They say that just before you die your whole life flashes before your eyes, but that’s not how it happens for me.

I see only my greatest hits. The things I want to remember, and be remembered for. The time in Cape Cod when Izzy and I snuck down to the bay at midnight and tried to catch crabs with leftover hamburger meat, and the moon was so fat and round it looked like something you could sit on. When Ally tried to make a soufflé and came marching into the kitchen with a roll of toilet paper on her head like a chef’s hat, and Elody laughed so hard she peed a little bit and swore us all to secrecy. Lindsay throwing her arms around us and saying, “Love you to death,” and all of us echoing, “And even then.” Lying on the deck on hot August afternoons with the smell of grass shavings and flowers so heavy in the air, it’s like you’re tasting them. The time it snowed on Christmas, and my dad split up one of the old TV tables in the basement to use as firewood, and my mom made apple cider, and we tried to remember the words to “Silent Night” but ended up singing all our favorite show tunes.

And kissing Kent, because that’s when I realized that time doesn’t matter. That’s when I realized that certain moments go on forever. Even after they’re over they still go on, even after you’re dead and buried, those moments are lasting still, backward and forward, on into infinity. They are everything and everywhere all at once.

They are the meaning.

I’m not scared, if that’s what you’re wondering. The moment of death is full of sound and warmth and light, so much light it fills me, absorbs me: a tunnel of light shooting away, arcing up and up and up, and if singing were a feeling it would be this, this light, this lifting, like laughing…

The rest you have to find out for yourself.


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