Tuesday, May 31, 2011

switching gears

Today's prompt:
We are afraid of truth, afraid of fortune, afraid of death, and afraid of each other. Our age yields no great and perfect persons. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

You just discovered you have fifteen minutes to live.

1. Set a timer for fifteen minutes.
2. Write the story that has to be written.

If I am honest (and that's the one trait I have and will always have), I will not spend my last fifteen minutes writing a story. If I know my time is limited, I will be doing... something.

First, I throw all the phones off bridges. My phones, at least. You cannot get a hold of me. You are left with whatever memories you and I last shared. I hope they're good ones, but knowing me you can still hear my booming voice swearing up a storm between your ears, and watching my figure speed past you in some capacity.

The laptops follow the phones. Both of them: home and work. if I go down, I take you all with me.

How much time is left? Is it enough to offer up Clare de Lune to a trustworthy and deserving person? She has been the trusty steed, if you will, for nearly five years now. I let Elvira rest because she had no front brake and I wanted to preserve the bad knee, but at this stage of the nearly-over game it's time for a reunion.

Perhaps ridding myself of the phone was impulsive. I can just imagine my mother sobbing now, knowing we'd never see one another again. No last hug or kiss or kind word from her youngest child, her black sheep, her troublemaker. My father would be more stoic, of course, but I know hearing the news of my passing will affect him in ways he will attempt to dismiss.

I climb aboard Elvira and suffer up the steepest hill in town. I love her because I built her with my own hands, but she kills me before my time is through thanks to her inefficient gearing.

I want to find that one sweet spot that affords me the best view of the valley. It makes the suffering climb worth it. I know I complain about my adopted hometown but it's this view, and others like it, that keep me sane. I deserve this, after tolerating so much bullshit from so many confused people.

I feel like I'm supposed to be sad, but I'm not. How many hours, days, weeks have I sat in silence trying to muster up something resembling emotion for everyone who left me behind? It took years to cry over all that loss. And now as I face the one big loss, I have no tears. If anything, it feels like coming home.

If I sit to meditate I lose the view. I do it anyway. A few last salutations, and then back on the bicycle. One final, brakeless descent.