Update: For those of you who are wondering about the previous parts to this series, please check the September archives. Will post links to those parts in this post at a later time.
Krish sat in front of the camcorder. The camera prepared to capture a slice of reality. The digital screen filled with a blanket of smoke. The smoke cleared to reveal Krish’s face with a vacant expression. He peered into the camera blowing another puff of smoke.
He began talking into the camera.
“If you are watching this I am probably dead. I have been thinking about death a lot lately. It is strange how you end up thinking about life really when you think about death. The things that happened and more so the things that didn’t happen. Like that trip you meant to take or the words that never escaped your mouth or the goodbye you never got to say. I thought about all the people that were close to me and I lost…forever. I realized there was so much I did not know about them and they did not know about me. It was like they lived another life that I never knew about and desperately wished to be a part of. But now they were lost forever. How can they not exist?
So I got thinking about this. I thought how about I make a video diary and leave a piece of me behind. If ever anyone wondered what I was like they could pop this in and there I am. Videos are really like time machines if you think about it. Although you can only go back in time it is a pretty darn good invention. It is definitely one of the top 10 best inventions ever made in my mind. Lately I have been in awe of everything around me…sort of like Kevin Spacey in American Beauty. But you can’t live in awe of life. It is exhausting. The adrenaline rush overdrive will either make you crazy or dead. Some part of life is meant to be wasted. What a catch 22 it is…you can’t have much fun when you intend to have fun.”
Two puffs of smoke later.
“What would I want to say before I die? I don’t think anyone can really know until the moment they die and then it is too late. You can never really fake your own death in your mind. I mean look at me…I know people die. I have seen the limp bodies. I know they never come back. It is still very unreal to me. The second hand experiences of others dying does not convince my mind that my death is impending. I know I will die but I secretly don’t believe it. It is actually pretty amusing.
It is a very surreal mind exercise. You should try this sometime…fake your own death in your head…try to face your mortality. I mean really try and you will realize how delusional the brain is. My brain is taking the thought of me dying as seriously as it takes the occasional fire drill at work. The thought puts my brain in a loop. I have always lived with a feeling of invincibility. My death is one piece of reality that my brain does not process. If I think about it long enough to overcome the inconceivable probability of my death in my mind it gets more exhaustive than imagining an infinite space. It is bizarre.
But I have pushed myself hard enough to think about what I would say if it was the last contact I could make with everyone and everything I had ever known. All I have come up with is that it feels incredibly depressing. The thought strips me off my rationality and intelligence….it leaves me in an emotional wasteland. All there is left is feelings because the meaninglessness of it all disarms the thought process. It is a point of no return. The questions about why death happens are erased because the futility of knowledge at the threshold of life and death is overwhelming. The questions about how it happens or what happens after one dies are frivolous at that point because they are about to be answered. Whoever said change was a good thing was not talking from their death bed. Come to think of it, those who get to be on the death bed maybe the lucky ones because they get to say a final goodbye to their loved ones. I am reminded of the 9/11 phone calls the victims made to their family. Call after call the words that were uttered were the same…I love you”.
Krish’s face softened. The screen went blank. Krish appears in frame again.
“I took experiencing life a tad too far with the hot dog this morning. Some things are best not experienced…like the ordeal I went through in the last 10 minutes. But I don’t even feel like complaining about it. When I think about my options as a dead person suddenly everything that I have now seems fantastic. I can get up from this couch right now and go do…(lost in thought)…I can think of a hundred things. That is just incredible”.
The screen catches Krish’s half smile before it goes blank.
(...to be continued)