Descent

December 11, 2009
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He's hurtling. Plummeting like a stone, towards earth. Above the clouds, the air is pure, the sky -beautiful, and the sun -radiant. But, it doesn't last long because the ground is still racing towards him. There’s no safety net. Not this time. There is nothing he can do to stop it, or himself. His time is short; the timer has been ticking for a while now. It is ticking by, bit by bit, and sooner or later it will reach zero. He thinks; all the mortgage payments, project deadlines, trying to teach “the future”, the headlines of newspapers, the on-going wars, worrying about rising gas prices, and trying to figure out how to be in two places at once. All those adult things. Then he muses over his goals, his dreams, and his future. But, why? Nothing matters anymore. Pointless. It's all meaningless. He’s passing through the clouds now. The moist fog is dense, and he can almost taste it. He reaches out trying to grab a piece, but his hand clenches into a fist.


Empty.



He has seconds left in his life. He does in thirty seconds what old folks do during the last years of their life. Reflect. He emerges through the other side of the clouds. Still in one piece and breathing. He relives unforgettable moments, ponders about his regrets, and basks in his petty accomplishments. He thinks about the people in his life. Inspirational teachers who challenged him, influential coaches that worked him like a dog, kicking the soccer ball around with his best friend in the backyard, his brother drawing his masterpieces, and playing with his band in his studio. His deaf, shaggy haired mutt that he dubbed ‘Idiot’, the bickering boss who he wants to punch in the face, his fellow employees gathered around the pub, his mom who cooks the greatest pumpkin pie, his dad who taught him all of life’s lessons, his two year old son who has the biggest dimples, and is the spittin’ image of his father when he flops around in his shoes. And the love of his life; and her priceless smile. They aren't pointless. Without them, he is nothing. He is nothing more than a name matched to a face. Without them no one will remember him.
Without them; he is nobody.


The ground is coming closer and closer. There is nothing stopping it. He lets out a howl for release. It goes unheard. Details are coming into full view. At first he can distinguish separate trees among a forest. It’s only a matter of heartbeats now. Still screaming towards earth, he spots individual birds among a passing flock. 'This is it' he thinks. Only a few more yards now... What was once gravel, is now a mosaic of pebbles and rocks. A million thoughts and images pass through his head at one instant. One big, blurred collage of emotions and feelings. He had a good and happy life. So shouldn't he be happy now? Yet one final thought remains through it all. He won't get to see her smile in the morning. Hoping that somewhere out there she can hear him, he utters his three last words.

“I love you.”





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