Silver Parachutes or Something

"Far below, I can just make out Finnick, struggling to hang on as three mutts tear at him. As one yanks back his head to take the death bite, something bizarre happens. It's as if I'm Finnick, watching images of my life flash by. The mast of a boat, a silver parachute, Mags laughing, a pink sky, Beetee's trident, Annie in her wedding dress, waves breaking over rocks. Then it's over."


1. Death

I’m not a bad liar – over the years, I’ve learnt to lie my life into safety – but sometimes I choke and the mistruths get caught between my teeth. By sometimes, I mean now. I mean that the truth is never as pretty as the lies but, right now, it is necessary. So here it is.

The truth: I am scared to die.

Not because I think it will hurt, or because I fear submission to some higher power, because those things are done. They’ve happened. What I fear is submission to nothingness. I fear dying like being hung on the wrong side of a door that only opens in one direction. I fear death like a fish on the outside of a sealed net because, no matter what, the survivor never can free the fish inside.

In death, I imagine, you lose yourself and become like the smoke of an extinguished candle. I imagine that you can pass through all the mesh and lobster pots you like but you’ll never be anyone to anything but the bittersweet smell of sad endings. Or you’ll become sea-salt; everywhere but nowhere at the same time and utterly powerless although no one holds power over you.

I’m scared of death even though life is ruthless. Life takes so much away, but death will always take more. Even though I’ve lost myself too many times to count; I just have to start searching and I find the fragments down by the sea. Returned to me like plastic bottles and driftwood.

I’m scared of death because I have too much to lose and not enough certainty that the things I’ve lost still work without me. I’m scared of death because I love Annie Cresta and that’s all there is to it really.

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