My young friend is drowning. He can’t keep his head above water. Now he’s under. Now he’s up.
I would toss him a lifeline. But he doesn’t want it.
He’s not afraid of dying. Been there. Done that, he tells me. Totally flatlined once. No big deal.
He’s a bloghead like me. I read his posts. He reads mine. His are sometimes somewhat dark. He tells me not to worry. I worry. I can’t help it. I’m afraid death will be a letdown for him.
It’s not either-or, he tells me. It’s both-and. Dying and living. The same thing.
I’m not smart enough to agree or disagree. I just know that I like it here. Besides, I don’t know if there’s a there anywhere else. I sure wish he could like it here more. But I don’t know if he can.
I once held him when he was just a newborn. He was a bundle of light. He could have been a star at most anything. But at age three his world was blown up.
Eventually, he hopped on the candy train. It’s a train that never stops. Still he manages to get on and off. He’s a hopeless dope addict, he tells me. And a hopeless hope addict. Both-and.
He’s cursed and blessed. And knows it.
He doesn’t believe in original sin. He believes in original suffering. To be human is to suffer, he tells me. Life is hard. It just is.
I think he’s drowning. He tells me he’s swimming with the sharks.
He knows the story of creation. He knows it begins in darkness and chaos. He knows it’s not history. He knows it’s a myth—that it never was but always is.
He knows darkness is pregnant with light. He knows life arises out of death time and time again. And he knows knowing is not enough.
I can’t tell if my young friend is swimming or sinking. I do know he’s sunk to the bottom enough to know darkness as an old friend. He knows the sound of silence.
I don’t throw him a lifeline. He already has one.