The Fragility of Life
I’m sitting on my couch watching Saturday Night Live and eating pickles straight out of the jar. A part of me truly believes that my body should appreciate such a mundane moment. The home phone rings. I set the pickles down on the coffee table, licking my salty fingers, and I scamper to answer it. That’s the funny thing about such moments − there is little gratitude while we experience them.
It’s my mother on the other side but, somehow, it isn’t. Normally, she has a steady voice, one that has never failed to lull my ever-weary mind. However, her singsong melody is not what I hear now. Suddenly, the significance of my mother’s call hits me. Blackness circles my sight; there is this ungodly scream off in the distance. Was that me?
The composition of the human body is marvelous, the way our brains have the capacity to minimize damage in a crisis is truly fascinating. What our bodies are not capable of − and perhaps it is a cosmic joke − knowing instantly when someone we love has departed. Instilled in every atom of my body, even now, is the want to be watching Saturday Night Live and eating pickles out of the jar, oblivious.
The crunch of pine needles beneath my ill-fitting shoes and the gentle caress of the autumn wind should be comfort enough. No. I promise to keep going. Two months ago, I would have taken this responsibility in the form of an unlit cigarette between my teeth and savoured the crunch as I chewed. Now, I cannot think. What I do know, in my heart of hearts, is that I must say goodbye, lay a rose, and take a breath. This moment will pass.