20131101

death, pt. 1

Nicholas.

When you were in London, I used to think of what would happen if you died while you were there. That probably sounds worse than it is--it was just this fear I had. As if distance made it more likely that you'd be hit by a bus, or something. I don't know. Anyway, when you came back, and we finally met at a party and sat out back and watched the wind tear the leaves off the trees, those thoughts didn't go away. We'd been talking philosophy and how people change, and as you talked I imagined you still and cold and composed in a coffin somewhere.

Eventually I just asked you, "Have you ever thought about death?" and then when you smirked at me I immediately regretted the question, because of course you had. But you actually suppressed the smirk. I still don't know if that was on purpose.

You told me how you used to go to funerals of people you didn't know, for reasons you could never quite articulate. "I guess I was just obsessed with death," you said. "Maybe I still am." Then you smirked again and said that you didn't want to get all morbid tonight. But your smile seemed thin after that, and your smirk looked more like a mask than ever. You looked as human as I'd ever seen you look. Who was I to intrude on that?

2 comments:

Kizolk said...

"We'd been talking philosophy and how people change, and as you talked I imagined you still and cold and composed in a coffin somewhere."

I'm not really into horror movies, but I absolutely love zombies, especially Romero. One of my bros thinks it's pointless intellectual onanism, but I think he doesn't quite get zombies. I dream about zombies. At first I couldn't make sense of it, but then I realized it was about the fear of people changing. One today they love you, the next day maybe they'll come to your bed at night and eat you. Or leave you, zombies can do that, too.

Rob said...

somehow i never saw this comment until just now, so it languished in my moderation queue, waiting to be acknowledged. sorry about that!

some of the most powerful zombie-related moments are the ones where they go from 'tearful goodbye' to 'eat your brain' in the same shot. you can actually see the point at which your loved ones cease to be the person they once were.