I live amongst people who know exactly when they are going to die. They don’t know how and they don’t know where. The circumstances, the cause – these remain a mystery right up until a person’s date comes up. They just know when. Knowing how long you have to live your life has always been the way of my people. Nobody knows any different.
Our death dates are private things, nobody else can find them out unless we let them. Some like to try. Others go out of their way to never know. Our dates are found when we close our eyes. There’s no specific length of time, or time of day. We just shut our eyelids and there it is. Everybody knows that dates appear in Corsica font, picked out from the blackness behind shut lids. When you sleep, it’s there. A constant reminder even though nobody could ever forget seeing those numbers.
You can usually tell when a person’s time is beginning to run out. They start selling off their things, hurriedly amending or writing Wills. They buy less food, stop getting haircuts and people in suits and sombre cars turn up to help plan the funeral. Everybody accepts it – death I mean. Everybody accepts it apart from me. Because when I close my eyes, when the darkness falls behind the lids – it remains blank. There’s nothing there. I’ve never told anybody this before but I haven’t got an expiry date.