Backward

Do you remember the first day of your life? I do.

I was 32. I woke up on the street. There were police cars and firefighters and EMTs and blood and broken glass everywhere. I was lying on the tarmac. The first words I heard weren’t those of a doctor. They weren’t the cooing sounds of my overjoyed mother, having just gone through the ordeal of childbirth and basking in the beauty of her newborn son. They were of a fireman, buried beneath his brown suit and helmet and bulky equipment, standing overtop of me.

“Sir?” he was saying, as my vision blurred into focus. “Sir, can you hear me? Sir, are you alright?” He was waving his hand above my face, above my line of sight.

I didn’t know who I was. I didn’t know how I’d gotten there. I didn’t remember anything.

Do you know what it’s like to be truly alone? To never really be able to connect with someone? I do. Because every conversation I have is disposable. Because no one remembers anything I say to them. And all the things they remember haven’t happened yet, so I stumble through life, confused and disoriented.

The first day is coming, the one day, in the future, of my birth. Or unbirth. I’m not sure what will happen. But I know now it’s true what they say – that every living creature is born and dies alone. I just wish it wasn’t that way for me all in between.

I know the day exactly. I just wonder if there’s any point in holding on until then.

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