A friend sent me a snapshot of his arm specked with what look like moles.
“Cancer?,” he asked.
I squinted at the picture and Googled symptoms of melanoma that turned out similar to his.
“Nothing major,” I said, holding on to what little consolation you get when you think you’re sick but you’re still a little plump around the cheeks.
“God forbid when you’re ill, you’re going to be extra thin and extra tall as a result; like a gazelle.”
“I’m dying,” he cried.
I read somewhere that when you die, the memories of things past will all come back to you in the nick of time. But he is 26 and has nothing much; save for the jobs he screwed and the people he fu__ed.
I, too, have a fear of dying young, and have a phobia to terminal illnesses. A little bruise is cancer; a maddening itch is cancer; hair falling in clumps and decimated dreams; a psychosomatic nasal drip that aggravates one’s resignation in the face of such will-sapping contention.
When you’re young and you think you’re dying, you feel extra special and appreciate everything as a little act of kindness. You recognize your days as a vacuum too great to fill when you’re racing against time, that’s why you reconcile to reality rather than praying for some “Praise-Jesus” miracle.
You think you won’t die from a terminal illness or any petty flaw of humanity as a close-end biological mistake. It has to be noble. So you’ll get killed saving somebody from a crash or die from what old people who have only figured late in their lives what they’re going to die for, before the cancer gets you.