The skin on my elbow is so dry that when I lift it up from the table I realize, by seeing the crimson smudge on the wood, that the mere pressure has made me bleed. No collision, no real friction. Just pressure. What a fragile state of being. What a mark of life upon that table by losing some of my life-force. I wish I could say that my hands were coarse, that the marks of an industrious life were visible on my face. None of that, however. A face without wrinkles, hands as smooth as silk and yet, as a whole, so close to decay one can faintly smell it. The despair is stifling, the solitary beam of sunshine only magnifies the imminent loss of what – so frail – still exists; just barely.

Can time be wasted if I have lived as people do, caving in to my desires, falling into habits, trying to break free from those habits, then forming new ones, nurturing relationships, letting relationships die off, tending to new ones, doing nothing, doing something, doing less of something, doing what I want, doing what I think I ought to want, doing what I think I ought to do if what I think I ought to want is my best shot at happiness? Not wasted, no; just lived.

Like Atlas, we all think we are carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders, discarding the fact that 7 billion shoulders significantly decrease the weight each one of us has to carry individually. With an abundance of facets to each person’s life, with a myriad of possibilities not yet discovered, how can I ever be certain I made the right choices? I can’t, but they’re the choices I have made and they are what distinguishes me from the next person; the time I allocate to different activities, the relationships I foster, they’re what defines me as an individual. If uniformity is not desirable, why do I keep holding on to the idea of a “right” way of living then? Why do I criticize my every move?

The flies start hovering over my head, waiting for my demise like vultures in this deserted room where, if luck will have it and the next tenants are sloppy, the smudge of blood on the wooden table will soon be the only remnant of my life. My spirit droops from my eyes like time on a Dalí picture, my mind is sapped by the sheer tranquility of it all. A life about to end, regrets, remorse, good memories and bad, and not a soul to mourn it. The world indifferent to mine ceasing to exist, I not indifferent to the world.

The flies are buzzing around now, it’s a feast.

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