Tuesday, 22 March 2011
When I was a much younger bird (still absurd, by anyone’s standards) I found myself dating someone whose name I couldn’t bear to say aloud. It was an awful name. I didn’t tell my friends about him. In my phone he was a euphemism. I can’t even repeat the name here, nearly seven years after the fact. This is how bad the name was. And yet, I knew his name when we started dating, so apparently an awful name is not an immediate deal breaker for me. It's not like he chose it, after all.
We had been dating for maybe a month when the night came that we were in his car, on the way to some party that his friends were throwing. I was looking out the window as we crossed the bridge, thinking of my pending graduation and how liberating it would be to have all that freedom to do whatever I wanted. I turned to him and asked: “what’s one thing you want to do before you die?”
He frowned and squinted at the road ahead. “I don’t know.”
Fair enough. Maybe he'd misunderstood me. “I’m not asking, like, ‘what do you want to do with your life’. Just one thing that you want to experience before you can’t have any experiences anymore. Like, I don’t know, skydiving. Or swimming in the Pacific Ocean.”
He continued frowning and squinting while I regarded him expectantly. Finally he said:
“I don’t know. I can’t think of anything.”
… Really? Of the whole range of experiences that this Life makes possible – from comfort to challenge to clear and present danger – you can’t think of a single thing you want to do before you die?
Yeah. We didn’t last long after that.
Have you ever had a red flag crop up suddenly?