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  • “Evolution loves death more than it loves you or me.” -Annie Dillard


    A friend volunteers at a free clinic in the city where he’s going to medical school. His very first patient was a woman far younger than she looked. She presented symptoms for most of the maladies that afflict the impoverished, and she was savagely addicted to heroin. She couldn’t remember the last time she went more than two days without a fix. Her ex-boyfriend and drug dealer got her to start smoking pot just so she’d be hungry enough keep from starving to death.

    She looked my friend in the eye when she told him this. I just wish I’d die, she said. But I keep waking up in the morning.


    High in the mountains withered grasses are still emerging along the melting edges of snowbanks late in August. I’m sitting on a rock watching the water bead……and drip and when the wind subsides I can hear a little cascade under the talus. There isn’t a cloud in the sky and all is in repose. But the days are growing shorter; there is frost in the mornings. September’s storms will bury it all.

    “Is it really worth it?” I ask the grasses after a while. “Really?”


    But that’s a stupid question, and they’re far too busy photosynthesizing to respond. Death is obscenely eager, fantastically efficient: the world will kill you as soon as it can. Every flicker of life is an offense to entropy, that all is not ash is victory. So whatever the means, whatever the odds, the answer is yes. Always and forever yes.
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