He died suddenly in his sleep. I have no idea who he is just like I have no idea who his wife is but she’s just posted about the unfortunate incident online and the morbid fucking thing has received seventy thousand and some odd likes. Strangers die everyday and sometimes that shit goes viral which leaves a sick taste in the back of my throat.
She said it happened too soon and she hasn’t processed it yet. Kinda like throwing raw sentimental anguish meat out there to chum the digitized waters of grief hoping for a bite of condolence, no? Every single thing about this sinks my bones like heavy weights. Even though I don’t know her I feel sad for a second thinking about waking up next to a dead person without warning. No wonder she’s reeling, reaching, squirming, trying to make sense of it. I guess if nothing else, now she’s got the seventy some odd thousand trying to process it, too.
It’s weird how you open up social media, for no good reason this early in the morning, admittedly that’s on me, but you willingly line yourself up in front of the emotional firing squad. You may or may not get shot with some information or feeling that shreds like a bullet, cuts like a knife, stimulates like cheap a red wine, or soothes like a warm summer breeze. And we do this over and over on constant repeat like rats for pellets until we click and update and refresh and don’t even know what for anymore.
It’s still dark out and I’m an emotional wreck over existential angst brought on by the sudden awareness that strangers suddenly die and I am suddenly now a stranger, too.
I shake my shoulders, take a few deep cleansing breaths, pour a second cup of coffee and edit a few posts I may never publish just to have something to fuck around with because picking at words makes me feel like at least I have some kind of worthwhile work to do. Writing is the only work that sets my heart on fire and even though I’m no closer to doing it for a living I do do it for life. I pull up my notes and marvel at the great writers who have given us so much to go on before they left this life for good. But even the most mouth-watering advice in the world cannot keep me from seeking out more gossip, shock, and debauchery. It’s a compulsion. They’ve injected it into our veins.
As I scroll on toward my next inevitable anxiety spike coupled with dread and fatigue, my gaze cannot help but fixate on a beautiful young woman who has made some sort of dance video in what appears to be her bedroom. There’s a lacy bedspread blurred out in the background. Her exotic eyes are blinking their impossibly dramatic faux lashes seductively at the camera as she swivels her smooth naked hips and spreads her long legs so wide they make a perfectly straight line, split right through the center by a tiny black thong. Truly breathtaking. Not only her beauty but her physical commitment to entertaining the masses. I marvel at the sheer obscenity of the height of her clear plastic shoes.
I often wonder what any of us are chasing out here on the internet or anywhere else for that matter. Publishing poetry or sex or self care tips for whoever out there will listen. We like to gamble with time, attention and talent. Hurl creativity through the fourth wall and see if any of it sticks. None of it does, of course, at least not for good and not forever.
But what’s forever anyway, right?
We live in an infinite landscape of endless promises very few of us intend to keep or could even if we wanted to given our newly fashioned bend toward a burned out brand of nihilism or the over-hyped glare of a glossy strain of optimism which refuses to rub off even in the shower. Not for nothing but people hang wine glasses full of pinot in their showers now, have you seen this shit it’s fucking disgusting.
Round and around, til death do us part. In sickness and health and maybe a stranger will be the next big thing just like all the rest. It could even be you if you dare to dream big enough.