I think there is a cecada under my desk at work. It is ludicrous to believe a bug of that ilk could find its way into a 10th floor office, yet its sound churps away with a certain rhythm during the early hours of each day when I sit at my desk alone in otherwise peace and quiet. Hours before anyone else arrives in the office. As others enter the space, I have to listen harder to hear its song, but it is always there in the background. (Perhaps it is only some mechanical thing that makes the sound but I like pretending it might be something else, perhaps even a nanobot bug secretly spying on me!)
The above is not a last thought, it is not even a first thought, it is more one of many thoughts that pop into my tangent world mind during the course of any and every day. Though I have been thinking a bit about last thoughts lately with several high profile deaths being reported in the media recently.
I do not wish to dwell on those particular deaths but the press coverage did prompt my mind to start pondering the idea what are the last words, the last thoughts that enter a mind that is about to cease to be.
One of the comedians I watched during the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Hannah Gatsby, spend at least 20 minutes of her show discussing what she might say and think and concluded it really depended on the circumstances in which you found yourself. For example, what you might say or think would be very different if you heard the sound of your rope snap as you were bungy jumping compared to the slow burn last hours of breath after a protracted illness.
I started viewing episodes of Six Feet Under over the weekend. One of the benefits of owning the box set, and with enough time having passed since I viewed the original series, is that I can return to viewing some of the most powerful observations on the nature of life and death. Only three episodes into the fictional story, and my memories come flooding back of people who've come into and gone from my life. And that one day, I will be such a person to someone else. We might "all die alone" (Donnie Darko parlance), and the memory of me may fade with time, but at least for a moment in time, I will be remembered. And then forgotten.
Then I read this blog first thing this morning: http://penmachine-bu.appspot.com/ Derek's last post called "Last Post" was a note he wrote just before he passed away, cancer taking his life. It was a saddening, poignant picture of a life lived and gone. I cried a little with only my desk cecada within earshot to hear my quiet sobs.
I am reminded of a short monologue from one of my favourite shows about life after death, Dead Like Me, when Georgia is thinking about last thoughts. She says, "Maybe death was the temp job, and life was the vacation. A vacation you were supposed to spend with the people that you loved… with the people who loved you, and if life was that kind of vacation, what then? What would your last thoughts be then?" I shed a tear then too and there was no cecada to keep me company.