Tuesday, 7 April 2015

The Longest Winter

When you die there is nobody else there, so what is regret for? He saw a man having a heart attack
on the corner of the street. Seated from the top of the bus, it was like a judgement from Heaven, observing but with the will granted, no fear of intervention.

The paramedics had arrived, the man was slumped against a filthy wall with torn-off posters promoting yesterday’s events. On this crawling pavement with passers-by looking, this is where the man would die. A story for dinnertime, a Twitter update, somebody else’s story but not your own because you are dead and cannot tell it.

So those final moments, are they so precious? You spend your entire life saying “I don’t want to get to my deathbed and regret”. Yet all you are doing is racing against inevitability, if you have the luxury of a deathbed at all. Maybe one day you walk outside of your street and someone runs you over, and there you are, you are finished on Tuesday afternoon at 2pm and the world carries on without you. Or you find a lump and feel sick, no matter your age two weeks later you are in the ground. Someone has pulled the plug from the back of your neck and you don’t wake up in a cocoon, you don’t wake up at all. We are not televisions, switching us on and off and on again. That button does not exist for humanity.

Death is a concept for the living. We are selfish creatures who contemplate our own mortality through the end of others. We do not mourn death, we celebrate that we are still alive, that our narrative continues and we are somehow important. Like we don’t all end up the same way. A million dollars in the bank and a house in Chelsea, you’re still going to be in the ground a world away from you dying alone and broke on a roadside.

This is why life matters, because it’s the only thing that there is. You get up and you run every day and you do what makes you happy, because there will come a time when you will not be happy, staring death in the face. You will not feel accomplished, there is always more, life is everything and there is no satisfaction in death.

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