Sometimes I wonder what it is I would leave behind, as my legacy, if I died tomorrow. It’s important to me that I will be remembered, lovingly, which is partly what draws me to writing. As Jorge Luis Borges once said:
When writers die they become books, which is, after all, not too bad an incarnation.
I don’t have any books to my name, yet, but I have this blog, which will do, for now.
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A boy I used to know died this year. One of the things he left behind was a video of himself playing the guitar. He is sitting alone, on the ground, in a grey concrete stairwell, six months before his death. It is only accessible by friends, so you’ll have to trust me when I say: he was talented. Oh, so talented.
I saved it to my bookmarks and I play it, sometimes, when I am alone, and I want to feel something. I close my eyes and listen. And I cry, every time, without fail. Just as I cry as I write these words, his music playing as a backing track, informing my thoughts, prompting me to remember.
My favourite part is when somebody, making their way down the stairs, interrupts him. I hear his voice, one last time. “Dude, the acoustics are amazing in here,” he tells the stranger, with a smile. “So beautiful.”
That is when my heart swells, from my chest to my throat, and the tears start to fall, from the pain; because I remember that smile.