Last night I dreamed I was doing to die. I had found out from a doctor that the chemical in my brain that allows you to breathe while you’re asleep was being inhibited, and for some reason I didn’t think to use a respirator, or to take medication. I simply accepted the knowledge that the next time I fell asleep, I would die and never wake up again. And you think something like that would get you upset- you’d be mad at God, sad at life and scared of death. But I didn’t have time for any of that crap, because when you’ve got about six hours to live, all that really counts is you tell things you’ve been bottling up inside, and that you are kind to your loved ones. I hugged goodbye to a few people, like Craig-kun, who was on the bus with me, and I briefly considered organising a will, but Eugene said it was very straightforward and for good reason- most of my stuff, if unattributed, would go to taxes (which was apparently a very good thing). There was a moment when Beth became hopeful that I could put it off somehow- just stop sleeping or take the medication, and I actually got angry with her for trying to keep me there when I had already decided there was nothing I could do about it. Then I told her there wasn’t enough time in the day to be fighting, so we didn’t. (I don’t know why I didn’t try and preserve my life, but I think I knew at the heart of me there was nothing I could do, or no other right course of action.) Other than that, the day continued as normal- I helped Beth run the inn we just bought together, and I sent a text message to everyone on my phone saying goodbye. And then I went to sleep.
When I next woke up, I was in a traveller’s lounge. A teenaged girl in a school uniform walked through the door and said “Hey”. “Hey”, I said. “I’m dead.” She looked at me before asking thoughtfully, “What are you doing here?” “Oh-” I paused a moment. “-just on my way out I guess.”
At that moment, another man in the hostel yelled out if anyone had seen his books. I said to the girl that they were just on the table, underneath some magazines, somehow intuitively knowing that no one else would be able to hear me. When she went to the table and checked, there were a few cutouts from adult magazines there. He went to take them but she grabbed them, scrunched them up and declared that he shouldn’t be reading that rubbish and no one else should. Then she turned to the barkeep and ordered a beer, handing it to me and saying that she didn’t trust that other guy with it so I should have it. So I drank it slowly, savouring the flavour, the texture, the scent of that golden, frothy drink. And as I was drinking it, I realised that the barkeep hadn’t actually poured a drink- the girl had asked for an imaginary drink for her imaginary friend that no one else could see. And I was overcome with such a small act of generosity, that she would go out of her way to be kind to me and that the bartender was loving enough to do it even though he didn’t understand touched me deeply. I woke up crying.
So I just wanted to say that, having gotten a little perspective overnight (though it’s already wearing off as I forget it), life’s not worth being upset or angry over. There aren’t enough hours in the day to fight with those you love- if you must, yell at them once, and then forget it forever. Let it go. It really, really isn’t worth it. Be kind to everyone, because even the smallest gesture can have the greatest effect when given at the right time.