I woke up breathing. A friend died.
Claimed, as the young are of late, in a car accident.
Gray matter will not absorb this. It sinks in bursts and rejects, eyes leak in fits and starts. The young don't die. Even as I watched Mahmood driven away in that green van in 1999, I denied it then. We the living, we the living young, we the living free, it'll never happen to us. Sickness and old age, I've seen my dad and grandfathers dispatched. But youth, no, youth is forever. Youth. Delusioned, immortal youth.
And now I think of the boy who listened to the Dave Matthews Band and John Mayer, who called me Cinderella when I almost lost my shoe outside the hall at Naazia's wedding, who liked the words I used and who I promised to take out for ice cream when I got my drivers license. The one who married just this year and had all this Life laid out in front of him. I think of this boy. Ahmed. I think of him and go on living. Delusioned.