BATU, Indonesia. Photo by Jes Aznar

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

In the End

The man must have wondered in that fraction of a second where it all started; whether he had done enough with his life which is just about to end or whether he had done what he had to. Or how his wife would take the news. And the children, too.

Or did he? 

Could we ever think about our life at that exact and brief moment when it is about to end? Is it true that our life flashes before us when faced with death? Do we remember the bliss or do we see only the scars -- those black marks that never disappear? Do we remember the sunset cruise on the Rhine River with the beloved and the many other perfect moments? Or only the screams hurled against each other in the dead of night?
Not far from my tiny shack, there is a woman who is counting the days she has left. She has been sick  and the man she shares with another no longer visits. 

There is a mother who wishes to be dead. Her children have not been with her in a long time. The man she loves has long been dead. There is a father, a brilliant man, who watches his time go by in the emptiness of his bed's unwashed sheets. His two sons are waiting for money to be able to take their school exams.

There is a man who has not been able to bring food to his children for years now. He has not seen a beloved since last year. There is always tomorrow, anyway.

But the day will come when the story ends, the curtains will fall.  There will be no suitcases to unpack, just caskets to close. There will be no children to feed, just their anger to live with.

There will be no food on the table. Just empty bottles of beer and ashtrays filled with heaps of cigarette butts from months ago. There will be no dishes to wash because there will be nobody to cook food for.

There will be nothing in the tattered shelter but the solitary voice of Eva Cassidy, blaring from the speakers to drown the unbearable pain of emptiness.