I actually selected “Classical Christmas” from Pandora Internet Radio last night and today. The inspiration is not a love of the holiday season, but a means to walk in the shoes of the world. I have the eyes of the world, and from time to time i act upon what i think may better us all, yet there are so very many things elemental to life which i have not tasted, spat out, viewed, heard.
Death is one of them.
I served in the USMC and was deployed twice, first with the mighty 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit [MEU] during the peace time Clinton administration. And again in August 2001 with the 13th MEU. I sat eating pizza in Darwin, Northern Territories, Australia when the twin towers were demolished.
My unit served as airfield security in two countries related to Operation Enduring Freedom and not once was a shot fired on either side of our 360 degree defense. We came home safe. 100% of Battalion Landing Team 1/1 was alive. One Marine from Bravo Company took a bullet to his leg near _____,________.
President George W. Bush declared Mission Accomplished. I was honorably discharged at the end of my contract. I wanted to make 50.00/hour as a trainer and chase girls around. It was clear to me that the war was short and bittersweet, just like the Gulf conflict in 1991. Maximum effect, minimum casualties.
No one i went to boot camp with, or infantry school with, or deployed with, was KIA or MIA that fall, 2001. I got out summer 2002. Went to Atlanta to chase a girl. No one died.
My mother’s mother died 18 December, 1992. The only relative i have ever known who has passed away. I was 13 years old. She drank every day and smoked every day for 37 years. I was numb, too numb to be sad yet certainly not surprised. Vodka and Viceroy does not always equate to long life. Her name is Janey Lynn Smithgall. She is 58 years old eternal.
Two of my classmates from Haverford Senior High, class of 1996, passed away. I knew them yes, liked them for sure, but was not close enough to have been invited to view their bodies or be affected greatly by their passing. But i will forever remember the days they announced that Gabe and Patty has passed.
So here i am at my computer, the very same place i was last night when i learned that on October 6th of this year my client of 2005-2006 Tracey Turner Winter passed away due to rampant cancer spread from her liver. She is 36 years old forever.
So i think to myself last night that there are few people who have impacted me so greatly that i can name them and the related situation from said influence. Yet there are many, many more whom i have not recalled or documented properly, and millions who have had a butterfly effect upon me that i may never meet. Millions dead who have contributed to my life, and yet very, very few people i have ever had a relationship with [in any form] have passed away.
My name is Eric Junior, people call me Will, and i have a Nate Fisher complex.
I do not even think of death as the end of life. I think of death solely as something the living must bear. Death does not seem to bother the dead. Dying, however, can be felt by both the passing and the breathing. What would i know of this? As mentioned, nothing. Nothing at all.
So why is that? I do not have desire to learn the answer.
Perhaps no one i know closely has passed so that i may only know the sadness that i afflict myself with though cycles of depression and disappointment. Perhaps no one close to me, no one i have ever loved, has passed so they may live to mourn me when i pass before them? I do not know. I was engaged in a conversation this summer about thinking in terms of causation vs. terms of association. I associate detachment and numbness with death. I associate fear of dying to a television character i have similarities too [and a man-crush on the actor Peter Krause who played him expertly]. When i hear that someone has passed away, it is nearly always someone close to someone else who i did not know or even meet. I feel nothing but i detect the impact it has upon the living who are tied to the dead. Detachment, numbness, Nate Fisher.
In this case, i knew Tracey was sick. I reached out to her through Facebook, as her ‘care page’ was blowing up and there was an event held for her the weekend i was in the Twin Cities talking about causation vs. association with fF and ATG. I told her i could not attend, and typed to her that she could reach out to me if there was something she needed or wanted that relied upon me being be the appropriate one to deliver. She hollered back, clearly in good spirits due to the number of exclamation points and :)s located in the message. That was July. I never even thought of her again until i visited her Facebook page last night and saw that the most recent posts on her wall were from friends detailing their means of dealing with her absence.
Yes, i found out that Tracey Turner Winter, age 36 for the rest of our lives, had passed away because i went to her Facebook page. Other than come to life in front of me there is nothing FB has not done for me since becoming a member in 2008. I have not physically seen her since I was working as The bouncer in her neighborhood pub in 2006.
And i felt something other than a lack of feeling, or detachment this time. I felt a connection to the rest of her world. I felt a small measure of the anguish her friend detailed on FB about recently having a dream in which Tracey “came back to us all”, and how she awoke in tears. Moreover i detected something else. I realized the professional caliber ability i have to bury feelings i don’t want to feel until they ascend at a point where it is time for me to feel them. I recalled the phone call that the girl i chased in Georgia, 2002 [remember that] made to me on Christmas night of that year, to tell me that Victoria Grace, age 2 forever, had passed away that morning. I recalled how quickly the inaudible ‘slam’ shut that the cold, intangible chamber i summon unconsciously when i need it, made as she spoke the words though the phone. Victoria Grace was the daughter of our roommate when we all lived together, in a 3 bedroom town-home, east of Atlanta. Her mother chose to take Victoria Grace off life support on Christmas morning after she was taken to the hospital the night prior, for injuries which were at the time of unknown origin. It was determined shortly there after that Victoria’s mother’s boyfriend had beat her to a condition leading to her death on Christmas eve.
Phone call, chamber, no feelings, Nate Fisher.
As never before, i am placing myself in a spot where i am aligned with the mentality of the masses. Holiday decorations, shopping, stress, hustle and bustle, get the kids to the game, get to the mall, pay the Visa bill, go to the gym. Things people do every day. Things i do not relate to. If you ask me, i will tell you that i am on an island and the only one on this planet who feels what i feel. I am the only one who feels depressed, sad, pain in my joints, financial despair, overweight, lazy, unrested, stressed, or any combination of said situations. If you ask me i can tell you that i feel everything when it hits yet not everything has hit me.
I put on Pandora Internet Radio’s “classical Christmas” station because i need to be outside of my head, my body, my apartment, my life, right now. I can not explain why but i feel the need to be connected to the pulse of the upright primate throbbing mammalian mass right now in order to discover something. Something outside myself and my life linking me to something within me.
As the saying goes “life is too short”. As the record label told us “Life is . . . Too $hort”. And as i tell you now, not really knowing why, my life is too short to be disconnected and stuck inside that chamber. Certainly when something calls to me to leave it.
Tracey Turner Winter, age 36