Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Fight or flight

It's easy for me to say, and believe, that I would fight to stay alive if I knew I was dying. I'm sitting here in a comfortable chair and not feeling any pain.

When I was twenty-two, I went into the hospital to have a brain tumor surgically removed. I'd been living with it, and enduring pain, for years. By the time I went onto the table, and felt them popping the anesthesia into my spine, I was so tired I didn't care if I woke up or not.

When I did wake up, I woke up without any fear of death. I don't know why. I felt like I had a brief experience with not existing, and realized that it was kind of nice in its own way. It wasn't painful. And it wasn't boring.

I do still have fears... and dangerous situations are still scary. But I don't fear death anymore - I don't fear not existing. I think it's because I can imagine what it's like now. I expect it will be fairly comfortable.

The transition, however... the letting go. The trading of life for death, that's still a slightly scary notion to me. If I could choose, I think I'd choose to go on drugs as well. Mushrooms and Morphine (or, even better, Stadol), in a forest meadow on a warm autumn day, surrounded by impossibly bright colors, beneath a parade of clouds, all of which look like types of animals.