Salutations populace of Dawson,
Death. What can I say? It’s a bitch. This week I was already planning on writing to you about death. What a sad coincidence that three young men, our peers, would meet their deaths on the train tracks this last weekend, making this letter all the more apt.
Death. We all know what it is but maybe not everyone has experienced someone they are close to pass away. Let me tell you, it is a very traumatic experience. A year ago, on Nov. 2, someone I was very close to passed away. Actually, I had the fortunate opportunity to be with him and had the chance to say my goodbyes as he walked through the valley of the shadow of death. Seeing someone take their last breath and watching the heart monitor slowly go down until it hits zero is heart stopping to say the least.
What happened to those three boys was extremely sad; even more so for their friends and family. On the positive side, you could say that they died doing something they loved. To quote Charles Baudelaire:
“Always be drunk. That is all: it is the question. You want to stop time crushing your shoulders, bending you double, so get drunk – militantly. How? Use wine, poetry, or virtue, use …your imagination. Just get drunk.”
What did Baudelaire mean by this? He did not literally mean get drunk all the time but, in fact, that people should indulge in the things they love. Maybe for some it is actually getting drunk, for others it’s creating graffiti.
As I get older, I can’t help but wonder if the society we live in is a good one? Are people truly happy? Or, do people just coast through and keep a low profile, waiting for their death? I can’t help but ponder what would be a better choice? Following Baudelaire’s advice, indulging the most I can in what I love the most, maybe even dying in the process? Or is it better to play it safe, even if it leaves me somewhat unfulfilled and unhappy, holding back on life and its wonders.
I know for a fact that any respectable adult would tell me, why not have a mix of the two? To that I say, can you really go back to a life of restraint and responsibility after leading a life of indulgence and no responsibility. This topic is one that makes me scratch my head everyday. Should I quit school and walk the Earth, witnessing where many men and women have been before me? Or should I tough it out, make a million and own a company, all by the age of 28?
For my parting words, I will say this: Love. Love the people around you, tell them, tell others that you love them. Tell your mailman who you love; because, sooner or later, they will not be there anymore.
Stay classy Dawson…Word to your mothers!
Samuel Lavigne Schmidt