Sunday, November 4, 2007

Been thinking about mortality some...

What Sarah Said: by Death Cab for Cutie (name is total coincidence)

And it came to me then that every plan
is a tiny prayer to Father Time,
As I stared at my shoes in the ICU
That reeked of piss and 409.

And I rationed my breaths as I said to myself
That I've already taken too much today
As each descending peak on the LCD
Took you a little farther away from me (away from me)

Amongst the vending machines and year old magazines
In a place where we only say goodbye
It's then with a violent wind that our memories depend
On a faulty camera in our mind

And I knew that you were a truth I would rather lose
Than to have never lain beside at all
And I looked around at all the eyes on the ground
As the TV entertained itself

Cuz there's no comfort in the waiting room
Just nervous paces bracing for bad news
Then the nurse comes 'round and everyone lifts their head
But I'm thinking of what Sarah said...
Love is watching someone die.

(So who's gonna watch you die?)

(So who's gonna watch you die?)

(So who's gonna watch you die?)

*music gradually fades after about a 1:40*

Most people reading this probably know from other blogs that my cousin died recently. For those that don't, she had a severe allergic reaction to cats that is apparently genetic (uncle had a strong reaction, another cousin had a reaction, and my brother Jeff is already known to be allergic). I wasn't particularly close to her because they live so far away and I don't know many of the cousins younger than me. What made me think the most though is that I didn't feel particularly sad... I know that the whole "when the bell tolls it tolls for thee" type of thing but for some reason it didn't even hit me for a couple days.
When I found out it was Fall Break, maybe Friday morning. I was texting a friend about stuff and then all she said was to call the house. Nothing urgent or anything, just said to call. I figured they were over and wanted to vent vocally or whatever (wouldn't be the first time and I'm sure it won't be the last). This was the weekend where I was unexpectedly stuck off campus because my roommate threw away the forms that needed to be filled out saying I could be there over the break. I never even saw them, but that's beside the point. I was crashing at a friend's house cuz he lived off campus a few minutes so I'd be able to stay there until Jason and Lunchbox got back and still be close enough to walk to my Saturday class. After class on Saturday I went with Jason and Lunchbox out of town to Jason's where I only brought it up in passing when I saw the cats there. As far as the weekend was concerned that was basically it. Didn't give myself a chance or anything to think about it because of what was going on around me. Told Alex when he called but again, it was in passing and didn't dwell past the whole "yeah so I'm avoiding cats for the time being" thing.
A few days into the next week I somehow have downtime. That's when I realized that my cousin had died and that although it wasn't someone I knew well at all, barely recognized the name, I still should have felt some pang of sadness but for some reason got nothing. I cried watching Stop Kiss (the absolutely amazing play at Winthrop I was doing lights for and where this song was played) but not for someone's daughter. I don't know if it's because I'm not a parent or whatever but I eventually got to the point where I noticed that I had been sad-ish but somehow I didn't think I felt sad enough. No tears, or fond memories, or wishing I could have been there, or anything like that... I was more saddened by the fact that not only had it taken me so long to think about somebody dying, but that I didn't feel anything special about it. What kind of reaction is that? To be sitting there thinking "My cousin died" but then having it leave your mind cuz you gotta talk to someone about this 32oz steak you ate that weekend.
Before I come off as some sort of miserable, uncaring douche, it wasn't that I didn't wish I could have known her better and all. I just didn't think much about any of it. I guess I'm just now getting this all out of my head. Should I have at least had some brilliant mental ping about mortality and the brevity of my own existence? Some sort of gain from another person's loss? Heck I couldn't even use the excuse of a relative dying if I wanted to and here my roommate is making up relatives because he got slept through an exam. WTF?
Basically I guess what I'm stuck on is the last phrase repeated of the song... If love means watching someone die, who's gonna watch me if I can't even conjure teary eyes for someone else?