Today, I explained my non-intervention policy to one of the people I tentatively (for lack of a better term) call a friend. (Being more concerned with what they perceive as my interests than the interests themselves, I don’t think they can be termed “allies” precisely. So I use the word “friend” rather loosely, although I suppose it would be more accurate to say “one of those people I hang about constantly whom I happen to know”.) I interfere (interact, I suppose) with people as little as possible and would appreciate if they showed the same consideration to me.
She confronted me with the question: What if you had a heart attack, or an accident? How would you feel if no-one called the ambulance on your behalf?
I almost laughed; I only wish that would happen. I only wish.
I only wish people could be consistent in their judgment of when they will or will not interfere.
I have no memory of being afraid of death. I’ve never understood the assumption people make that we are all supposed to want to live. That if something happens to me, I necessarily want an ambulance. That I should want to be treated for cancer; that I should care about my health in any way at all for any reason.
I sometimes wonder if these assumptions are true for most people. I really have no idea.
I am afraid of heights and automobiles and large animals, but what I fear is irreversible damage rather than dying. I don’t want anything to make existence any harder than it already is. It is probably cowardice. No matter; very little does.
I could not bear to go on living without the knowledge that death is lurking just around the corner and that I can make it come closer if I wish. I wonder how some people go about life not thinking about death and then are surprised to find it before them. I wonder how they can. And I think it is like Stockholm Syndrome sometimes, because the way I see life is like a locked room. It can be a nice room, or decidedly rather not, but the fact remains that there is no exit that you know about. Until one day you get up the courage to jiggle the doorknob and find that it has never been locked after all.
And you can choose to step over that threshold, or not.
I don’t know many people who would like to be trapped in a locked room. I don’t really see how life is any different. Of course, it is our room and it would be sensible to make the best of it, but I would like to know there was some other choice. Even if it is the end and nothing and I decide I would rather stay in my room after all.
My mother tells me that, as a child, I was accustomed to saying that my life was their business rather than any of mine, and that I wished they would take it away because I had never asked to be born. I rather suspect that was childish spite, but perhaps I said it too often and convinced myself.
Now, the refrain goes something like this: I never asked to be born, but you ask me to live – and so I will live whatever way I damn well please. How, is no business of anyone’s, because I have yet to be sufficiently convinced about the possibility to debate upon the means.
I never cross the road without looking now, not wanting to make some poor sod out to be a murderer, but I wish my lungs would give out on me. I wish that if I take enough aspirin (I’m allergic), I will eventually develop anaphylactic shock. I wonder if it is at all possible to die by sheer force of will.
A friend of mine was hurt the other day: slashes to neck and arm and chest, stab to the side (missed the kidney), stitches; goodness only knows what he’d got into. He doesn’t remember, and I wasn’t there. Some people cried. I only said I wished I had been the one, and I think he knows exactly what I meant.