The other night I was walking down Belmont and enjoying the drizzle and listening to Dexter Gordon’s album, Our Man in Paris when I just froze in fear with the idea that I wasn’t going to live through my surgery. It was the panic attack kind of fear. I still am reeling from it and trying to get myself to know that I should be okay. I’m having a hard time believing myself.
Death has not been a scary thing to me. I never do something, not do something or quit anything because I might die. I never put anything down because it could kill me. Death isn’t scary. It happens. There are painful ways to die, but the scary part is the part where I am still alive and on fire nowhere near a body of water. I’m not scared of judgment in the afterlife because I know there is no afterlife. I’m not scared of coming back as a slug with a missing antenna because there is no reincarnation. I’ll be dead.
I’ve been dead for a few minutes. It’s nothing. It’s the most unexplanetory event I’ve ever been through. It sucked a few minutes before and for a few days after, but the part where I was dead was fine.
I’ve been in terrible situations where death was a possible outcome, and I wasn’t scared of it. I’ve seen people have complete meltdowns because they might die, but I haven’t. I’ve been involved in gunplay, I’ve been stabbed, I’ve been beat to an inch of my life and I just welcomed the possibility of death.
There were even instances in my life where I wanted to end my own life. I’ve had times where I couldn’t stand myself, couldn’t stand how I felt and I wished for all of it to end. I wanted to sleep forever. The pain that others have put me through ending their own lives have made me against the possibility of suicide for myself and have worked hard to not see that as an option.
Now I’m having panic attacks because I might not come to after my surgery. I’ll be put under, so I won’t know pain, but the idea that I won’t go on with my life now is unbearable.
That night I was lying in bed and my whole life was flashing before my eyes. I could recall every goddamned mistake I ever made. I saw myself retell every lie I ever told, every disappointment I ever became and every time I hurt someone. There were things that I had not thought about in a decade or so and for good reason.
I’m scared shitless. I don’t want to die. I’m 38 and I am shaking from the thought of dying. I want to keep living and experiencing life. I still have things to see and do. I still have things to make. I still have people to meet and people to love. I have good deeds to do. I have nieces to watch grow up. I still have too much to learn to die now. I’m supposed to be only half way through life.
Is it the regrets? I have many. I’m not supposed to have any, but there are unforgivable things I’ve done. I try hard to be a good person. Sometimes it isn’t easy to be good and other times it is much easier to do the right thing. I don’t regret the last few years.
I have stories to tell and pictures to draw. I have music to listen to and art I’ve never seen. I still don’t know who I am or what I want to be when I grow up and now it feels like it is too late.
My girlfriend told me a long time ago she has this fear that she’ll come home and find me dead lying in bed. For some reason I thought it was romantic at the time, but now it adds to this fear that I’m going to die really soon.
I know that the surgery is common and that my surgeon is very good. She is spoken very highly of. I know that this is supposed to let me live a long life and not walk down a painful path that cancer has taken many others down.
I guess I think death is the loneliest thing a person can do.