Secret Pop

Apr 4, 2002

"Who Will Notice When You Die?"

I was reading this article in an issue of Mosquito. This is the opening paragraph:

Three weeks before Christmas 1993, Wolfgang Dircks died while watching television. Neighbours in his Berlin apartment complex hardly noticed the absence of the 43-year-old. His rent continued to be paid automatically out of his bank account. Five years later, the money ran out, and the landlord entered Dircks' apartment to inquire. He found Dircks' remains still in front of the tube. The TV guide on his lap was open to December 3, the presumed day of his death. Although the television set had burnt out, the lights on Dircks' Christmas tree were still twinkling away.

The same article contained a quote from Kierkegaard, who wrote in his journal that, though he was often the life and soul of a party, he was desperate underneath: "Wit poured from my lips, everyone laughed and admired me. But I went away...and wanted to shoot myself." I connected with that intensely. And with great empathy. I don't know if I am proud or ashamed to admit that. Loneliness is a fact of life. But sometimes it seems as if it is the only fact.

I don't know how much any of it matters. Or whether it's even possible to live a meaningful life. But I do know the sinking sensation of is-that-all-there-is. I do know that it is necessary for me to continue stringing together the highs -- concatenating the spells of glory and greatness -- laying them end to end so that I can continue moving forward. I don't always see life in terms of ebb and flow. Everything is very linear to me. Past. Present. Future. Now and what comes after. It's not a bladder, expanding and contracting but always retaining it's objectified sameness. It's a string, unrolling into a line. And there are points along the way. And there is space between the points. And when you condense it all down so that the points are right up against one another, long stretches of life turn into i-love-you-goodbye. What of it all will stand out when I get further down the road? For a girl who remembers nearly everything, what will I forget?

Maybe there is hope, though. When I remember me, I am usually smiling.

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