This is not how I thought it would be. I was supposed to slip away at dusk, body lying flatly valiant on the creased white sheets. It was supposed to be a crepuscular finale, and I would set as the sun, as the day--a cycle's completion, natural termination. I had made my peace and closed my eyes, set prayers in my heart--of no one religion but of goodness, the universal hope--and fallen away, ready to drift down the river Styx. No longer would I trouble myself with worldly troubles, no longer did I strive painfully for meaning, for purpose. I had my path now, a quiet drop to obseletion.
But I did not fall away, I became snagged and tangled. It all began with my nose. My nose itched like crazy, but I, like the good acetic I was, only deepened my breathing. But who was I kidding? The intense itching continued, disrupting my deep meditation (which I now discovered the shallowness of). And so, God forgive me, I reached my hand up to scratch. I unleashed the floodgates. The world came back in flashes of discomfort and snippets of worry. My back ached, nose ran, and my right knee had stiffened. Every breath brought more daggers, piercing my peaceful surrender, shredding it before my eyes. And even worse were the worries: had I left the will on the table? Why weren't my family here? And then, as dusk turned to night, why wasn't I already gone?
The material turmolt of the physical world insisted I return, luring me unknowingly from my peace, halting my majestic departure with an itchy nose. How inconvenient.
And now it's dawn and I know I'm slipping. My last words? I ask the nurse to draw the blinds. I can't bear to see the rising day. "Goodnight," I tell her, as she leaves. I don't wait to see her pity-tinged smile; my eyes are already shut.