*Crackle!, Pop!, Crackle!*
Thats the sound of skulls popping, I can hear people from our small lane running and chanting in the air.
It was a house on fire- my neighbourhood wooden, four by four wall friend’s house. We were all just kids going to prep school back then, I remember the hair standing on my skin, plastic rollers in my hair and I could almost feeling them melting. It was a weird site, seeing the fire eating the wooden house amongst dancing flames.
I felt nothing, standing in my night gown with the cool breeze brushing away my thoughts and some how amplifying the sound of popping skulls.
The next day all I could think of was that could have been us. I remember the boy who died coming to our house only a few hours ago and asking my step mother if he could stay – but, I cannot be so sure now after all these years. I know he also tried to go to our upstairs neighbour which was also our landlord, of course the answer was a no, he never got what he came for because he was now dead.
He was out on his own, searching in the eyes of whom may have seemed like strangers to him on that night, him searching for a reason to stay. I often wondered did he know why he was walking back? Was it a slow walk? A quick run to his sister’s and mother’s side? Did he linger for hours outside still wanting a reason not to return? Could he have ran away that night? Maybe someone was out there too waiting for us to open the door so they too could attack us.
None of that mattered, because he made it back in the house, and out again in a body bag, only after being pried from the bath tub he was found in, clinging to his family.
Death always had a weird effect on me, I remember talks of the end of the world on TV, but it never came. It created a fear however. Then there was the AIDS epidemic, I never even kissed anyone till I was 19 yrs old because the fear was so much.
Why did I fear death so much, what was I even going to miss out on. I remember thinking how much I must have been gifted something special when I would hear the ages of people who died well before my age range and would calculate how much I had before I would hypothetically die when I heard an age range above mine. I would somehow give myself an invisible death sentence from an invisible doctor – “15 yrs to live” I would hear. I had breast cancer for so long in my mind, I even had a ‘lump” an actual lump! I saw a doctor to get it checked out and each time they would say they couldn’t feel it… hmm .. reminds me of ‘fear’. Real to me and not so real to everyone else.
Death used to be associated with life I imagine (sometime in far far away land), a passage which the living would pass through and the lessons would be left behind on earth – rituals – where death reminded us we should live in the present and cherish our loved ones.
Today I can see we may have found ourselves being digitally raped day in day out. not even knowing what are own thoughts are anymore. Death constantly fed to the ‘hype’ machine and births hardly spoken of, unless about ‘royalty’. We submit in fear and harbour it as an excuse to sever ties with those we love, we use it as a tool to disintegrate trust and drive fear into the minds of those who dear to live and dream.
Death may be such a powerful drug because we have forgotten how to celebrate life. May have have forgotten that we get many chances to live it over many situations. May have forgotten how to talk to each other and forgotten that the ones we hold close to our hearts are the few we should keep talking to, not so much the the masses who boosts our ego, the ones who do not know us without the makeup, the ones who will be quick to say we are not worth it.
I am tempted to conclude, that to be preoccupied with death, means to miss out on life.
Lets define living…..
- Going to celebrate the anniversary of a birth
- Going to see a new part of the world (even if that is the 5 mins down the road form you)
- Just sitting still and doing nothing (especially in this busy world)
- calling an old friend who brings you joy
- Talking to family
- Seeking help (from a therapist, a friend, a spouse etc)
- Day dreaming aloud while smiling
- Saying sorry
- cooking a new meal or your favourite meal
- Exploring a park
- Sleeping in late
- Reading a book
- Looking into ‘space’
What other ways can you define living? I would like to know.
Thank you for being with me crazy people! And remember: Share A Story, Save A Life.