Every experience is a life or death experience.

April 18, 2012 § Leave a comment

My childhood neighbor died last night in his apartment, of natural causes. He was 29. 29. He was an actuary. I don’t think he probably took a risk in his whole life. And yet, he is dead, at just 29 years old.

I am 27. I should have died a hundred times by now. I should have died when I hit that cow in my Toyota Camry. I should have died when I took that bad e or when I woke up in my own vomit after passing out on the floor. I should have died when I got lost in the remote desert. I should have died when I drove across North Dakota in the middle of February. I should have died every time I mixed a dangerous amount of Old Crow and benzodiazepines. I should have died that time I locked myself in a freezer chest when I was seven. I should have died that time my high school girlfriend and I took a curb at 120 mph in the rain and flew off the road.

I do not know what it would take to convince me that the stochasticity of existence has a bright side. Even if you believe in things, the randomness has still got to get you down. Because there is no sense. And there is no planning. And your thoughts are neither here nor there and still you are forced to have them. To be is a valueless thing, a tabula rasa. And what would you fill it with to make it pleasant or good or meaningful? When even making dinner plans doesn’t seem altogether philosophically sound? How do you experience happiness when there is no way to reason your way to it? What is this magical syllogism that unfurrows your brow and let’s you smile at the sky and live for a whole minute without listening to your heartbeat and thinking that one day it will simply stop?

He used to ride a unicycle around our circle drive when we were kids. There’s something profound there, but I haven’t a clue what it is.

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