Sunday, May 12, 2013
Death -- Her Parachute Didn't Open
More tragedy to report. I'm really sorry if you think my blog has become a place of misery, suffering, and despair. But that's life. Into every life some rain must fall. As well as terror, anguish, and ultimately death. I'm just reporting the facts.
Part of my problem is, a while back I made the acquaintance of the physical aspect of Death (links below), at least as he is revealed in this sector of the world; whether the same literal being who sits at my kitchen table is simultaneously at work globally (and possibly universally), that's something I haven't gotten around to asking him when we're chitchatting.
We were sitting there having coffee -- I like it brewed in a French press; I find it has a more robust flavor -- when he suddenly remembered an appointment. As with other runs, I accompanied him, this time to the airport. The airport is about a mile southeast of my bedroom window -- I can see the white and green sweeping lights every night -- so it wasn't much of a drive.
Naturally, I asked what was up. He said we were going to watch a lady parachuting. I thought, Hmm, sounds interesting, a lady parachuting? Death read my thoughts and said, "Yep, pretty unusual, a lady parachuting." It blew my mind, of course, the very thought, the idea, but when you really stop and think about it I guess there's no real reason why the fairer sex shouldn't also be jumping out of planes. Still, obviously the mind boggles: How weird, a lady parachuting!
We got there and I saw the young lady parachutist getting in the plane. She turned and waved to those gathered around, a few friends of hers. And with that the plane took off. Pretty soon, out she came. I glanced over at Death and he was biding his time. The chute blossomed and her landing was picture perfect. The plane came in and away they went for a second plunge, also successful. Death thought nothing of it. It was only when she was boarding the plane the third time that he glanced at his watch and start paying attention.
OK, I knew what was going to happen, and so do you. It's always the third time. Honestly, you could probably live forever if you never did anything the third time. I've known more people in my life who've died when they weren't satisfied with two times. Smoking, drinking, carousing, gambling, getting tattoos, going to whorehouses, eating crackers in bed -- all the stuff low lifes do -- it's never harmful if you only do it twice. But when you cross that third threshold, that's when you're hooked and sped on your way to the grave.
The third time, out she comes, and of course something went dreadfully wrong with the chute. I held my breath momentarily, then released it; nothing I could do would do her any good. I might as well breathe as normal. You can really mess up your life not breathing. Which is stupid if it doesn't do anyone a bit of good, as in a case like this. But you do it instinctively. Just as there's a collective sigh of relief when a situation turns out well, so there's that gasp and holding it in in times of crisis. Be that as it may, I saw I wasn't going to be a bit of help to her...
We watched, and we watched, and we watched some more. Oh, how dreadful it all was, her seemingly perpetual and endless falling. Just a streaking figure, like a downward streaking meteor, or a lightning bolt in its downward motion, without the instantaneous striking. She seemed to be dwelling in a quiet repose, not flapping her arms at all or fighting it. I could only imagine what was going through her mind: I've lived a good life. I'm about to die, but I'll die doing what I wanted. I can see my whole life's story flashing before my eyes. I've broken impenetrable boundaries, being a lady 'chutist. I just should've stopped with two. No one with any intelligence does anything the third time. Damn the luck! Help me, Lord.
It went like that, minute after endless minute. Some guys ran to the hangar for an ambulance. Others were looking for some positive way to help, but mostly became flustered and ended up running into each other and falling down. I stood there stolidly, the wind blowing through my hair, a serious look on my face, my jaw locked in place. I wondered how it would look in a movie, my look of utter seriousness and contemplation. I'll bet very cool. I glanced at Death, who shook himself, limbering up.
Time passed, no doubt moving inexorably forward and yet seemingly frozen in place. I looked at the ground, then back up at the falling figure. She was getting closer, tantalizingly closer. I could see the worthless parachute's edges flapping over her back, probably some bargain brand ... another huge mistake. When you think of it, your life is worth the few extra dollars it takes to get a dependable chute. But there's never a guarantee, especially taking the third time rule into account. I looked again at Death. No consternation.
At the end, when the lady parachutist was getting about as close to the ground as you can, like five inches, you should've seen it: I saw Death zip to the spot like a bullet train, even faster, a blur.
Death -- I Now Pronounce You Dead
Out Drinking with Death
Death Goes to the Dentist with Me
Death -- When Your Number's Up
Walt's Suicide -- Death by Water
The Gaping Maw of Death (Woof! Woof!)
My Picnic With Death
The Chilling Hand of Death