Misanthropic Meanderings

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See the title? There you go.

Monday, July 10, 2006


There’s been a death in my circle, a person removed by genetic heritage & time. Worse yet, I didn't find out about it until 4th of July. A macabre sort of independence, a notification of liberation from a failing body. Death is the mandatory conclusion to life. It happens in a million ways, without mercy or judgment. Death is nothing to be surprised about. And yet, I can't tell if the knife through my heart at my friend's loss is all the more sharp because I was surprised. He wasn't supposed to die of cancer. He was supposed to recover, like he did that last time he was deathly ill. Then the next thing we'd hear from him would be a barely legible scrawl on a postcard about the latest foreign land he was in. And how beautiful the girls were.

The sharpness could be guilt. I love my friends. I admit to loving carelessly, completely, without any matured sense. The last I spoke to him, his voice on the phone was a little child's. “This is what my mom died of. I’ve got the same thing.” 'I don't want to die' was in every thread of that conversation. If there was anything I could do to make the world a different place so he wouldn't feel so small and helpless, I would have done it. And I'd hardly have called us close. My partner & I had every intention of visiting him this year, a surprise visit to bolster his spirits (and maybe even say goodbye). Time was against us. We wouldn't have made it back to NYC before Thanksgiving without a dramatic shift in fortunes.

I miss him already. I'd been missing his usual emails of terrible jokes since May, now I know the last ones from April are all I'll have of him. I'll miss his ridiculous collection of political buttons and his über-democrat beliefs. Most of what I'll miss is his unwavering belief that no matter what, no matter how pissed he'd make me when we worked together, no matter how long it took for us to get back to him-we were always friends. Open generosity like that is rare in this modern world.

I don't know what death is. Is it an end or a doorway? A judgment time or call to rest? I don't care. I haven't loved life as much as others, even though I value it. But I can say there are some I would give life to at the expense of others. So many people commit evils and live while others, who've done no harm, die young. I believe what is, is but it gives cold comfort right now. Douglas, you will be missed.


Blogger Raphie Frank said...

First, sorry to hear about your friend... nothing I can really say there except that it's a sad to hear. Full stop.

Second, as for your "cold comfort" and belief in "what is"... and "So many people commit evils and live while others, who've done no harm, die young."

As they say. life's a bit*h and then you die. The entire notion is not unrelated to the Doctrine of "Grace" wherein it doesn't really much matter if you've been good or bad. You could still end up in hell. The Puritans called that "The Selection" (?).

For what it's worth, I reject that doctrine as a rule by which to live even if true, because the belief itself becomes a part of "what is" and a "factor of production" in determining what comes next. Ends up in Salem hysterical sh** and all with drownings and burnings and whatnot.

So happens, though, Rue, I believe in free will and choice because whatever deity there may be is something you and I and everyone are a part of. As far as that goes, I ain't gonna let you mope any more than it seems you're going to let yourself, judging by that post up there above...

Ever seen Kusturica's Underground? If you did, you'll know what I mean when I say "DANCE!" Because the fact is I don't know what death is either though I have my suspicions.

Regardless, let me offer an inversion of St. Augustine's Gamble. Can we afford NOT to live this life we have while we are here? It's a sure thing and we don't none of us know what comes next and, near as I can figure, "use it or lose it" applies to more than just.... well, you know...

5:37 AM  
Blogger Misanthropic Meanderings said...

Ah, me. Death is the natural partner of life. Therefore, it is best to live while you can, as time is short. I just wish some had more time than others, while I question my own level of commitment to the idea that we have to value living. But I'm not like that always.

9:19 PM  

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