For a brief period during college, I thought I wanted to be an English major, and took a few introductory English courses. All I remember from them is reading (and writing explications for) tons of poems lamenting about the passage of time. As a 19 year old, I was like, what is wrong with these people? Why are they so obsessed with time? I totally didn’t get it.
Well, now I’m 35. And now, I get it. I was driving to work and thinking about some movie that is set about 300 years in the future. I was thinking about how when we get to the year that the movie is supposedly set, the people of that time will probably find the movie amusing and totally off the mark. Then I thought, well, I won’t know because I won’t be alive. And suddenly I felt this extreme anger at the unfairness of it all, that I’ve worked so hard and gone through so much, only to DIE at the end of it all. I’d never thought that before, but the more I thought about it, the angrier I got, and then I thought, so this is what all those poets were talking about. It was like, “What? I’m not more special than anyone? I really am going to die like everyone else??” Which of course I always knew, intellectually, but I dunno…I just never really thought of it before. And since I am not religious, I don’t believe in any sort of eternal ever after. Just that when you die…. you’re dead. That’s it. Over.
Damn. That SUCKS.