RIP January 2009

“Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.”

– Amelia Burr

For me to say that this month has been anything but tragic and untimely, would be to let go of the initial kernel that keeps me on the path-of-living. And while there have been so many sentences this month that have started off as “W..why…”, I think we forget that it’s really not up for questioning. It. Is. What. It. Is. 
“Dying is a very dull, dreary affair. And my advice to you is to have nothing whatever to do with it.”
– W. Somerset Maugham
There are many forms of finding death…the worst of course, being a text message. Which in this month, I’ve received, along with an email, and the phone call. And in my midnight pensamientos, I’ve discerned that indeed, the text message death-alert, is the worst among the three. Nonetheless, all forms are ghostly reminders of mortality; and so whenever I get a call from a friend I’ve not spoken with in a while, it’s precisely the first thing I’ve found myself asking, “Hi! It’s so good to hear from you! Hey um…real fast, has anyone we known, died?” It’s a quick and effective question, and gets all of the ghastly pretense out of the way. Afterwards, the call allows you both to catch up, converse, talk about ‘things living’. Etc.
“Our death is not an end if we can live on in our children and the younger generation.  For they are us, our bodies are only wilted leaves on the tree of life.”
– Albert Einstein
There’s something to be said about staying alive 🙂 I for one completely believe I would and should for all intensive purposes (bike accidents, concussions, drugs, car accidents, gunfire, living in the heart of Bushwick, motorcycle riding, walking down the street, etc), be turning in my earthen grave. Like many folks I’ve had the pleasure to meet along my journeys, I’ve learned that Living is truly as good as it gets. Even when it’s terrible and you want to rip your little heart out, or you want to just (my favorite) “disappear”; even if you secretly desire the rest of the world to say, “My god, why is s/he gone, why!?!” Living is as good as it’s going to get. Be lucky that you’re still here, pumping your ruby-reds along with the rest of us scientific experiments. The weary, the brave: STICK IT OUT. Most of all, Zydeco musicians.
“We say that the hour of death cannot be forecast, but when we say this we imagine that hour as placed in an obscure and distant future.  It never occurs to us that it has any connection with the day already begun or that death could arrive this same afternoon, this afternoon which is so certain and which has every hour filled in advance.”
– Marcel Proust
If I ever have the opportunity to experience death, I will have always wondered why, it had to be right then, that I had to die. Why not say, now, why not in 2 days, why not ever, like some of earth’s creatures? These are the questions that never cross the mind of a dead person (for obvious reasons), but also because of the time invested in one word: PAPERWORK. For if death is like life in any way — it would be this way. There will be shit loads of paperwork to fill out, meetings with counselors, meetings with other dead folk, FUCKING MEETINGS PERIOD. There will be things like “waiting lines” I mean seriously, that may even be the most interesting part when you’re first dead. You’d be standing in line, looking at everyone else, everyone else looking at you, maybe some of them are happy, maybe some of them are sad — you’re all dead. And that’s something to be proud about. (If you ever had the opportunity to see “Beetle Juice” at an early age, this will make complete and logical sense to you.)

“People living deeply have no fear of death.”  
– Anaïs Nin, Diary, 1967
In the above quote, I completely agree. Not only was Anaïs a very romantic and highly erotic and incredibly sexy woman…she’s damn right. Live Deeply. Do it! Go, and live, your life. Live it like no one has ever lived life before, and you’re the first person who can. And if you die while living your life deeply, and passionately, then you have done everything right. In the words of my ecology professor, “There is still a lot of beauty in this world, go out, enjoy it, while it’s still here.”  

This post is dedicated to the following people I’ve known closely, and through friends: Kurt (I wish I had your last name), Scott Shaeffer, Colleen Chandler, and the really cool guy from Telfon Tel Aviv, Charlie Cooper. May you all have less paperwork to do in your new life. You’re a bastard Death, for pulling this shit in the beginning of  a new year…but hopefully this will be the last we hear from you for a while. 



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