“Hey, you guys, if I die, like in a strange place, how will they know who the corpse is? Like if I die in the snow, in an avalanche in the Himalayas?”
“Come on, Vade, you don’t have to look at me like that. It’s is not unrealistic. Think about it. The world is so hot, it’s causing the snow to melt faster. And now all these people with mid-life crises, man – they love challenging themselves. They want to show off that they aren’t over the hill yet. I always see those men with grey hair in their sideburns. Some of them run in the ultra-marathon. Some take vacations at the ABC basecamp. Or go swimming with sharks in Cebu. All these activities go against their mid-life physical abilities. I think they’re all looking for trouble,” Yoon started this conversation with his drinking buddies. That was his job; while others mixed drinks, he stirred the conversation.
If they run into a fierce shark and get eaten up, then game over,” Poj weighed in.
“Oh, but if you die in an avalanche, then your body would be frozen. Whoever finds your body would know then. But the last face you make might be one of utter shock. You’d be an ugly corpse.” Ton added his two cents.
“But if it were me, I’d be good looking no matter what, because I wear baggy pants.” Vade joked drunkenly. He was the only one who could use this joke since no one wears baggy pants anymore. And if you ask him about it, he’ll tell you he looks good in them too. So this baggy pants joke can only be Vade’s joke.
“Um…if you die, people will know who you are no matter what. This big man who’s buried in a heap of snow with his strange weird-looking pants that stands out from the others, his pants aren’t ordinary ski pants, they’re baggy jeans. Hey, you Gen-Z-er’s! Don’t be confused! This corpse is the one and only Uncle Vade from Bangkok,” Yoon stirred the pot adding his joke to the mix.
In the midst of office life, where does our time go? Work that is a bit amusing and a bit stressful. Sometimes you rise to the top and sometimes you fail. Achieve success and topple down. Our competitors are also our friends. Using life without care and not caring how it will turn out. Endless and meaningless conversations have become a part of life as well as alcohol, nicotine, and other things that help spice up the conversation. It’s as if the salarymen need to find a pool of craziness to help rejuvenate them for work the next day.
In this group, joking about death seemed pointless, but it wasn’t intentional. Life moves along by impulse. Eyes are blind to the future or perhaps they turn a blind eye to it. All they see is the present, which is full of different flavors. It is only these flavors in life that give us life. How can you resist them? Luckily, the joking conversation about death that day ended up at a hospital, so they didn’t miss out on living.
That day at the nearest hospital to the drinking group, a patient wearing baggy pants was pushed into the emergency room, surrounded by his friends who quickly sobered up once the venue changed from a lively bar to a cold, white, empty room inside a hospital at night.
Luckily, no one had to identify Wade’s corpse from his baggy pants. The repeated stroke symptoms were causing pain in his chest. It happened suddenly, without choosing a time, without warning. It was pure luck that these salarymen had their routine nonsense drinking group. Right now, their faces were pale as they waited in front of the emergency room. It was a surprise that Vade survived the incident unscathed.
However, anyone in the same situation would have been extremely anxious, including Vade. If you think about it, it can be like a virus, spreading among everyone in that circle of nonsense conversation.
Yoon said, “I shouldn’t have brought it up. What an omen.”
“Um…Tan, don’t think that it could only happen to me, it can also happen to you. Be careful, dude,” said Vade, who now drank no alcohol but was still in the group. The only reason he was still there was because he was afraid to be alone. In case he had another stroke, at least his friends could take him to the hospital in time.
“Ah, come and sit in the circle. Drink some of this sweetness, it’s good! Change your style,” Ton joined in, as he stirred the contents of his third glass.
“And how about you, Vade? Aren’t you afraid of living alone,” asked Ton.
“Of course, I’m afraid. If I weren’t, I wouldn’t be sitting here pretending to be drunk with you all,” replied Vade. “I wish there was some place for me to live alone but also in a community with my friends, with doctors and nurses that would always come and check in on me.”
“Nurse? I want the nurse,” Yoon teased.
“Or if there were some kind of technology that checks up on us. In case there was some sort of emergency, there would be immediate assistance. I’d be more at ease,” Wade voiced his thoughts to the group.
“So, you don’t want to die alone where no one finds you until weeks later. And they have to identify your corpse by your baggy pants. The media would be all over it. They’d call you the Lonesome Baggy. The content alone would rake in ratings, making everyone cry over you. Wouldn’t that be great, to die famous?” Ton laughed loudly at his own joke.
“No! There’s no way I’m going to be the Lonesome Baggy at all.” Vade closed the conversation by drinking his glass of water with a look of determination.