This is no one you know. She tells me she is afraid of dying lately. And me, I feel as if it’s the end of the world, as if these are the end times, just unreported and not brought to you by any particular sponsor; but I don’t tell her that because it has nothing to do with her feelings, first of all, and second I always feel like this so it wouldn’t be interesting.
Not afraid of death, afraid of dying; she said dying.
Sometimes I feel like that. As if some great peril were passing through. Something invisible not necessarily because it’s invisible or undetectable, but because I’m blind to it, or we are. And sometimes, like this morning, the world is so beautiful that it nearly inspires grief.
Things were very simultaneous again and equidistant this morning.
The fog was to blame, primarily. It puts you in that mood. But also, friends grieving because someone killed themself or someone else tried to, meanwhile that crazy appendix goes over the Niagra Falls “because he’s depressed” and survives, meanwhile an ambulance full of dynamite blows up in front of a Red Cross office somewhere, if I understood right, meanwhile the sun looks like a cold piece of asian candy shining light peach-yellow through that fog and we have four seasons at once – cold and white like winter – it looks as if the fog would freeze in tiny splinters on the trees and powerlines and fences if it were a degree colder – and autumn with the trees changing color and spring because things are still so green and seem to be thawing and summer because my heater is so fucking hot. The fog mutes colors, and I nearly hit a pedestrian dressed in the color of fog, but miss him, the trees are light brown and fade magically into the distance and traffic is not so bad but heavy enough that I can’t be looking for deer this morning but they’re probably hiding out from hunters deep in the woods anyway today.
The sun hangs there like a piece of cold, light yellow peach Asian candy but as the fog thins it gets brighter without changing its color until it’s a hot yellow peach flare and you don’t look at it directly anymore. I am safely ensconced in my little capsule of peace, smelling of aftershave, my daily hour of solitude as the sun grows brighter.
Today I’m not afraid of dying, I don’t know how my friend is feeling; I’m not fearless, but not afraid of anything special.
I’m afraid you’ll quit writing one day, and that would make me mad. So don’t.