He was on his death bed. He knew that these were his last moments. They were the worst moments of his life. He was terrified, miserable, and full of regret.

He never loved life or desired it. He did not seek a position, wealth, or fame but he became so full of regret when it was too late. He didn’t regret not making more money or becoming famous, but he regretted his wasted years on this planet. As death became closer his life didn’t flash before his eyes, but the lack of it. He thought of all the people he could’ve met, the people he could’ve inspired, and the people he could’ve loved. He imagined all the cities he could’ve visited: New York, Mumbai, Beirut, Beijing, Moscow, Paris, Berlin, Sydney, and Nairobi. Oh his thoughts could go on forever.

His body was old and so was his mind, but his soul was willing. He had a family whom he loved and cherished but all he could think was that it wasn’t enough. How many adventures could he have had? How many more stories could he tell his grandchild? He never sat next to an old man or woman on the bus or in the park and listened to what they had to say. He never saw a little girl cry and tried to cheer her up. He never got lost in a foreign city and never had a roommate. He wasted too much time being cynical and criticizing the world rather than doing anything about it. He would get hurt and dwell on it for an eternity rather than going back out there and getting hurt over and over again.

He realized now that happiness and joy aren’t the only things that make us feel alive, but all the feelings at once. You’re alive when you’re hurt, when you’re afraid, when you’re anxious, and when you’re excited. Joy alone cannot exist or you wouldn’t even feel it. Oh how he cried as he realized how big the world was and how much time he had.

He grabbed his grandchild and told him how he felt so he wouldn’t make the same mistakes. The boy was only 13 but he knew his grandchild understood when he saw his eyes shine. They smiled at each other as they both realized it was time. He went away knowing that his grandchild won’t make the same mistakes. He went away hoping that his grandchild’s life will make up for his. The boy went on to change lives and travel the world and he took the memory of his grandfather everywhere he went.

“When you’re a kid, they tell you it’s all… grow up. Get a job. Get married. Get a house. Have a kid, and that’s it. But the truth is, the world is so much stranger than that. It’s so much darker. And so much madder. And so much better.”



Déjà vu

I’m out having dinner with two of my friends when it strikes me. I’ve seen this before, experienced it. It’s been happening a lot over the past two years so it’s no big deal. As I try to remember what happens next from when I dreamt it I feel as if I’ve been struck by a bolt of lightning.

I know what happens next and I hate it. I couldn’t handle this in my sleep, how am I supposed to handle it in real life? It’s all vague, but one of them dies. I know which one, but I don’t remember how. All I know is that it’s going to happen right in front of me and that I’m going to be there staring into his eyes trying to calm him as he passes away.

This is the longest meal of my life. I smile and I talk but I’m not really there. I’ve given up on trying to remember what happens next, instead my mind has shifted into the future. What am I going to tell his parents? How will I handle this? No, no! I can’t be this selfish! These are my last moments with my friend and all I can think about is how difficult MY life is going to be? I wish I can say something to him or to my other friend, but what if I’m wrong? Do you tell someone he’s going to die in 30 minutes or so? There’s nothing to do. I sit there, anticipating, praying that I’m wrong.

What do I do now? All I can do is try to talk as much as I can. I look at the details of his face. How is it that I never noticed his eye color? I see the wrinkles lateral to his eyes and his slightly receding hairline. I listen to his voice, try to record it, then play it back inside my head trying to make sure I have it with me. Again, so selfish of me to try to immortalize him in my head so that I can recall him when I need him and he’s not there.

It’s over. The check is here and we’re getting ready to leave. He’ll go home alone as our other friend drives me home. Only a few more minutes and I could be wrong and relieved. It happened in front of me so the moment I can no longer see him he’ll be safe. I try to watch our surroundings as much as possible as we get out of the restaurant until we reach the sidewalk. It’s almost over, he’s parked on this side of the street so he’s safe from cars passing by, I hope. Good. For once I’m praying and begging that I’m wrong.

We say our goodbyes and decide to head off to our cars. I watch him for a second to make sure he gets to his car. He gets into his car and I can no longer feel the weight of the world on my shoulders. I have aged 40 years over the past hour and now I’m a child again. I ask my friend who’s taking me home where the car is and he points across the street. My joy overcame my rationale and I rush cross the street and I see two lights coming towards me. I freeze.

Next thing I know I’m lying on the ground unable to move. I can see and move my eyes as well as hear. That’s all, just sensory input. I hear my friend scream for the one I thought was going to die. I hear his footsteps as he rushes towards my motionless body. They both kneel down and I see their faces. They’re crying. Maybe they’re shocked or maybe the damage is too much to see. I can’t lift my neck to see the rest of my body, nor do I want to. It’s all clear now. My dream wasn’t of my friend’s death. I dreamt of my own death. Now they have to deal with what happens next. They have to deal with my parents and the rest of my friends. They have to cope with seeing their friend die right in front of them. I’m not burdened by my death, but by the effect it will have on these two great men. I use all the energy I have in my body to smile and grasp a hand. I don’t know whose hand it is but I’m sure they understand. That is all. This is the story of how I die.


404: Sensation Not Found

It’s been a while since I last wrote, been a bit busy and a little bit lazy. Too lazy and/or busy to post but never to think. Every night I still put together some thoughts in a written form in my head like I’m writing them on imaginary paper but I can’t contain myself tonight.

I write because the thoughts build up inside my head. Some thoughts can’t be put into words because words can lose their meaning once spoken, but never when written. The way I see it is that I can get my ideas across better through text. I’m not good at conversations, mainly small talk. It’s difficult to go out with one friend because the responsibility of initiating and maintaining a conversation is divided upon the two of us; however, in a group of people I can be very talkative as there are several conversations taking place with a lot of input. This isn’t to say that I can’t be comfortable with a single friend at a time. On the contrary, sometimes silence can be relaxing, it can be all that is needed but the problem is “What if he/she thinks this is awkward? Should I say something?”. The greatest thing is knowing someone enough to the extent that these questions don’t pop up in your head.

Right now I write because there’s this sensation I can’t find meaning or description for. All I know is that it’s sometimes in my head and sometimes in my chest, often at night. I write because this is not “conversation material”. I write because maybe someone can relate and maybe someone has an answer.

It’s not misery. Misery is often a result of loneliness or failure and I feel neither. My life is full of wonderful people and failure comes after quitting, something I can never be familiar with. Is it energy or a drive to do something? Maybe, but is it physical, intellectual, or spiritual? Do I feel like going running at this time of night? Probably. Am I willing to open a medical text book and start learning? Definitely. Is it time to enrich my soul? Certainly. Yet I feel that this isn’t it. I know myself well enough to know when I have a desire to do something and I usually do it straight away.

I do feel better as I write this sentence although the sensation remains. Maybe all I needed was to get some thoughts off my mind. Maybe it’s my mind letting me know that this is too much to bear and some of it needs to be let out.