I like to imagine that myself, and all of the people around me, are a ticking time bomb. That each of us may or may not have a rare virus that could be triggered at any moment. It could be ten minutes from now, a week from now, or in ten years, when we drop dead mid-sentence. In living this way, we are more compelled to pick up a baby bird off the sidewalk and give it a chance to be held before it’s short life dissipates. We are more compelled to investigate the ‘Employees Only’ backroom of Starbucks after hearing a suspicious whimper, in order to hold an overwhelmed and wailing new employee. And, we are more compelled to tie up loose strings with our distant and damaged parents.
By living this way, we make plans to avoid future regrets; we balance delicately between living in the moment, and make sure our daily decisions lead to our future imagined scenario. What I want to you do is call and say you’re sorry. Tell them you’ve never stopped loving them. Tell them they hurt you and it was wrong. Then sell your mattress, desk and lamp, and take a bus to the city, any city. Start over, do better, be nicer, and in the brilliant poetic words of Shia LeBeouf, “Do it.”
At this exact moment a young graduate thinks that his life is just beginning; now he will meet the love of his life and finally be happy. Now, he will start that novel he’s been putting off for years. Now, he will finally travel and see the hidden mysteries of the world and finally do what he’s been planning all along. Except, on the crosswalk that young graduate turned to look at what they thought was his name being called, and is killed instantly by an 85 year-old lady who didn’t see that red light.
There is also a young woman at a bar right now at a bar reconnecting with an old friend, talking about the past, talking abut the future, tired of being stagnant, tired to self-loathing, going to make big plans, and do big things. Except, she has a weird headache coming up from the base of her skull, and is pronounced dead before arriving at the hospital; rain aneurysm. These people are you and I; they are not stories. They were ticking time bombs, which were busy waiting for the right moment to come, when they were finally set off.
What ever it is you’re waiting for, stop waiting and do it for Marina Keegan.
(Photo courtesy of Yasmine Rose)