“Forty-thousand men and women every day (Redefine happiness) “




My long, ebon hair against the ivory white of the sink can’t help but catch my attention.


The stark contrast of the colors only increases the shock.


The vague S-shape of the strands act as a morbid Rorschach test; conjuring images of scythe’s sable-black haft.


Then, wiping it out with a paper towel while glancing in the mirror above it, I am forced to notice the ever creeping gray – like gravestones slowly multiplying in a newly made cemetery – filling my (now signature) horseshoe mustache.


The inexorable march of time continues apace.




I have a friend from my youth who eats right, exercises regularly and even bikes to work.


All because he’s abjectly terrified of death (by his own clear, vocalized admission) and seeks to stave it off by any and all possible means.


What else does he do?


He absorbs volumes of modern media – television, comics, film, books, et al.


He works at a well paying job but certainly nothing he’d planned – let alone dreamed – of doing.


He has a master’s degree in creative writing yet he’s not written in 20+ years.


He rarely dates.


He has very few friends.


In brief, to all appearances—


He exists to consume.


No less; no more.




“He who pretends to look on death without fear lies”, Rousseau said.


Doubtless, I am no exception.


I fear it, as any sane man does.


Yet, it’s not quite the same terror that grips him, or most others.


I fear it as most do a lightless stairwell or woods at night.


The unknown – with all its potential horrors – rather than cessation of the present.


Truth be told, I am frightened of eternity; the endless continuance of something or anything – good or bad.


But the close of my time on this earth?


Not so much.




Admittedly, there is so much to see, experience, learn, I couldn’t fit it in three lifetimes let alone one.


But I’ve certainly tried to make the most of my time here.


Another friend once told me more than a decade ago:


“[You’ve] gotten 70 years out of 35.”


I took it as tremendous compliment, since those years have been spent learning.










Now, I couldn’t say exactly why my friend fears death so much.


However, I suspect it’s because he feels as though he’s accomplished nothing.


Made no difference.


That his time will have been as footprints in sand between waves.


I’ll never ask, though.


I could be projecting.


Although, that’s a diminishing – if not vanished – fear for me.




I’ve said before:


A man that places all his value on women and conquering them is to tend a garden that never blooms quite as brightly as it did the day before.


Solipsistic focusing is little different.


Instead, we can invest in our existence insofar as it enables us a greater and wider impact, then affect that which is within our reach – its grasp extends further than we realize, too.


Whether that’s striving to build or simply maintain something beyond the flickering candle that is our respective burning time, is – at its core – irrelevant.


The intention of a painter is not to exercise his fingers and wrists; it is to create something that would not – could not – otherwise exist.


It’s not our hands but the threads we weave into the greater tapestry that shield us from the chill blackness of the eternal night.




All of us, every one, will one day fall to endless sleep.


It can be received as a senseless punishment.


Or as a well earned rest.


The totality of our actions prior is the choice that defines it.



2 Responses to ““Forty-thousand men and women every day (Redefine happiness) “”

  1. Funny, for a life of misery or one of accomplishment, eternal sleep is a gift. For in between, it’s a senseless punishment.


  2. A♠,

    ‘He exists to consume’

    And therefore to be consumed. We’re all death row inmates, out on an indefinite work release. The decomposition process just begins a lot earlier in some people.


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