I’ve been thinking a lot about death recently. I don’t know why, as I am hardly a morbid person. Miserable yes, not morbid. I usually find this life business so hard and exciting, I have no time to think about when it ends. And it will end, won’t it? There isn’t even scope for a rhetorical question there, because death is that unpoetically predictable. The poetry lies in what happens before and after, and sometimes during. But, as an event, it is pretty self-explanatory. Though there are some people who do everything from an unfathomable yet imminent death point-of-view, I always do ( or don’t do ) things as a way to fill up time. And that’s it, really. That’s that heady word optimism for you. Don’t try to add extra meaning to things you do or don’t do simply by means of thinking whether it’s a good idea to do them before you’re gone. Just look at it as a way of killing boredom. Because, believe me, nothing is as boring as being bored. I have tried and miserably failed at doing nothing. Sometimes, there aren’t enough bookshelves to reorganise.
Now that you’ve had a glimpse into my adventurous life, you may ask, why am I thinking about it ending? Well, there is a pretty obvious explanation for that. In a few weeks, I have the annual commemoration of the event that caused me to breathe oxygen for the first time all by myself, with no help from my mother any longer. I was told I even sang at this event and unlike other newbie self-breathers of oxygen, I did not cry. And I seem to be making up for it now. Frankly, I would prefer singing instead.
I will not reveal how many years it has been since that event. If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you would have guessed it. I gave a few good whines here about being in the middle of the middle age last year. I had good perception there and may have hit upon a few home truths. Not that they were easy to come by. For the past two commemorations, I have been having panic attacks right until it’s 12am, when people suddenly start telling me they’re glad I am alive. The year before that, I had an exam for which I was pathetically grateful because I had a source of controllable worry to er, worry about, instead of one in which I had no part. I mean, I have no control over this. And this year’s one is beyond depressing because, as any journal claiming to report on millennials will tell you, this is the year in which you should have completed the process of adulthood. Not a last chance but, a should have.
I won’t tell you how far I am in the process but, I feel as though this is a good time to be in a movie where I could live my entire life in a month. Except, April happens to be truly the cruellest where I live and I’d rather be sitting at home drinking orange squash to beat the heat than have adventures. Sipping on orange squash and thinking about death, ain’t that the dream?
But, why am I thinking about death? Well, because panic seems to feel like that a lot of the time, and coupled with heat exhaustion, you almost wish it was upon you. But, also because, despite disappointing journals for the young and hip, I also agree with them. Not completely but, I have my own ideas for achievement which cannot be written of in the past tense. I can’t believe I still write the sentence, “ I hope to write a book someday.” Lately, I’ve been wishing to write a first book just to get it out of the way, so that I can focus on making the second one good. I mean, I may have been secretly wishing to do a Harper Lee and be classic and a soloist at the same time but even Lee has changed her ways. Most of all, I don’t feel I’ve worked enough to court the ambition of writing something even moderately important. I know this all sounds very smug and naive but, I will do you a favour and not feign humility here. This is what happens when you are surrounded by great authors – you either desire to be among them one day or decide never to pick up a pen again. Therefore, I won’t apologise for being deluded.
I’ve been thinking about death because I’ve thought too much about life all this time. Whether I’m living it or not living it. What should I be doing with it. Death reminds me my greatest desire has still not been achieved and I must get down to it ASAP. Panic attacks, slower metabolism and other unpleasant things are starting to occur. And as much as I’d like to be invited to some great parties, find great love and all in all, have a great time with this thing called life that I’m asked to be happy about annually, I’d very much like to have a book down that is of some good to the world. Even if it takes a 100 books to get there before death comes. Just the one, as long as it’s up there with the truly greats is also fine by me Mr. Death, if you’re listening.