The Thursday Thesis – 13/12/2018
If you’re lucky, Death will tap you on the shoulder and cough politely.
If you are luckier still, you’ll notice the tap, hear the cough, and heed the impending call – because Death is coming to usher you and I into the next world...but not just yet.
Maybe the tap you get is a serious illness, a near-miss as you try to text mobile while driving or get so mindlessly drunk at the works do that you nearly choke on your own vomit or decide to go skinny-dipping in a swollen, icy river with the hottie from accounts.
No matter: Death coughs politely, reminding us of his presence.
“Just letting you know...” he whispers.
Fact is, Death is always with us – every waking moment of our short and squandering lives – patiently waiting for the ordained moment to scoop us up into the folds of his midnight-purpled cloak and enfold us in darkness.
It’s not personal: he’s Death, and he’s just doing his job.
We’re going to die: so what?
Well, this is what: it’s something I’ve ached to get off my chest for a long time, and with Christmas looming and everybody being all jolly-bollocks about it, I feel the need to point out to a tiny minority that if you are not yet dead then you are a million miles ahead of the curve – and you should be grateful for this day – this sacred, ineffable gift – that has been bestowed upon you.
Whether you think that life is nothing more than the playing-out of cosmic permutations, evolution, or an ongoing experiment conducted by interfering space aliens; it doesn’t matter a damn, because today you are not dead, and there is still hope.
Today you are not dead, so there is another golden chance to write the next chapter in the story of your life, a chance to forgive and to atone, to love and redeem.
Death ushers us into oblivion, where all is changeless and still; where our regrets endure forever and the last chance has gone wherever last chances go to when they are gone...
Death is the longest, lazy-arsedest lie-in you’ll ever have.
So, my dear friends, when you wake up tomorrow and find yourself gloriously, rambunctiously alive – reborn after the little death of sleep – or when Death taps you on the shoulder and immediately realises there has been an administrational error at head office...thank your lucky stars for that simple first observation of the day; that you are not yet dead, that the man with the scythe wasn’t looking for you after all, that no matter how crappy your bored, frustrated, skint and lonely life is, you are among the blessed.
Get busy living, because we are already dying – you and I, man woman and child. If waking up isn’t the finest thing that happens to you today, then you’ve missed the whole bloody point of it all.
If you wake up and want to cower beneath the duvet because your life is so shit, that’s Death, tapping you on the shoulder and whispering in your ear “Do something else, because your time is running out, my friend. Do something else, and I’ll be back soon enough...”
Get off your arse and do something – preferably something that makes you happy, makes you uncomfortable, and makes you feel alive!
Don’t lie there whimpering because it’s Monday and you have to go to the job you hate – I’ve done that, and it sucks.
Do something about it. However painful or inconvenient it might be, will it be worse than proving – yet again - that the way things are makes you miserable?
And if (like me) you’ve ever entertained dark thoughts of ending it all, just stop: you’re just a self-indulgent queue-jumper who can’t be arsed to make the effort and live until your turn to die comes around.
You’re dying, I’m dying; Man, woman and child. How shall we live before we shuffle to the front of Death’s queue?
That’s the great unanswered question, isn’t it?
© Neil Cowmeadow 2018
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