AB texts me. I hate to message instead of call, but just so you know, my brother passed away on Sunday. It’s the second time in six weeks he’s contacted me to tell me about a passing, and both times, my initial impulse is to respond, Wait, what? I didn’t even know that was on the table.
Which is a pretty silly response. So long as you’re alive, death is on the table.
From my vantage point on public transit, I get a bus-eye view into the cars and lives of hundreds of weary commuters. They sip their coffee or stare at their phones instead of the road, the corners of their lips pulled down. Usually I think about how I could probably make a pretty penny reporting distracted drivers to CHP — or at least develop one hell of a drinking game for my fellow bus passengers — but today I just think, One day, each of you will be gone.
It doesn’t matter that I just saw you, or saw you yesterday. It doesn’t matter that I took photos of you, or that you were glowingly in love on your last Instagram selfie. It doesn’t matter if right this second I can conjure up the comfort of a familiar office setting, where everyone else is working and solving challenging problems around a standing desk while talking Python and Ruby on Rails and Java.
You or I or someone we know and definitely someone we don’t know might still get a serving of death.