The Graveyard's Shifting
I grew up on a dead end street, at the end of this street was a small bridge over a creek, this bridge connected to a path up a hill. Once over this hill you walked into a graveyard. This lead to my brother, our friends, and I spending a lot of time amongst the dead. This graveyard had a big looped road so it was perfect for bike riding or skating. Not to mention hide & seek and tag with gravestones as obstacles. It seems morbid but when a child you look for anywhere away from adults for you to play unhindered. It was also a place for thought, with the benches and the quite. This type of opportunity as a child really shapes you I believe. I have never asked if it shaped those who shared my experiences as it did me, I just assume it has. The morbid line of thinking it leads to, the acceptance of death as inevitable and that someday through cause and effect I will end up dead. I would stare at different headstones and wonder what this specific person was like. Could we have been friends, did we ever cross paths in life but never knew it? I think that’s why when I joined a certain society that forces you to acknowledge your own mortality it was not life changing, it was a “of course” moment. I wear a ring that has a skull and cross bones with a Latin inscription. When some people do take notice they will say something along the lines of “Nice pirate ring.” and just assume I’m weird. When it’s a brother they ask if I’m a traveling man and I answer in the affirmative and they know when translated the ring says “Whom virtue has united, death shall not separate.”
Midnights are when I used to run, the graveyards’ loop was perfect for that, when a graveyard is your second home you have no fear or superstition about it. When traveling I will most times stop and walk the graveyards, as if through some cosmic understanding it too is home. All of this has lead to some very specific issues I have with dying and being buried. I hate that I will never see my own gravestone and site. To never sit and stare at my future home while still alive, to get to know my surroundings and the decor nature will set up for me through fallen leaves. I got lost in thought on the subject a few nights ago and thought of a fix for this. I will buy my lot now, and headstone. I will also design this headstone and write its engraving. There will be no name, no dates, just the phrase I chose. So I can sit and stare at it, I can tend to my home with the care a living person would give their inevitable future. Maybe knowing where I am going will make my death a little less of a big deal to me, I could find comfort in knowing exactly where I will be. Maybe while sitting and staring someone else will happen upon it like I used to do. Maybe we will become close friends and we can talk about the person buried there.
Is someone actually buried there? There is only a phrase. Was this person a good person? What was this person like? Could we have been friends. Maybe me and the person who stumbled on my grave will become such good friends we meet weekly at this graveyard. My grave being the meeting point. They would never know they were talking to that very person they were wondering about. They would only know this headstone with only a phrase has built a friendship upon itself. We could have a specific day we meet. Then one day I will die, and with very specific instructions I will be buried on that day of the week we meet and time we normally do so. So when they show up they will be there for my funeral and all the questions they had would be answered. My final gift to someone in death. And all because of the headstone that read “Where you are now I once was, where I am now you too will be.”