The afterlife lasts for about 10 minutes, but inside each minute is its own eternity.
I had been spending too much time focusing on work, my marriage, the kids, and the seemingly endless number of channels that came with our digital cable package. An excess of time spent being selfishly selfless inevitably splits a person in two – the individual with obligations and the individual without obligations, the latter of which exists, in the scenario, only in a theoretical realm, one that taunts the world of the former until it is time for the active half to shut out the inactive dream, or build a bridge to it.
Once, I had heard something from TV, or from an uncle, or from a mourner, or – unlikely – but there’s a chance I read it in a book. And though my mind – reeling from senescence, atrophying from improper function – could not recall their source, or even a probable context for the words themselves, they had been locked in some healthy synapse for years: Suicide is the most selfish act one can commit.
Out of all the statements I’ve read, heard and uttered that seem to be lost in the fire forever, it was difficult for me to figure out why this particular one was sticking around. Never really deemed it a gem, myself. Wasn’t even really sure if I agreed with it on any level. But when the gap between myselves had begun its ever-widening growth that prodded me into some form of action, these words continued to haunt me. And I felt I understood what selfish could mean, what potential there was outside of the inherently negative manner in which the words were intended when I first chanced upon them.
It was time to be selflessly selfish and give attention to the self I had wanted to explore before obligations began sprouting from every branch in my emerging family tree. My thoughts had never really been devoted to merely themselves, and I this felt a pity. I began doing research on death and found two items of particular interest. First, there is a natural chemical released in each human at birth and once again when approaching death, which can slowly trickle out of the mind when long periods of time are dedicated to honest darkness, but in the bookends of existence there seemed to be a flood of it. But more importantly, after every other part of the body fails, or dies, the brain remains active for 6 to 12 minutes, what I will affectionately refer to as “me time”.
How I did it is not important at this point – whether I dressed my self up or stripped down bare, where and when I chose to do it, what my note read or if I left any words behind at all – and honestly, all of that is quite fuzzy at the moment. Because, after the firefall’s descent and the birth of wings, after the 99 snakes that took me only so far, after the experiments of danger and release, after witnessing all of the colors that the visible spectrum doesn’t want us to know about, I found my way to the mouth of the cave. And the only details and words that matter now are the ones I scroll along these walls in crystal clear blood for no one to see.