Five Fingers. D E E P.

“Just don’t spread it,” he said half chuckling, but mostly serious.

On the other end of the phone, I laughed, not because I’m insensitive to the caustic trap of chaste sickness, but because I’m oversensitive to the wounding plight of man. Was oversensitive is more accurate, because I’ve learned that my perceptions don’t require settlement through the limited navigation contained within my earthly existence.

I’d told the person I was talking with that I can’t hide from sickness and death, and that when it’s my time, it’s my time. When in the past, this mortal soul has succumbed to physical illness or spiritual death, I didn’t look back at past actions or inactions, to consider that choosing isolation might have prevented my suffering.

Looking back only served to reveal how it was a connection to others responsible for keeping me alive all along.

Maybe I have an advantage, having aged in years of intermittent isolation, some ordered and others self-imposed.

Maybe I have an advantage, having experienced life without the standard conveniences of modern-day.

Maybe I have an advantage, having been broken down by a spiritual emptiness so vast that thoughts of blowing my head off didn’t coincide with access to a firearm.

Maybe I have an advantage, having been blessed to carry and care for life to know the sobering difference between individual insignificance and mutual responsibility.

Maybe I have an advantage, having witnessed people on their deathbeds cry out for their loved ones, no longer caring about rats, cages, horses, or tracks.

Maybe I have an advantage, having an appearance that betrays my depth, allowing me to touch people more deeply than can ever be expected.

Maybe we all have the same advantages, but misremember, and think ourselves special, when we’re not.

Maybe isolation reminds us of this and encourages us to look back to remember how useless life is without anyone to hold our hands.

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