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I've had the dream many times in my life. You know, the dream where you're falling uncontrollably. We've all had that feeling many times, except this time I wasn't dreaming at all. I was reading this story. Once you start, you will understand how I could confuse the two. The anonymous writer sucks you in by the first paragraph, where your decent begins. I have never met this writer, and have a feeling I never will, at least not in this life.


Gravity is a fact. It’s a stable, undeniable fact that will be and has always been in place. It surrounds everything, all of us, the entire planet. It is inescapable. People don’t always think about gravity, though. Sure, it’s there, but it doesn’t matter. It’s a part of our lives, we’ve accepted it, but it’s only rarely that we delve into what gravity actually means.

It means I’m going to die.

Because the only times when people really do acknowledge gravity as a fact is when their lives are directly affected by it. You may be waiting at a bus stop for too long and start to feel your legs bend of their own accord. You may raise your arm to wave to a friend, and realize after several seconds that the weight has grown subtly more uncomfortable. You may even be venturing into the great unknown of outer space and come to the sudden realization that gravity no longer applies to you, that the bounds have been lifted. My situation is less appealing, however. I’m not participating in some daily chore, nor am I exploring the stars.

I’m falling. And I’m still going to die.

They say that your life flashes before your eyes moments before your death. First of all, that’s simply untrue. There are no revelations. There is no epitome of life-changing realizations that could have been made useful in years past and only now are surfaced- long after it’s too late. If that did happen, death would be a hell of a lot more depressing than it already is. The only thing you think about as you die is how you came into this predicament in the first place. At best, you’d relive the last several minutes, days at the most, of your life. Secondly, who even came up with that idea? Who could possibly confirm it? Anyone to experience death would obviously be dead and therefore couldn’t relay the specifics regarding their last thoughts to anyone. The statement of “your life flashes before your eyes” lacks confirmation. It cannot be confirmed nor denied, and even my retelling of these events is unreliable- shaky at best.

Ha. I’m thinking as if this were a memoire rather than last thoughts.

I’m gaining speed now. The wind feels brisk and cool against my skin. I welcome it. It’s only air. Falling won’t kill me- I see no reason to feel uptight about a breeze. Even thinking that makes me slightly tenser. I’m beginning to understand that I’m even closer to whatever lies at the end of the fall. I’m out of control and I have no way of stopping; nothing to do but wait for the end, alone, here, with only me and my thoughts. I sigh to myself, inaudible past the whoosh of the air. I just realized that my last words would be: “This doesn’t feel solid....”

“I expect to have this entire area named after me!” I shout to thin air. I doubt anyone heard, I’m probably too far down for my voice to echo back up, and the wind probably drowns it out. But hey, what’s wrong with a little humor to lighten the mood? No point in letting the living have all the fun!

Ha… ha….

It’s probably a bad sign that I’m already giving up. This probably isn’t normal. It isn’t human. There’s always been that little nagging thought in the back of everyone’s mind shouting “STAY ALIVE”. It’s part of life to want to cling to it with every fiber of our bodies. It’s disturbing to realize that I just don’t care anymore. But what bothers me more than that is I want to care. Or I want to want to care. Or I need to want to care. Because giving up means that there’s nothing to live for. But there always is, even if I don’t know it yet. Maybe I’ll even get to find out what that is. Or maybe I won’t. I’ll just have to wait and—


John Doe | Planet Earth

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