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I don’t want to.

I don’t want to think about it.

I don’t want to think about it and her.

I don’t want to think about it and her and seeing her for the last time.

I don’t want to think about it and her and seeing her for the last time and holding her hand and letting her try on my then-new sneakers and hearing her laugh because she couldn’t hear what any of us were saying.

I don’t want to think about her climbing into that red truck and driving away.

I don’t want to think about letting her go.

I don’t want to think about spending a weekend with grandparents that weren’t even mine when my last grandparent took her last breath.

I don’t want to think about her reaction when she saw my pixie cut last year after it had just been done she loved it, she loved it, she loved it.

I don’t want to think about her fingers running through my hair, smiling up at me with her crooked teeth because, at that point, she’d given up on wearing her dentures and pretty much had stopped combing her thinning white hair after years of raking an insistent, painful brush through mine.

I don’t want to think about the phone call and the silent sobs, Hannah climbing into the backseat to hold me, her mom driving on in silence.

I don’t want to think about the three-hour drive home that day because I don’t even remember it.

I don’t want to think about the boy who didn’t care, who hadn’t even checked his voicemail to hear my muffled explanation, who, when I told him where I was, what had happened, how I felt, he sounded…surprised.

I don’t want to think about work tomorrow and the fact that it’s 1 a.m. and I’ll wake up with puffy eyes.

I don’t want to think about this weekend a year ago as the last time I ever saw her alive.

I don’t want to think.

I can’t think.

Worm food

Sometimes I don’t understand the point of life when we ultimately end up in hospitals. In nursing homes. In rehabilitation centers. In assisted-living facilities.  In the ground.

I recall a scene from “Hamlet,” when whatever Shakespearean character says even kings become food for the worms in the end.

Even kings become worm food.

Your parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, acquaintances… worm food.

But I carry my grandparents around with me in a special cremain necklace.

Let it be known I’d like to be cremated when I die. The idea of my entire earthly shell being lowered into the ground gives me the heebie jeebies. Turn me to ash and let me fly into the wind. Please.

I’ve always loved Sylvia Plath’s “I Am Vertical,” but am now thinking I never want to be horizontal.

The experience I wrote about in this post happened three years ago tonight.

Hard to believe.

The last photo we ever took together. He was so sick. :(
The last photo we ever took together. He was so sick. 😦

 

Life, sans explosion

It would be so easy to die.

To stumble into something you shouldn’t have, cross the street in front of a driver who either doesn’t respect pedestrians in a crosswalk or just didn’t see you, firmly grip the wheel yourself and slowly inch into the other lane…

That’s what I thought on Tuesday while driving. Turn the steering wheel a bit, Emily, and everything you’re looking forward to, all your plans… they’re gone.

Let me be clear: I am by no means suicidal. I may have been back during early teenage years, but I never would have had the nerve to actually do something really harmful to myself. These thoughts merely cross my mind from time to time.

While filling up at the pump on the same day, I spilled a little gasoline on my hands and onto my car keys. I had the brief thought of, What if my car blows up when I put the key into the ignition? 

Silly, I know. But it made me pause and reflect as I hit a perfect $36 on the meter. What if?

Would that be okay?

How would the people around me react, namely the creepy old guy checking me out right now?

What would my family do?

What would my friends do? 

I squirted hand sanitizer onto my key and my hands and scrubbed a little bit. I closed my eyes when I turned the key, but Bubbles merely sprang to life, sans explosion. I sighed, opened my eyes, pressed the brake with my right foot and shifted into “Drive.”

Seeing lights in my rearview mirror scares me more than death does. I’d have to deal with the consequences of getting a speeding ticket; if I were to die, that’d be it. Only those I leave behind have to deal with the grief and suffering.

I’m not ready to swerve into the other lane, I’m not ready for this to end… but would it be okay if, by chance, it did? Yeah. I mean, I guess I wouldn’t have a choice; it would have to be okay.

I’ve been on a lot of adventures, I’ve seen a lot of things, I’ve learned more lessons than I can count. I’ve stumbled into love, been forced out of it by my own ambition and life plans and then obsessed over people and ideas I thought were real. I’ve been struck down, tossed around, taken advantage of and then, through careful character rebuilding, been able to bounce back.

The girl who once tried to control everything and fought everything has become a woman who knows her limits, knows when there is no use, knows when to let it be.

A lot can happen in a day. So let it –– whatever it is –– happen. The end could happen at any second.