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Daniel Bird Daniel Bird
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She had a friend.

      I know I will die tonight. That is a fact. The coldest fact that I have ever entertained. If you have to ask if I am afraid, then very simply you lack the curiosity to understand that one can only truly fear the idea of it; of not being here in this world; not breathing the air, witnessing life going on all around you. To that question, I say very carefully, that it’s not so much the fear that bothers me. No. That’s the easy part. What I am afraid of even more than death is that my children will not be welcomed by my open arms, that I will never again hear their laughter, see their smiles light up the day. I fear I will never hear their stories or the stories others tell of them – their wily experiences, their silly enterprises. I fear my mom will never again be able to hand me down some of her wisdom which has by far made me the person I am today, very simply by not heeding her advice, and the latter too – by heeding her advice as I learned that it was she who was right all along and not me.

     Fear for me is no longer a luxury, and It seems to have become a constant unrelenting series of memories, causing me so many questions, too many to count, seeming to overwhelm every second that passes. Questions of God, and what will he say to me in His Judgment? What will his verdict be? And also too, I somehow feel that I have been duped; that God is a creature made by man in a time when all the world held a supernatural meaning. And despite these questions – as the clock ticks by – I can only hold to my faith and believe that I will see those who have passed on, those who had once loved me in this life. I will make a short call to all the people in my phone list, taking extra care to express all that I feel to my brothers and sisters. I will make the call as cordial as possible without letting them know of my fate. I will say a final farewell to Facebook and all the many people I have come to meet.

     And when all is done and said, when my children can go back to their laptops and video games happily, when my mother can go back to her reading and pondering the ways of man and the universe...I shall cook myself the grandest meal; with turkey and smashed potatoes and gravy. I should like to listen to my favourite music from now to the rest of the day. After dinner, I shall put on my best clothes and take a walk through the old neighbourhood, stopping to say hello to anybody I recognize. I will share my spirit and wealth of goodness simply with smiles and kind simple words in passing; those little pleasantries that I have somehow mastered along the way, complete with those tiny gestures that seem to set me apart from the world itself.

     I should like to go stand in the ocean one last time and wave goodbye to the mountains. And when darkness finally sets in, I think I will go home and write some letters to my mother and my two children and tell them what miracles they are to have simply been a part of my life: a part of me. I will then pour myself a glass of “Arrogant Frog” Merlot, order a dozen black roses, light a cigar and simply relax and wait and remember all the good and exciting times that I have ever lived; those moments of special weight and splendour that no one thing such as death can relieve me of. I will pray to God and Jesus – and my wisest elders who took the time to teach me from their own vast sources of wisdom, despite my running off during their speech, despite my rude behaviour, my drive to fulfill only my needs and nobody else’s.

     I will light all thirty-three candles, maybe call in a bomb threat (if only to satisfy my cheeky nature) and play some Niccolo Paganini to welcome me to old Hell should that be the place that fits my deeds. I will then simply dream and wish and wait and ponder all the things I didn’t do in this lifetime and be sure to do them in the next one. I will do my best to hold tight to my memories, hopes, goals and dreams and understand that they may be let loose when I appear in the next plane without a physical brain to hold them in place. And then I will close my eyes in the last few seconds and pray forgiveness of all my sins and hope it will be quick and painless. I will pray for the world, that it finds itself a better air and a fresh clearer sky. And with all my effort, by all the will I can muster, I will forgive all those who have ever wronged me and do my very absolute best to love all things the world over. All the good people. And the bad people too!

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