When I think, I write. When I write, I am forced to think.
It's a rather vicious cycle.
I just finished re-reading Haruki Murakami's Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, and despite having read a plentitude of the man's works, I still have to say that this is his pinnacle. The plight(s) of two nameless protagonists whose stories converge as the novel draws to a close is both heartwarming and, at the same time, heartbreaking, and works like a strong depressant injected straight to the jugular.
I have this habit of sitting down and staring into space after reading a particularly thought-provoking book, and twice now has Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World affected me in this manner. But the one thing I love most about it is that it accepts death in the most dramatic of ways, with a cigarette inside a Toyota Carina, with Bob Dylan in the background and a slow and smooth slide to eternal slumber. Sweet and tasteful, but without all the drama.
Don't get me wrong. The tumultuous build-up of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's death and unceremonious burial in Amadeus is pretty impressive too. But the one thing I fear from death isn't the separation in itself, but the process in which the self separates from the body.
Everybody says that death due to old age is painless and dignified, but I remember the time when my grandmother was dying. It wasn't pretty at all. She would be clawing at the air in front of her, seeing things that we couldn't, and moaning. My sister said something that stuck itself to my head - if angels and demons really converged upon the body of a person on the throes of death, waiting to collect the spoils after separation, then that was probably how it would look like.
Death in your sleep, while you're young and strong is an awfully chic way to go. In a way, it sounds good, but I don't buy it, in the same way I don't go for iPods or shoegaze - or even Sony Ericssons. Mobile phone technology ended with the Motorola L6 for me, and the only step-up I would ever do in terms of cellular technology would either be an L7 (for the memory card) or a built-in communicator in my head. But then again, I don't want to live too old to the point where people will have to take care of me, but they say that this is the ultimate test of the human humility these days. Humbling yourself enough to require help is the yardstick for a person's pride.
But what if you instead make up for it while you're young? Ask for help at every twist and turn of life. There's a small chance that if you use up your dignity debt while young, you won't have to go through it when you're a septegenarian. But this still doesn't mean you die pain-free.
Sometimes, I envy Chewbacca. The ole wookie was crushed by a bloody moon, and R.A. Salvatore was threatened with the pain of death by millions of outraged fans, but that isn't the point - his death was heroic, instantaneous, and possibly pain-free. I don't know if I'll be that lucky myself.
A friend of a friend once tried to do away with life by drinking poison. Fortunately, the person decided to taste-test the medicine first. It was then concluded that poison tasted horrible, and that person ended up with a horrible stomach-ache for a month.
Heath Ledger overdid his research and preparation for his role as Joker, made a mistake with the drugs he was setting up for himself, and overdosed.
Kenneth Pinyan died after having anal sex with a horse. The animal's schlong in his anus resulted in a perforated colon.
This post will die with this sentence.