The tightness behind my left eye has gone away. It was there for about a week, and I thought I had cancer, though that was probably because I’m reading a book about cancer. “The Biography of Cancer,” it’s subtitled. Even a villainous succubus gets a biography. Hard to quell the plunging turbines of optimism when you fall a few notches below cancer in the grand scheme. Speaking of, my friend from college has it now, stage 4. Still trying to figure out how I feel, since “bad” just seems incongruous. Perhaps “elsewhere?” Is that a feeling?
I don’t have it, though. I think so, at least. I can, at any rate, say that the sensation resting behind my left eye, which I thought to be cancer, is absent, which is reason enough for me to believe that cancer is as well.
It has made me think about death a lot, however. Perhaps it’s the changing of the seasonal guard, or the residue of pre and post Halloween frenzy. But It is here, like It always is. This time around, It isn’t so stand-offish and creepy. The itch I scratch is one of scientific inquiry. It’s a fascinating, curious thing, death is.
I was thinking: what unspoken thoughts of the dying man have been swallowed? Say I did have cancer, and I suddenly died from it – a swift, furious derecho of metastasis – what weight would my final acts come to contain themselves in? And to whom? Would someone thumb through my journals and posthumously pronounce my unheralded genius? Would my facebook statuses be held under a new lens, assuming a prophetic, even tragic form? Or do I give myself too much credit – maybe the best I can hope for would be a short-lived meme.
What an epic moment it must be, to die awake. Sans any gruesome, untimely incident, of course. But to shift peaceably, in full consciousness. It’s an unknowable epiphany, a cold singularity of an experience. A moment of true individuality. Nobody to explain things to you. Nobody to share the experience with. Yet it’s an inevitability for everyone, a unanimous uniqueness. Makes you wonder if any fingerprints have repeated in history. Surely there aren’t that many variations of existence.
Oh, the thoughts I’ve thought that my pen is too slow a net to capture, my keys too camouflaged a distraction to navigate. And to think, I’m not even dying yet. Probably.