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Time: A Lesson in Death

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posted on Apr, 4 2007 @ 08:49 PM
Time: A Lesson in Death
When I was a boy, a small boy, and I thought what time would look like if I ever met time.. It would have been an old man, with a long flowing white beard. He would have worn a white rope and held a walking stick, and he would have moved incredibly slow.

When I was a boy, I though time was vast, endless. Christmas never came early enough, school lasted way to long, and there where to few birthdays, I was always wanting to be older then I really was. I wanted to be older, because older people get respect. I wanted to be big and strong like my father, I wanted to be wise and experienced like older kids I knew, no one likes being treated like a child, like they where ignorant of the world. I knew everything, I had every thing .. I had time.

Let me tell you my story, a story of my death, a story of my time alive and the lessons I learned from my abuse of the privilege taken prematurely.

Death was not what you expect when your alive and have the ability to think about it, to ponder it, to give it meaning. Perhaps you thought when you died it would be through a heroic feat.. maybe you imagine dieing saving a small child from a burning building. Maybe you thought you would die on a field of battle among brother and heroes. Maybe you didn’t dream so big, maybe you thought you would die wealthy, men among men, a family around your bed as you passed expressing their unending love. I know few who thought they would die over weight, poor, alone in the dark and suddenly with few to care your passing and no one to miss you. To leave no impression upon the world of greatness, to receive a poppers grave in a government funded cemetery in a remote corner with a slab to tell the date in which your worthless body was strewn in a hole.

No, because that is not romantic. Humans love to imagine their worth and value, who deems them self so worthless that no would mind their passing?

I lead a life of an average man. I did nothing great, I accomplished little and all those who would have mourned my passing with heartache, I chased away. And I did not die a heroic death, no, I died out side a cheap motel telling my wife I would be working late again, when a drunk driver hit me from behind. I never felt it, I never saw it. There was no bright light for me, except the reflection of the head lights before my life ended. I simply woke up.

Or, at least it felt like I woke up, its hard to describe, like I awoke from a terrible dream.

Only the dream was real.

I looked around, my body was broken, the look on my face was tired, I looked so much older then 37.

I stared there, as emergency crews came, I stared there at my body and my life and I knew deep down I had failed. I slight tugging on my right sleeve and I looked down to see a child staring up at me. She had the brightest green eyes and the darkest black hair, as if it absorbed all light. She was short and pale, she looked to me to be about ten years old, but her eyes, they looked like they had seen all the ages of men and beyond in a single life. How little did I know that is exactly what her eyes had seen. It was like looking into a void that I could not comprehend, it made me feel small and insignificant, and so uncomfortable that this child made me feel this way.

I asked her “What is your name child?”

She laughed at me and shook her head. She took my hand and began pulling my away, and as hard as I tugged back, for I did not want to leave my body just yet, it was like she had the strength of a thousand men in her on hand.

“What is so special about that body, that life, that you would waste another minute standing over a mangled corpse?” She inquired, and rather abrasively if you ask me. I was at a loss of words and began walking beside her, not that I had another option available.

“Is this heaven” I asked, I really hoped the answer was yes, but I imagined angels with wings and halos and she was kind of mean.

“What is heaven?” She responded with a hint of a laugh.

“It’s supposed to be where good people go when they die, where angles and a big golden gate and all that. This does not seem like hell though either, where are we? I am dead right?”

“And you classify your self as a good person do you? Why do you assume you deserve this heaven you speak of?”

I was again at a loss of words. Why didn’t I deserve it? I never hurt any one in my life.

As if she read my thoughts she cocked her head and looked up to me as she spoke “You died out side a sleazy motel cheating on your wife, abandoning your family for a few hours of fun with another woman.”

So as-a-matter-of-factly she spoke it, I simply hung my head. So I committed one crime in my life, does that mean I burn for eternity. She had yet to answer my question and she began to annoy me. Maybe it was because I didn’t like the fact that this child could make me feel this way.

“So, this is hell then, I am in hell and you’re a demon?”

She laughed again and I suppressed the urge to turn and walk away, not that I could have anyways. “What is a demon?”

I pondered the thought, my reply sounded silly and pathetic afterwards “It is a creature of hell that is to punish me for my crimes?”

She laughed harder. The laugh was not evil, it resounded no joy either, it was a laugh that broke my heart, a laugh that made me flash quickly my life’s events. I began to cry.

“You need no punishment, you punished your self. Demons. In life your kind does nothing but install the fear of all things unknown that you would rather fear your own immortal survival then to actually focus on accomplishing what would truly save you.”

My anger spilled over. I was not a bad man. Sure, I was no saint, hell I hadn’t been in a church since I was a boy, but I was not a bad man either, why was I being treated to this mockery, it infuriated me. “I never did anything to deserve this, show me where I went wrong.”

It came upon me suddenly, I fell, she let go of her grasp and I fell into the unknown. I fell through the ages, through time its self, I saw patches of my life fly by in a whirl of activity.

The sun. Boy I miss the sun. I have not felt the sun like this in years. A life time perhaps.

I looked at my feet, I wore worn sneakers with a hole at the big toe. I remember I never liked new shoes, and neither did my mother as I typically ruined them within a week. The girl sat beside me, she held my hand, and it made me laugh. I have no idea why.

I jumped off the fence where we sat and ran to the tree. The feel of the bark, the smell of the tree, I climbed upward. I was on top of the world, I could see across the fields, I saw the girl sitting on the fence staring at me.

God I miss climbing trees. I always wanted a tree house, with a trap door. I never had one, so I promised to my self I would build my son a tree house. I never did.

I climbed down and walked to the girl.

“Why do you bring me here, to my childhood home?” I inquired

“You are free here. You are your self here. Return to all things basic.”

I hate riddles. They confuse me to no end. I pressed on “It serves no purpose, I died long after this, I cannot fix my life as a child.”

“Your life ended, you cannot fix it at all.”

My anger boiled once again. I kicked a rock and sat down hard. I remembered. As a child I loved bugs, and frogs. I loved to watch them, I used to have a magnify glass to inspect them, it was so interesting to me, another life form unaware of my presence, I loved all things unknown to me.
We walked down to my favorite spot, a small creek. I built dams here in the summer with my friends, we made a large swimming hole to swim in, refreshing in the summer heat. Before my eyes I saw us playing. Cannon balls and splash contest. We had no cares. I closed my eyes and I imagined the feeling, the feeling of freedom, of no worries. The fact that one day lasted an eternity, a week even longer. We didn’t talk about years at this age, no, there was no need. We had no plans that involved years, just days. Hardly ever past tomorrow honestly.

And it vanished. Quickly this time, no falling, like a slow blink my life changed. I was, apparently from the acne, 14 years old or so, maybe younger. I always looked younger then I really was. I was sitting in my room, alone, playing a game on the computer. The girl at my side aged as well, and I was floored by the beauty she now held. She apparently noticed my slacked mouth and a sharp stab with her eyes promptly had me looking the other way. Yes. I remember this feeling, that awkward feeling when a member of the opposite sex looks at you.

I walked across my room and opened the blinds. Why did I always keep my room so dark? It smelled like mold and body odor as well. I was disgusting, and I felt embarrassed to have this beautiful girl in my room. I stared out the window and watched a pack of kids my age ride past the house.

“I wish I would have been out there.” Anger rising in my voice. God I miss the sun, the trees. What the hell is my problem. I walked over to the awkward boy sitting at the table and shouted violently “GET UP” punching my self in the head.

The girl laughed. I threw a book at her. As the book sailed threw the air, it opened it pages as if in a whirl of wind, it broke at the seam, its pages unwritten now, the ink pouring off, the pages disintegrated and blew past the girl like dust. She scared me, I thought, she was a demon.

“You are not an angle” I said, I don’t know why. She could read my mind anyways.

“What is an angel?”

posted on Apr, 4 2007 @ 08:50 PM
I hated this girl. I hated her like nothing I ever felt before, I wanted to continue throwing objects at her, make her feel pain. She knew no pain. She stared at me, awaiting an angel, why I do not know, she would simply talk in circles.

“An angle.. has wings. And a halo.” God, I am lame. I rubbed my arms. The girl stared at me, head cocked to one side, one eyebrow raised. “Its someone who is good, who helps, who protects and works for God?”

She looked sad, she shook her head and walked out the door and down the stairs.

I felt alone. And cold.

We where at the dinner table, I always sat in the same spot. I now wondered at this, we all do it. You pick a spot, where you feel comfortable, you make it your own. In school when you don’t have assigned seats, you sit in the same spot. Even if you don’t like those around you. You are given the freedom to move at will. Diversity. We choose to ignore the freedom and stay where we where comfortable. I laughed at this, it seems so silly.. how can you have a new experience if you do not allow variation in your life?

“Your learning. Your slow, and dense, but your learning.” The girl said beside me, mystically, I still had no idea what the hell she was talking about.

My father came in.

My father.

He died the day after my 21st birthday.

I missed him. “How was your day buddy?” he asked, in the same strong voice I remember, it nearly brought tears to my eyes to hear that voice.

I did not respond. Just glanced and gave him a nasty look. I wanted slap my self! I wanted to tear at my own skin. How dare I disrespect him like that! The girl, she held me back, putting a hand on my shoulder.

I remembered the feeling. He was so lame, so old, what does he know. He was never young like me. God I was ignorant.

He always asked about my day! It was the same every damn day I went to school ok what’s so hard to understand about that old man?? Oh but now I knew, he simply cared. Youth corrupted my mind, it blocked out every one but my self.

My father was a repair man. He never had money and it pissed me off to no end. I wanted new shoes damn it, every one else had new shoes. All my clothes where old to, I only got new clothes on Christmas. I wanted to throw my spoon at his face, I wanted to shout my anger at him, how he couldn’t even provide for one son and a wife, what a disgrace.

I tore at myself. How could I think such things! I did not need new shoes what the hell was wrong with me, I used to hate new shoes! Oh but I was so self absorbed I didn’t care what I wanted, as long as other people approved. I never missed my father more then at that moment.

I sank to my knees, in convulsions I cried, I tore out my hair and slashed my skin with my nails. I hated my self, I was an idiot, a self absorbed fool who cared little for any one. If only I knew then what I knew now, I could change, I could act different. I would help with the dishes instead of yelling at my mother. I would ask my dad to go fishing instead of complain when he asked, preferring time alone in my room. That god damn room. My cave. What a wasteful life. I did not deserve what I could have had.

Another move in scenery, I was 20 years old. I moved out of my parents house when I turned 18, I don’t know why now. I wanted freedom I guess, I wanted to show the world what I could do.

I fell on my ass, that’s what I did.

At 19 I lost my best friend. Turns out we couldn’t live together, and after 13 years of friendship we stopped talking.

God, I miss the sun. The trees. Me and my friend swimming in the hand made pool. I closed my eyes, and I felt it once more. I felt the sun on my face, the wind in my hair and the earth on my hands.

I opened my eyes, I was on my couch drinking a beer watching some sleazy show on TV. I hate TV now. I don’t know why. Seems so pointless as I watch my self watch TV. Why watch, when you can go do. When you can read. When you can use your imagination.

I lived with this girl now, at 20, I don’t know why. I suppose I wanted to prove to her I loved her, that if we lived together it would cement the relationship, right. I am an idiot, and I prove this to my self time and again. Do I ever learn? It appears not.

A change in scenes and I am at my parents house, My dad is walking with a cane. I wanted to throw the cane, I wanted to see my dad strong again. What the hell is his problem, he acted older then he was in my opinion. My father is not weak, he used to pick me up with one arm as I swung, hanging from his biceps. We used to wrestle, he could give me piggy back rides and could do anything. Now he’s so weak, and I wanted to scream.

He had an accident, driving. The doctor said he shouldn’t drive after his operation, he had a heart attack a few years ago, I was out of state at the time. My mother was left alone threw the ordeal. I was a horrible son.

She called me, asking me to go to the store for him one night. She was to sick, and my father, the great man he was, offered to go for her. I was drunk, some where, at some strange house, talking to some strange girl, drinking my life away. I hung up on her.

My father drove and passed out at the wheel, wrapping his car around a pole.

I began to cry once more, what the hell is wrong with me. I didn’t know it at the time, how my actions had such a profound effect on others in my life. How little I cared. I vomited.

Me and my dad, we where supposed to go drinking at the bars on my 21st birthday. I got drunk with some buddies and passed out in an ally.

I never saw him again, he died the next morning from a heart attack. A broken heart, I think.

I deserve hell. I confirmed this now, I deserve hell.

“Your not alone. This is pretty typical actually, and like you said, your just an average guy.” She said, flat toned, she was angry. I could tell.

No, I could feel. It was freezing. It was hot. It hurt to look at her, though she now looked 20, she was larger then I could ever perceive. She was fuming mad.

“How was I supposed to know?” I asked, honestly, how was I supposed to know? I remember the feeling, the school sucked, work sucked. I just wanted to get smashed, get laid and not give a damn anymore.

I remember how my dad walked with a cane before his death, before in my ignorance left him there. I remember now I never offered my hand to help him. I never offered my hand to any one in assistance, unless it was to take someone else’s assistance.

“Greed” she spoke, softly. Maybe she whispered. “It destroys man.” Yes I thought, it does. “It has become man. Man is greed.” No, I thought, there is some good in this world.

I looked around, we where in a city. A homeless man with a sign begged for food and money. “Do you know his story?” she looked at me with anger as she spoke.

“No, why would I?” She still confused me.

“No, I suppose you wouldn’t, you never cared enough to wonder. You saw right through him.” I felt the same sensations of anger as she spoke.

“He fought in two wars. He came back and his government treated him like a stray dog. His people, those he fought for, treated him even worse. His wife left him, because he couldn’t shake the images of death from his eyes. Children dieing in his arms, mothers screaming for their loss, men mangled about him as he lies in a field. The images are nothing, when compared to sounds, and those are nothing to the smells. The smell of burning flesh, the smell of bombs, of men blown apart, broken. The smell of death. He screamed in the night, he drank in the day, his wife could not take it. She left, with his two children. The doctors said he was crazy, gave him some medication, but the government wouldn’t pay. So he couldn’t get a job with out the medication, no one wanted him, no one treated him like a human, but as an animal. Now, he begs for survival form the likes if arrogant self consumed fools like your self.”

The world shook, the buildings fell, the world was consumed in fire and death, plagues and explosions, famine and thirst all at once. The world imploded.

A change of scene.

“Did the world just end?” I screamed, I panicked, what just happened?

“No” she signed. She looked so old. I remember how old my grandmother looked before she died. She looked like that, only infinite times older. I felt bad for her. I put my arm around her, I comforted her.

“The world does not end, but if I could end it, that is what you deserve.” She pointed that last comment at me. I knew she meant Human in general.

I looked around, I knew this spot. I hated this spot.

We where at the spot of my death. I didn’t care it was where I died. This is where I destroyed my self, finally and completely.

I came here, I remembered, I remember the feeling.

I was young again, sneaking off after work with a co-worker for a little bit of fun before I returned to my prude of a wife. She never wanted to have fun. I can count on both hands how many times we had sex a year. Monica was her name, who I ran off with. A beautiful brunette, she made me feel young and wild again. I hated her.

The way she looked at me, seduced me. It was her fault.

“Why did you abandon all that you had for her? Why was she so special?” The woman to my right asked. She was tall and wise now. She made me feel weak and low.

“I didn’t do it because of her did I? No, I was confused.” I replied, with sincerity.

“You lie. You did it because what you had was not good enough for you. It never was. Your son doesn’t know you, and you don’t know him. Your father would be ashamed. Why didn’t you build him a tree house?”

posted on Apr, 4 2007 @ 08:50 PM
What the hell was she going on about? Ah. I remembered. I missed the sun, the trees. I always wanted that tree house, and I remembered that promise to my self, to my future son. I never felt more ashamed in my entire existence that at that moment. And I cried. Not for my self, for my son. I was not half the man my father was, and I never could have been because I never knew just how great he was. I was a disgrace of a father, I let my son down. And my wife, the only woman who cared for me.

An then I knew.

I knew that it was not the actions of others who drove me to this motel, this climax of my life where it all came crashing down.

It was my self, my own consumed self.

I never paid attention all the good things granted to me, all the things my father gave me on his modest salary. I never cared about the bonds of friendship that where offered to me, that where mine, that I held closest. I missed my friend, I had missed him since we stopped talking, I hated my self. I threw it away because I didn’t pay attention to how much I needed it. What you have is who you are, and if you throw it all away, if you do not pay attention to what is in your possession, you loose it, and having nothing was what I was. Nothing. I was a body, a number, no one knew my name. I looked back at my wife, she cared that I passed, but she would find a better man. A better father for my own son. God I hated my self, I was granted the world and I ignored it. I was so consumed within my self I didn’t care about my surroundings.

As I cried there, sitting in the middle of the road as cars ran threw me, time gave me a chance.

She walked into the traffic, “I cannot give you your life back, you destroyed it.” She said, gently, she knew my pain.

“Every one gets another chance though, this life, you will understand what it is to be a man, and take full advantage of this opportunity, I will not give you another chance to repair your own soul.” She kissed my cheek.

I hate time. When you don’t have enough time. When time cuts you short. When it all ends before you can fix your wrong doings. The suddenness in which it destroys, or makes you.

I love time, for the experiences offered through my life. I love time for the chances to do what is right, for the long days to relax, to reflect..

To remember..

When your young, time is vast, it is a void.
It pulls gently as you age, 5 years and you’re a big boy, in your own mind and perspective. At 13 you can’t wait to drive, you’re a teen now. At 16 you can’t wait to be 18, finally free. When your 18 you realize your not free yet, you want to be 21. When your 21 your not free either.. you are times captive, and it is no longer a gentle tug, now it is yanking you down a path.

And what path.. rarely do we make plans, no instead we do what comes at us, we simply, go along with time. Eventually your turning 30 and you have no idea what happened to your youth, you dream of escaping away from the bills, them damn bills, far away form responsibilities, from money collectors and debt. Your down a path you would not have chosen 10 years ago, and now you have no choice. Your already here.

And then, it ends. Sometimes in generic fashion, life destroyed and cut short before you get to those dreams. Maybe it’s a car accident, maybe food poisoning from your favorite restaurant. Maybe a random act of violence, a robbery. If your lucky you get to old age and simply wait for it, if your really lucky the one you love will be by your side.

But you don’t choose that path, you cannot predetermine your fate.

You can only make the best use of your


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