For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one. – Khalil Gibran
A few weeks ago it happened. I had been sitting down for a long time at my desk, neck muscles beginning to cramp up, stomach growling for food. No, that‘s not correct. Memory be damned, especially after 35. I think I was sitting in our bean bag, an ugly multiple-colored specimen which my gf does not approve of at all [our is an euphemism, it‘s mine, my aesthetic irresponsibility]. Nor do I use it all that often, it might be headed for the attic, come to think of it.
Anyway, there I sat, reading I suppose, but hunger or munchies or the siren-call of my metabolism eventually won out and, cat-eager, I catapulted myself out of the gravity-well of those tens of thousands of beans and, just for fun, took off at a canter towards the kitchen [a right and then a left]. I almost got there. But before I did, darkness descended.
Cinematically a black curtain [filled with whirling, luminous floaters] came down from somewhere along the lower edge of my forebrain. All motility fled my legs as I buckled backwards towards the doorframe of the living room [somehow I had missed the kitchen by a continued step straight ahead instead of a smooth turn left]. The curtain descended further to below the equator of my eyeballs.
Death! The thought struck me lucidly, a counterpoint to the encroaching blackness. I am dying, so this is it. I thought utterly unpoetic. The moment was too brief and final to allow for any social or romantic concerns [What about my loved ones? What beautiful last words for my beloved? What will be my shitty legacy?], much less a biopic synopsis to obtrude. In fact, it was so short that there wasn‘t even any violence of emotion. I didn‘t exactly fight the long night. Just a calm, even sedate realization that my life ends in the course of a childish, meaningless dash to the kitchen. A disturbingly drama-free The End.
Then however, my back slammed into the doorframe. A solid wooden upright, a post, a pillar that held the door in place and, who knows, maybe even the wall above it. Let us contemplate for a moment the gods of structural engineering [is that the term for it?]. Ok, enough.
My thighs tightened up, refusing to give in to gravity‘s tug, a ceaseless annoyance I‘ve had to deal with these last 38 years. It seemed my legs didn‘t at all want to die. Maybe they wanted to go for a run later or something, though it was snowing outside. But what the devils do they know! They tightened, shoved the rest of my body against the frame. If I had slid down, that would‘ve been the end of me. I was heartened by the fact that my body was not as spineless as my mind.
Anyway, all this exertion, this brainless pumping of blood and activating of muscles, finally rallied some of my animal spirits, the better half of my nature I would say. The curtain slowly lifted and the living room hove into view, a good place for literature and youtube and distracted daydreaming.
I was not yet going to die.
Then I stood up and went to the kitchen for a snack, most likely an apricot quark. It didn‘t taste any different than usual.