You bet your life

Unscripted, free-flowing monologue recorded in one take and then transcribed, just to try something different.

Thought process

Some years ago – well, eight years ago – I had an experience. I saw, for the first time in my life, a dead body. It wasn’t a war experience, or anything like that. It was my brother-in-law. It was just before April 1st.  It was the end of March 2012. The reason I remember that date when I don’t normally remember dates is because one of my first thoughts after he died was, “Well, at least it wasn’t April Fools’ Day.”

That’s not supposed to be funny. It’s not funny. It’s just what I thought.

When I stood in front of his newly dead, vacated body, that’s when I saw for the first time what an absence of life really is. In films and so on they do a good job. But when life has evaporated, a corpse is something completely other than the person it was just moments before.

I am not going to go down any kind of rabbit hole now to discuss what that means. I’m just telling you what I witnessed. A person who had been sick for only a few weeks, really – I was going to say months – but it was three months at most.  Less than three months from diagnosis to death. Pancreatic cancer, if you’re interested. And I’d been visiting him in the hospital, and he wasn’t well, but in death he just wasn’t there.

This sounds absurd, I know, but it’s my telling of the experience. It’s the way it is.

Now, this year – 2020 – has been like some kind of insane TV, media event to get everybody’s attention. To freak us out. People are doing different things in the pandemic, in self isolation – staying at home either because it’s the smart thing to do or because there’s no reason to go out because they’ve lost their jobs. People are doing stuff like this, that I’m doing. People are writing, crocheting, doodling, painting, sculpturing – learning languages, drinking really heavily. And in my case quite a lot of that, plus gambling.

I discovered the thrill of a bet. So many people I know took this really seriously. They decided that this was the time I had to be spoken to. All the other stuff I’ve done in my life – no, that was OK. But betting – gambling – no, this requires some kind of counseling.

Well, maybe, but what I can tell you is this: you win some, you lose some. You win, you feel great; you lose, you feel shit. Whatever it is you feel right now, you’ll feel the exact opposite in a couple of days’ time.

Gambling is probably best metaphor for life and death that exists.