Marocharim Decides to Die*
I decided to die.
Death is welcome. Too welcome: whether it’s in spectacular form like car explosions, or in something as absurd like choking on a walnut not chewed properly. A gun in my head can kill me faster than cigarettes and alcohol. It doesn’t really matter if it’s a slow, painful process or a quick and easy instant: death is welcome. It’s right there. Not that life is pointless, or that I’m sad or that I’m depressed. Death is just there, waiting.
I never gave much thought to death until that taxi ride where I decided to die, for no reason at all. When you’re cruising through the highway a little above the speed limit, with cargo trucks weaving through lanes with the occasional Porsche speeding along the asphalted shoulder of the road, you think death. I could die here, whether it’s a spectacular car crash or a hard thud on the barricades.
Then I figured I don’t really have to do that. Death is welcome; I can die at any instant. I could just not see tomorrow, and that’s it: I don’t have to get hurt. I don’t have to feel pain to die. In that hope of trying to extend your life by cutting yourself away from vice, they’ll catch up with you one day. You never know when some lunatic will point a gun at the back of your head and shoot. You never know when that walk on top of an office building will send you hurtling down the ground. The next thing you know you’ll be with a hundred other people looking at the sunset from the beach, with your trench-coats on, not feeling the sand between your toes.
I decided to die, but I want to see the sunrise today, so I can’t die before 6 AM. There’s the book my girlfriend wants me to read, so I can’t die in the afternoon because I want to re-read the chapters I missed and get the beat of Beat fiction. Oh, and I want to call her tomorrow and tell her that I love her, and she’s doing a great job on field. There’s dinner tomorrow, I can’t die on that. I can’t die on WordCamp Philippines 2010, either.
I decided to die, but not through cigarettes or booze. I don’t want people to look at my coffin and see how cancer ravages the body, so I can’t die looking like a victim of disease. I want stuff in my funeral: awards and accolades, trophies… I only have three in my room right now. People should mourn me, they should grieve for my death, but I can’t die with the few true friends I have. I can’t die with my casket devoid of those purple ribbons that bear the name of my children. I can’t die yet without children to carry on my name, or at least inherit my collection of black shirts and Levi’s jeans… but they need something more than that. So I can’t die without getting them a house, a good education, and three square and nutritious meals a day, every day, until they can start making their mark in the world.
I decided to die, but I don’t have a mark in the world yet. I don’t want to spend days – or hours – in my deathbed talking about blogs. I’m eyeing that Golden Lion. That Pulitzer, and heaven forbid if I actually make it, that Nobel. I want to see magnolias on the walls, the church smelling like jasmine, when the love of my life walks the aisle on the way to forever and ever.
I decided to die, but I want my name on the spine of a book – not an e-book, but a best-seller – so I can’t die without completing that. Not without this country becoming a better place.
I decided to die, but I have dreams, so I can’t die in my sleep. I want to wake up and get to crackin’ with every one of those dreams. I decided to die, but not where I am now. At least, not yet. Not without double-decker buses and ten-ton trucks.
I decided to die, but I want to put this post up. I want to go out for lunch tomorrow, and break the monotony of whatever they’re selling downstairs. My BlackBerry says I have an early evening meeting with a client on Monday, and I have to give it my best shot. There’s the matter of laundry to be picked up, too. So I can’t die yet. Dying can wait.
I decided to die. The funny thing is, I choose to live.
* – Played from “Veronika Decides to Die” by Paulo Coelho