In a few moments of time, I will no longer be here. It may be minutes. It may be 74.5 years. But before I know exactly what’s happening, I will be dead.
I don’t mean to state the obvious fact of life, but it’s a forgotten truth when inundated with busy lives that insist on living. We eat. We sleep. We do, we act, we feel. We try to kill time so it stops killing us.
But the moments still tick, and the events still tock, and like a kiss, the lips will one day leave. In these final instances, we’ll be breathless and we’ll have to inhale the emptiness, but there will be nothing left to inhale with. The fire in our lungs will have gone out, and we’ll have faded in the darkness with it. Let’s just hope that when this occurs, smoke wisps through the air, for it will signal how hard we tried to live.
I say all this because yesterday, I learned of a family friend who passed away. She was sixty-three. She had brown eyes. She always greeted me with a candy, even when I tried to stop eating them.
I think back on her and the experiences we shared, and I wonder what I would of said had I known that she was going to die three days ago. What would’ve I said differently? Would I tell her I will miss her? Would I warn her of what’s coming and demand that she to do everything to stop it? Or would I grab her hand, sit her down, and wait there with her as she told me about this night or that day or how hard she laughed at this one joke.
And would I laugh with her?
I’m not sure. But this is not about my opinion or me. More often than not, the former is worthless and the latter couldn’t give a shit about the former anyways. Perhaps this is especially true in a fleeting world where we all are going. Inevitably, we are all stuck on a building that is burning from the bottom up.
Instead, I would like to hear what she would say in that creaky, worn voice. I imagine it would be something this, with the conversation bouncing around in her house with its florid walls and its cheap teacups and those pictures of her daughters in Poland. It would be a sunny day, I hope.
“Do that always.”
“Thank you as well.”
And then she’d smile and I’d try to smile back and we’d sit there, waiting for whatever life had in store.
We wouldn’t know how much or how little that would be, so I’d comment that the tea was good. She’d say the bag was left in too long for any practical use. And I’d say, No, no. It’s fine just the way it is. It’s delicious.