Wednesday, June 20, 2007

"we just had a near-life experience"

"what will you wish you'd done before you died?" - tyler durden.

today in between work and borders (where i spend a few hours each day studying for the gre), i sat down with some corn hips, pepper jack cheese, fresh salsa, and a random chapter from fight club (the movie, not the book).

the random chapter happened to included the car crash scene, which got me thinking a bit. for you who haven't seen fight club (first of all, shame on you), here is a little synopsis of the scene. the narrator (my namesake) gets in a car with tyler durden (the anti-commercialist anarchist - and my former namesake), along with a couple spacemonkeys (members of tyler's anarchist organization, project mayhem - my blog's namesake). a little bit into the drive, tyler let's go of the steering wheel, allowing the car to swerve aimlessly in traffic, and places everyone in the car into mortal danger. tyler then asks, "what will you wish you had done before you died?"

this is how the book describes the scene (tyler is replaced with 'the mechanic'):

another car, and the mechanic screams, "we are all going to die, someday."
this time, the oncoming car swerves, but the mechanic swerves back into its path. the car swerves, and the mechanic mathces it, head on, again.
you melt and swell at that moment. for that moment, nothing matters. look up at the stars and you're gone. not your luggage. nothing matters. not your bad breath. the windows are dark outside and the horns are blaring around you. the headlights are flashing high and low and high in your face, and you will never have to go to work again, low and high in your face, and you will never have to go to work again.
you will never have to get another haircut.
"quick," the mechanic says.
the car swerves again, and the mechanic swerves back into its path.
"what," he says, "what will you wish you'd done before you died?"
with the oncoming car screaming its horn and the mechanic so cool he even looks away to look at me beside him in the front seat, and he says, "ten seconds to impact.
"in eight.
"in six."
my job, i say. i wish i'd quit my job.
the scream goes by as the car swerves and the mechanic doesn't swerve to hit it.
more lights are coming at us just ahead, and the mechanic turns to the three space monkeys in the back seat. "hey, space monkeys," he says, "you see how the game's played. fess up now or we're all dead."
. . .
"what will you wish you'd done before you died?" the mechanic says and swerves us into a path of a truck coming head-on. . . .
"make your wish, quick," he says to the rearview mirror where the three space monkeys are sitting in the back seat. "we've got five seconds to oblivion.
"one," he says.
the truck is everything in front of us, blinding and roaring.
"ride a horse," comes from the back seat.
"build a house," comes another voice
"get a tattoo."

so the question that i ask myself and all of you is "what will you wish you had done before you died?"

is there something to do? something to discover? something to destroy? something to fix? something to tell someone? someone to save? someone to leave? . . .


  1. Climb the Grand Teton. I've been either too busy or too lazy to do it. So, that would be what I would want to do before I die.

  2. Go to Africa. And eat my dad's london broil one last time with my whole family at our old wooden table, goofing off and laughing like old times. ...Am I allowed to pick two things?

    Loyd, you didn't tell us what you'd do. Are you going to?

  3. "Someone to save". That's interesting to think about.

    Not that I care about things like that..., maybe start my own business.

  4. Finish my book.

    And publish.

  5. That is a really thought provoking question. I think I would want to run a marathon. It's kind of depressing for me to think about because it's something I want really bad deep inside, but it's also something I can't put my all in to because I'm too afraid I just won't be able to hack it.

  6. Beat Super Mario Bros. 3 in one sitting without using warp whistles.

  7. "If I perish, I perish."


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