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threshold of death, does the vision of
ideal life appear to me, life free of all
the illusions that have previously
brought me down, illusions that only
the proximity of 'The End' can destroy?
Is it because only now can I see life
as it really is, free of all the grime that
besmirches its true visage? It is,
indeed, free of all the trivial
annoyances that make life a tedious
grind in day-to-day existence?
It is as if, during the day of my
existence, life concealed her features
with dowdy garb, and only now, as
midnight approaches, does she shed
her frumpy dress and stand before me
in all her natural, radiant, shining
glory. In the distance, I saw my friends
getting finished off -- obviously their
answers weren't good enough.
Almost certainly they all used the "My
life is unique" defence and it didn't
work. Should I make my reasons stand out
from theirs? But I am a person just like
them. Wouldn't making my reasons
more striking imply that my life is more
valuable? Surely we all live for pretty
much the same reasons and so my
answer should be identical to theirs.
But what does the tormentor want
from us? Honest, straightforward
replies or singular, elaborate
explanations? How can one justify
one's existence? Where does one
begin? I have no need nor reason to
justify my past, for it is already gone,
and she can't take it away from me. I
cannot justify my future for it hasn't yet
occurred, and is therefore of an
intangible, unknown nature. It follows
then, that I am only in a position to
justify the now - the immediate
moment during which I am alive.
Should I appeal to her humanity, her
compassion? But what is morality -
what is conscience but some
intangible, nebulous substance that
we can only hope has found a safe
refuge in the breast of our fellow man.
It was now my turn. I came in and
faced the interrogator. In a voice
devoid of any tone she commanded
me to present my case.
"Life is hard, really hard sometimes" I
replied, "and a lot of times I don't
want to go on struggling against the
unyielding, overpowering forces. Yet I
want to continue living. That is all I
can say. I want to live."
The interrogator gazed at me with an
empty look, a look lacking any
human expression, deciding on her
answer. Just as she was about to make her
pronouncement, I woke up to life.
Boris Glikman is a writer, poet and
philosopher from Melbourne, Australia.
He can be contacted by email at