ASH AMBIRGE

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Fuck Shit Balls I Didn’t Finish Those Edits, Yet. And Other Stuff That Doesn’t Matter. (In Memory of Enrique.)

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired

So I'm not sure what you did yesterday, but I, for one, witnessed somebody drown.

You're probably thinking I'm joking, because who mentions something like drowning so nonchalantly?

But I am not, unfortunately, joking. And while I'm calm now, yesterday I was anything but.

It was sunset, and I was with my Costa Rican girlfriends at a rustic beach front restaurant, slurping margaritas. They had coconut flakes. It was delightful.

Here is an extremely blurry, non-professional photo I snapped with my ancient, pre-paid Costa Rican cell phone, pre-tragedy.

And right as we ordered our second round, suddenly an ambulance zoomed down the sand. There were police. There was a boat with a spotlight. And family members running toward the commotion at full-speed, crying.

My friends knew the victim.

Of course they did.

Here in Costa Rica, no one is anonymous.

As I watched from a distance, in shock, I was suddenly overcome by grief.

In the name of my own past, in the name of this young, 20-something boy whose life had just ended, right there before my very eyes, and in the name of the fleeting nature of it all.

THERE ARE NO GUARANTEES.

No promises.

No rain checks.

No “see you laters,” or “let's catch up soons.”

Because your future does not exist.

It's nothing more than a hopeful projection. A prediction. A mental concept. A figment of your imagination. A wish. And a gamble.

We assume the future exists, but we have no way of knowing, or assuring, or even buying our own bus pass there.

We can only roll the dice.

As I sat there with tears streaming down my own cheeks, silently witnessing the volatile nature of this life making itself known, I was reminded, yet again, that nothing we tend to spend the majority of our time worrying about REALLY MATTERS.

I try to keep this in mind all of the time, but admittedly it's all too easy to get engrossed in the trivial bullshit of everyday life.

The credit card payment.

The student loan.

The fact that you've run out of deodorant.

And the ever-prominent fear that you'll never really like cooking, and maybe–just maybe–no one will ever view you as “marriage material.”

Originally I wasn't sure I was going to attend happy hour that night.

Client work to finish. Books to write. Big plans to be made. Eyebrows to be tweezed.

But as I looked around at my precious friends, I knew I had made the right choice. Those are the times that matter most. Those are the things that matter most. Those are the people that matter most. And the moments that DEFINE YOU.

And I'm pretty certain that if it were me drowning in that ocean, about to take my last breath? My last thoughts wouldn't be, “Fuck shit balls, I didn't finish those edits yet.”

IT'S ABOUT PERSPECTIVE.

I got a good dose of it last night.

And here's some for you, too.

…His name was Enrique…

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