I have to take the bus home from the movie theater today because someone has been pushed onto the train tracks and killed. I squeeze into a seat across from several grumbling people, many of them talking loudly into their cell phones. “I know, I know,” one woman says, rolling her eyes. “I’ll be there soon. Someone was pushed onto the tracks.”
I don’t know exactly what happened, or who was killed, but this whiff of death is so fresh that I cannot focus on anything else. I hate knowing that someone who was alive just a day ago—maybe even a few hours ago—is now gone, cast as an inconvenience by people trying to get home. This person who was born and held by their parents, a person who loved things, hated things, had a favorite food, stood in line at the grocery store, has been wiped from this world. Vanished in a matter of moments.
I hate this feeling. The guy next to me reeks of cigarette smoke, and it’s making me feel a little sick. Every second feels heavier than the one before it as it bears more of the weight of the fact that the world is going on without this person. One hundred years will pass and the world will never stop, not once, for anyone. That should be good, because common knowledge tell us that as humans we must move on, but that just makes me worry even more.
I hate knowing that time will pass me by, which seems so narcissistic. I can’t fathom being nothing, thinking nothing, not even thinking. Even worse, I don’t want to be an inconvenience, a sad news item, the small black print of an obituary. How are whole lives contained in such small pieces?
I don’t like to think about death, but I can’t help it. I keep trying to stop, but it’s difficult. I don’t give up easily, though. ♦