppose that is somewhat comforting. Somewhat.

Let's wait together
On this beach of sand;
The tide will carry us home.

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