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reflections on death

Yesterday, I touched a dead rat.

There it was, guts spittered and splattered across the asphalt.


Its lungs spilled onto the back street, blood pooling around its tiny, lifeless legs.

Its eyes were bloodshot, two tiny pupils in a sea of crimson.

Its limp body curled and twisted and contorted.


I knelt. And as I squatted inches away from the carcass, a tear plopped onto the pavement.


Death.


I bore into its eyes, trying to find any semblance of life, a twitch or a twitter, a jolt or just a tiny flitter, anything to see if it was still alive.


Nothing.


A once thrumming, humming bundle of nerves, pumping blood, scurrying feet, and whipping tail, now reduced to a shell of itself, a throng of bloodstained fur and wartorn skin and dead eyes.


How can life be so vibrant and virile one day, yet gone the next?

How?


I moved it to a patch of grass on the side of the road. With my shoe.


I texted my best friend that I loved him.

I called up my mother just to hear her voice.

And I thanked the Universe or God or whatever you want to call it.

I thanked it for life.


We’re put on this blue marble floating in a sea of nothingness, given 80 or so years if we’re lucky, and leave it.


Meanwhile, while the beautiful dance of life is occurring, we’re blind to it.

Blind to the gorgeous sunrises and deaf to the chirping birds and numb to the incredible food.


That’s why I got a Memento Mori tattoo.

To remind me of death.


“Every man has two lives. And the second begins when he realizes he just has one.” - Confucius (probably not Confucius)


Thank you.

Bye.



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