A Haunting


There is something I’ve heard repeated which I think is irony exemplified.
Death is a part of life.


I suppose it is.
Duality guides and shapes existence.
Sadness is part of pain. Or is it the other way around?


Nowhere is this so dramatically portrayed as in the duality of life/death.
This blog has touched upon death often.
Because…I am death.
Death consumes me.
Death is the dark absence of breath. Death is the dark side of the moon. Death is an allure; it is the oppositional magnetism that repels as we happily thrive in Life’s glare.
How can we not be drawn?
Death, within the caverns of our Western mind and all its self-absorbed vainglory which seeks to avoid the absolute nature of death by ignoring it. But I can’t ignore the void.


Death enraptures me, and this blog, as an expression, is no different.
Back on April 21, toward the tailspin end of a recent meltdown, I posted something called …and it loves company, a bleak, rambling (and probably drunken) foray into death and its minute flash of occurrence. A little bizarre, a little odd.


A week after this post, I entered another phase of personal transformation, or rehabilitation, or just plain mortal confusion. I turned off all comments and decided I would do this alone. I would obey my soul. Sink into the barren retreat.


I turned the comments off shortly after that post and it also marked the last appearance by a commenter who had been one of my most regular visitors since the blog’s inception in the Fall of 2009.


Her comment haunts me.
Reading it now makes me reevaluate the horror of my words.


She wrote:


Unless the reaper finds you in a burning pile of wreckage…no option then, I think maybe Mark has a point. Your life and writings seem to have a dark persona at times. You believe that nothing happens when you are laid to rest so you had better get your ass away from the keyboard and live the only life you have David. It seems Mark has a point that you have no higher power to inspire you to live the life you have here on Earth, so what will happen to your rotting carcus? Will you lie there and be nibbled at by worms for eternity? Me, I will be the the Spirit World with all my relatives and loved ones. I will live again as a spirit. I can return to the Earth as another being but my spirit will remain the same. Having a higher power gives me hope and something to look forward to beyond the world of the living. To each his own…


It was not the first time we sparred about life and death and the spiritual grounds upon which we battled.
Morose, unbelieving, we did’t see eye to eye when it came to our spiritual relinquishment to an “afterlife.”
Nevertheless, she respected and tolerated my heathen ways.
She never preached at me or attempted to cloud my eyes with her personal sense of deity. I believed my bullshit, and she believed hers. She was wise and open-minded enough to realize that such a dichotomy was not necessarily an obstacle to friendship and discussion. She was intelligent and proffered insightful glimpses, both in her comments and in private emails. And I barreled forward furiously while boldly eschewing all that promised eternal and heavenly contentment. How easily skepticism comes! How easily we honor doubt when it asks so little of us today. I wonder if I am too profane, too fearless and thoughtless. For I believe what I do, but at what cost of my expression? My verbalization and passion. Is it misguided? I am fond of boasting an open mind and tolerance of those who do not concur, but do my biting and incessant tone have any lingering forgiveness? Understanding? I cloak my open-minded niceties in harsh damnations and caustic assertions.


I aim to damage, to pierce. Armors.
Nameless, anonymous, online.
The internet and my commute to work are similar.
Both, populated by streams of anonymity which beg for our fury and unfocused sense of anger and frustration. Thus liberated, your harsh emotions find no restraint and exude faceless passion, a war path of sorts, and the concept of feelings and sensitivities is cast aside. Thus we berate personal dogmas and beliefs without fear or hesitation.


And realize, later, when it’s too late, that.
We have trampled on another’s joie de vivre.
But we will never know, because that person is no longer.


My reader was a commenter from the early days of Phoenixism which was later to become An Unmarried Man.
She drove me to post more. She was the impetus that a young blog needs in order to sustain its lunatic existence. After all, the new writer seeks feedback and the solace that somewhere, eyes are falling upon his sweat-driven work. Commenting plays that role, it fulfills one’s authorial nourishment.
She breathed life into the early days of this blog.
Then I grew overwhelmingly comfortable with my withdrawn seclusion. I no longer sought feedback and shut down commenting on April 27.
This was a couple of days after Lana posted her final comment on this blog. In response to one of my most cynical and dark-hearted of posts.


I wonder if she knew she was dying then?
Her words cause me pause.