Pain in the gut. Waves of nausea. Dreams in ancient landscapes. Sexual urges persistent through it all, like a warthog backed against a tree by dogs. He spreads his legs and bares his teeth. This grand gesture is lost on the dogs who are loyal to their masters–they’ll rip that warthog apart once the signal’s given. Unless you can assume the perspective of the thing that will kill you, you live your life in fear.
To this day, dogs and small children fill me with tenderness. And recently young women and cats have joined this happy crowd. I can’t begin to explain it. It’s like seeing for the first time what I’ve always been looking at.
Maybe this is what dying’s like when it happens slow. Fear subsides into attentiveness. It’s not not being alive that haunts you, but knowing that everything else still will be.