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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