B: I can’t remember. It seems to be common knowledge.
A: Who are these people called common and who the hell told them!
B: Well, you nearly died. Something needed to be said, didn’t it? Somebody needed to be told. We needed to get your family together to say goodbye.
A: Huh! A death bed scene is not the ideal way in which I’ve seen myself dying. Certainly not when watched by that so-called family of mine.
B: So, you wanted to die suddenly in your sleep? Or in a fatal accident?
A: Anything’s better than lingering. .....Though, thinking about it, lingering would have irritated that family of mine more than finding my dead body in a bed. Hmm, perhaps a death bed scene would have been the best thing, a really looooong death bed scene, with the need for shifting vigils. Shifting vigils, yes, I like that thought!
B: Lingering is something we all do I suppose ever since we were first born? Lingering on the edge of something none of us can really explain.
A: I see life as a sort of pride before a fall. The pride is a sort of denial about death. The fall, death itself.
B: Death, in whatever form it takes.
A: Death itself is a life thing. A sort of long painful life process. The state of death after death is not really death at all.
B: If there is a state of existence after death at all. Nobody has proved there is such a state, either by going there and coming back or fetching someone dead back. A lot of charlatans showing that state of existence ... exists – but there has never been any real scientifically rigorous proof.
A: Some say that a few people get so near to death, they experience or, at least, see in the distance what after-death experience looks like after they die. I believe that I have been very near to becoming that near – as near to the ultimate nearness as this gap between my finger and thumb.
B: Going back to what you said about pride. I find that quite interesting. Life as a phenomenon of pride: the ability to uphold or balance the precariousness of life. A pride in that confidence in balancing the unbalanceable. Or a confidence in that pride. A confidence-trick.
A: Are my family still here?
B: Yes, they’re all in the sitting-room next door.
A: Probably drinking all my drink, knowing them.
B: Drinking for some people is a way of underpinning that pride or confidence to balance life against death, I suppose. Anyway, shall I bring them in, now? I hope they will be able to see me or at least hear me call them in.
A: You mean fetch them back for the rest of the Wake?
B: Yes, the wake or the deep sleep? The black pit of the deepest possible sleep or the wake left by some unknown tide of endlessness.
A: Wake or sleep, deep or endless, they’re all the same to me now that life’s balance or pendulum has stopped swinging , stopped at least for me.
B: Ha! The Pit and the Pendulum.
A: The Pit and the Pride, more like.
B: The pity in the pride, more like.