In the modern world all terrors could be gutted by simple use of the transitive axiom of quality. Some fears were justified, of course (you don’t drive when you’re too plowed to see, don’t extend the hand of friendship to snarling dogs, don’t go parking with boys you don’t know – how did the old joke go? Screw or walk?), but until now she had not believed that some fears were larger than comprehension, apocalyptic and nearly paralyzing. This equation was insoluble. The act of moving forward at all became heroism.
I used to think that humor was the only way to appreciate how wonderful and terrible the world is, to celebrate how big life is. But now I think the opposite. Humor is a way of shrinking from that wonderful and terrible world.
It’s true, I am afraid of dying. I am afraid of the world moving forward without me, of my absence going unnoticed, or worse, being some natural force propelling life on. Is it selfish? Am I such a bad person for dreaming of a world that ends when I do? I don’t mean the world ending with respect to me, but every set of eyes closing with mine.
I saw the world I had walked since my birth and I understood how fragile it was, that the reality was a thin layer of icing on a great dark birthday cake writhing with grubs and nightmares and hunger.
You could start at a path leading nowhere more fantastic than from your own front steps to the sidewalk, and from there you could go… well, anywhere at all.
Just as when we come into the world, when we die we are afraid of the unknown. But the fear is something from within us that has nothing to do with reality. Dying is like being born: just a change.
She did not believe that the world was a vale of tears but rather a joke that God had played and that it was idiotic to take it seriously if He himself never had.