Friday, May 28, 2004
The phone rang a couple hours ago with the news. The test results were in, and it wasn't good.
There is nothing more that can be done for me. All I can do now is wait.
I am only 28 years old. I've never married or started my own family, and have seen very little of the world. I will be leaving no legacy of any sort behind when I go. As it stands, no mark has been left on the world by which I will be remembered.
(this is an exercise in imagination)
What would I do if I was actually given only 2 more years to live? I do know a long bender would be the reaction to the news. But after that what would I do?
In the book/movie 'Fight Club', Tyler Durden asks: "If you were to die today, what would you wish you had done with your life?" (Or something like that. I don't feel like firing the movie up to get the exact quote. I'd have to watch the entire movie and I'm going to be up late enough as it is). The sad thing is, I don't have an answer to that question. I don't have any idea. If I did, it would assist me in picking a direction in which to head upon hearing the news. What do I want to do before I die?
Family and friends are an option. I could spend all my time visiting my family and friends; we would have long meaningful talks and enjoy their each other's company with the time left. My family and friends are very important to me, so that would be a good option. But is that enough? I don't think I know an adequate number of people to spread myself around enough to not annoy the piss out of everyone ("He's coming back? Again? Hasn't it been 2 years yet?").
I could travel. I could start wandering the globe to see as much as possible before my ticket is punched. Seeing the sights of the world and experiencing different cultures would be great. But what would be the point?
Would buying an earlier exit be considered? How about taking up risky adventures such as sky diving, sight-seeing in Saudi Arabia, streaking across the gator farm right before feeding time, or telling a girl: "yes, that dress does make you look fat". That would preclude the drama and anticipation inherent in waiting for your demise to creep up on you. Or is that a waste of the precious time you have left?
This is a tricky question that I will have to explore more. Why? Why not? Death could be waiting right around the corner and I don't even know it. I could buy the proverbial farm tomorrow for all I know, and then I wouldn't even have the 'luxury' of identifying what I want to do in life and having the time to do it. My heart could contain unknown defects and quit on me while I sleep tonight. A nasty car wreck on the drive to work could snuff me out. A mountain lion, or bear, or marmot could attack and eat me this weekend while I'm camping. Point is, there is no way to no when your time is up, at least not until it's happening. And by then it is too late.
If for no other reason, exploring this topic is almost mandatory in order to get out of life what I want. It may help put things in perspective and help me prioritize.
What would you do?