“Shall we burn a barn?”

Among its other faces, I’ve noticed death puts mischief on my mind.

Laura, mad and I could smell it off each other when we walked to the underworld together. Fingers itching for trouble and nothing to lose.

“Shall we… burn a barn?”

Luckily we were isolated, and kept too busy to steal some car keys and go wreck some creative form of chaos on the sleeping hamlets.

The mad glint was back in my eye that sunset on the subway though. When the woman across me pulled out the Tibetan Book of Life and Death, I knew the game was on.

I tell her I once rescued this book from a rainy pavement, and made sure it dried, never really glancing at the contents. She tells me how the Western world is now just plainly unprepared for death.

“Oh yeah. Like my dad – complete Cartesian mind right, skeptical as can be of spirits and stuff. But this morning when he died –

– Excuse me?

– Oh yeah, 3h30, very early indeed. Well he shook my mother awake, “I’m leaving!” – while he expired in a deep coma, in another town. Cheeky bugger just couldn’t resist a dramatic exit – and he would never have believed that kind of story himself!”

Her eyes are still bulging while I sail off the wagon, whistling. I don’t get very far though – I’m stopped right in my tracks by the distinct scent of someone feeling playful.

Where are you?

Aha! Its the pink lilies. Their lush fragrance hijacks my brain. I tenderly gather them to my chest and carry them through the tide of black-clad commuters.

“You’re in a dancing mood too huh? You know, my father’s body looked 20 years younger – and his hair had changed color! The world is full of wonder and mysteries we will never ever understand!”

We whisper secrets and cackle all the way home.

Just me, death and the flowers – having us a whale of a time.


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