I’m guessing that being dead feels like nothing. And my thoughts on this aren’t necessarily educated. They really only stem from the fact that I fainted once. And it felt like nothing. The unconscious part of that experience I meant.
So I imagine that when we die, and we lose our consciousness, it’s similar to how you feel when you have fainted. Or when you’re sleeping and have no dreams. You feel nothing.
So when Philosophers like Seneca and Epictetus tell us not to fear death, I get it. I get it because you can only fear death when you’re awake, and when you’re awake, you’re not dead, so you’re worrying for no reason. And when you’re dead, you’re too busy feeling nothing to fear anything.
I think of how I’m feeling right now. And death doesn’t feel so bad.
I freeze time everyday. Passing people clutching phones with desperate fingers and dead eyes, replaced by the reel of social media feeds. Thumbs–up, down. Up down. Nothing to say to one another except “see me” until someone does and their attention is quantified as a wedding ring and and a white dress, black tux, and a kiss that carries the promise of stability and relevance and there’s nothing else we could ever hope for, really. Approximately everything else is attainable. It’s all very satisfying.
The tapping of his fingers seemed obvious. Boredom. The signal was clear, and she was too caught up into what she was saying to notice. But he kept asking questions. She kept talking. And talking. And maybe the whole thing wouldn’t be as poignant if he weren’t attracted to her. He who wanted her to stop talking. She who allowed herself to indulge in thought after thought, expressed. She who assumed he was picking up the words and creating inferences, digging deeper understanding. But there was nothing. Nothing but attraction and boredom.
He’s old. Legitimately. And if I were to see him on the street, with his walker, or at Denny’s at 7:00 am sharp, I probably wouldn’t think anything of it. But he’s in this coffee shop at 9:30pm playing the piano with so much grace and experienced practice.
It’s a great skill, really. I wonder how old he was when he started playing. And if he was young enough for it to be an attractive thing for his romantic interests. I imagine a time lapse as he’s sitting at the piano, a young man initially playing at social events–people from the 50’s swinging skirts and tapping toes around him. Then he turns slowly shrinking as his back starts to hunch in on itself, age touching fingers leaving spots and pulling at skin, and now here he is. Interesting how our hobbies become us. Carry us through life.
I need something like that. I’m young. All I do is think, and my thoughts are barely carrying me through now.