Tuesday, August 23, 2005

life span

Today was a bad stomach day.

This means I was in pain, occasionally nauseas, and very fatigued. Luckily it was a temporary partial blockage, so no actual vomiting or hospital visit was in order.

Quite a life, eh?

I dragged my sorry ass into work anyway. Residual guilt from being out sick four days two weeks ago, combined with the hope that my day would improve were my motivators. As I spent my lunch hour curled into a ball on my office floor, a few things occurred to me.

First of all, my office floor is much dirtier upon closer inspection than anticipated.

Then the big thoughts. There are people out there who don't get sick all the time like me. This is not a lament or a complaint, merely an observation. Seriously, if I had been born 100 years ago I would be dead already.

This I am okay with. I don't know if any of you caught it, but the series finale of Six Feet Under played this past weekend. It would be an understatement to say it was phenomenal. This, by far, was the most poignant ending to a series I have ever seen. As I am a crier, I believe I shed tears for at least half of the 75-minute episode. The next day, thinking about the show on the subway to work, I started to tear up all over again. We are not talking just of the tightening at the back of the throat, but real welling of teardrops.

The episode really made me think about life and death in a whole new way. For me it brought home how transient life is, but in a way that makes you contemplate more about the mortality of your loved ones than yourself. I have a huge family, consisting of about 15 aunts and uncles, 36 cousins, parents, two siblings plus in-laws, and two nieces, a nephew, and a zygote on the way. Of the cousins, only eight are younger than me. That adds up to a lot of funerals in my future.

How overwhelming. I didn't even count friends, people whom I have known on an even more intimate level.

Legacies then crossed my mind. The whole "what is the point?", "why are we here?", "what do we leave behind?" conundrums. Even if you have children, your memory fades and disappears after three generations. It seems that 99.9% of the population lives, breathes, and as time moves on vanishes as if never existing on the planet.

Religion crossed my mind. Then kept walking.

I know this may seem selfish, but I think I would rather be one of the earlier ones to go. Go out while I am still bright and shiny. Not lose all those people I care about. I'll look good in all the pictures; people will remember me as sharp as a tack. Not to mention stopping the pain. If I am this sick and yet so healthy, I don't want to get much worse.

This of course easy to say in casual conversation, when not faced with actual death. Rhetorical like. Maybe I just need to get myself some better painkillers.

Or a couch in my office. That way I'll sleep instead of thinking of all this cheery type stuff.

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