Dying

The last two nights in a row I’ve had a problem getting to sleep. Actually, a few weeks ago I had trouble getting any sleep, for a problem that I actually went and spoke to the doctor about. He had no idea why I suddenly wasn’t able to get any sleep, but he did say it might be stress. I have nothing to be stressed about really, and I didn’t believe him but it has sorted its self out. Internet seems to think that it might have been a simple body clock mess up that can happen and just needs some time to sort its self out.

No, that’s not what these last few nights have been about. I have been watching Dexter season 3, and whilst I really enjoy it’s morbid humour and characters there's a plot line running at the moment with Camilla and terminal cancer. I assume that in the future Dexter will kill her, breaking Harry’s Code to some degree. It appears that’s what this whole season is about, like marrying Rita, letting Miguel in on his deeds… anyway, that’s not important.

The act of killing someone is always detached in TV shows, but showing someone humanely ending someone’s life has left me each night thinking about death in that way that keeps you awake. As an atheist I think of the void, a long dark infinity that I have no awareness of and it’s just the infinite end of my life. It’s not a very sprightly way to be thinking, and it used to scare the living hell out of me when I was much younger. I used to get these thoughts once every week to the point that I had to talk to someone about it, taking parlance with the School RME teacher (Religious and Moral Education, or what he basically made it which was a faux-philosophy class) to which he assured me that no one knew what lay beyond the mortal coil – indeed there was a chance that even the staunchest atheist might believe that their consciousness may continue. This is where I first heard the phrase “there are no Atheists in foxholes”.

I got around this philosophical awareness by literally not thinking about it. It’d sneak back up on me every so often, and with reknewed vigour, but on a much less frequent basis and I hadn’t had any thoughts like it in a long time. This is the reason that the sudeen thought of eternal nothingness that crept in on Monday night really threw me wildly. I managed to wrestle my existential thoughts, the only kind that you can really get at the death of the night, and slept some, but it came back last night. I don’t know why – it might be the realisation that I am older now, more than a quarter of my projected lifespan complete, or it might just be the TV show playing on my mind. For example, my Sunday night dream involved a clock that was counting down to an unknown moment and the world was going crazy – this came from watching the finale to 24, in which the famous boop-beep-boop-beep clock counted down, not up.

And that’s a good way of thinking about The End. It’s not a count down to your death, but a count up to see how much life you can live. And now I can sleep easy. At least until the dreams about a swirling Dark Presence trying to kill me come back.