Logos, Ethos, Pathos
rating: +7+x

Breathe in, breathe out.
Ever heard of "box breathing?"
I've heard that's pretty good.

I don't need any brain tricks, I'm fine.

I may need it.
This is just so overwhelming.
Why did this have to happen?

It's not a surprise.
Anyone could have seen this coming.

Now isn't the time.
Please be respectful.

So much potential, gone.
Pooling onto the cold asphalt.
Leaking out…
Leaking out…

Potential that's been wasted now.
Who knows what they would have done.
Not that it matters anymore.

I'm sure they would have done something great.
But we can't dwell on what could have been.

What do we dwell on then?
Surely not the image in front of us.
It's sickening.

How about a life lived?

Oh, dwelling on the past is a surefire recipe for regret.
I'm not sure we should do that right now.
Maybe later?

But that's how we learn.

Then let's be selective for now.
Pick the important stuff.

The pretty days.
The ones they held close.
The art they made.

The books they read.
The things they learned.
The progress they made.

The people they brought together.
The things they championed.
The world they tried to help make just a little bit better.

The pretty days will still come and go.
The ones they held close will move on.
The art they made will decay.

They'll never be moved by a story again.
They'll never experience the joy of learning again.
They'll never feel the satisfaction of progress again.

But they'll be remembered nonetheless by those who knew them.
What they did.
What they loved.
What they said.
What they made.

But they'll remember in the past tense.
Present tense and future tense are gone.
Memories are all that are left.

Memories are fallible.
They get misconstrued.
Eventually, forgotten.
Entropy is an inevitability.

Infinite jest…
Infinite jest…

Nothing in life is permanent.
That's just the truth of the matter.
But it isn't an excuse to be pessimistic.
To wallow in sorrow and cynicism.
We have to balance it out with the positive.
Life is a healthy mixture of both.
Sometimes medicine tastes bad.

Maybe their loved ones will focus on the positives of their life.
The greener grass.

A grass that'll eventually be chewed to cud by some divine grazing animal.

But the grazing animal would enjoy the grass, right?
Otherwise they wouldn't have chewed it in the first place.

Because the greenest grass is the newest, the freshest.
The most recent memory will always be the strongest.
Last the longest.

And, oh, how they've left some sour grass.

Neither this moment, nor the circumstances surrounding it, will be pleasant.
But it's not the only memory.
I trust that it won't taint others' view enough to ruin everything else.

I sincerely hope so.
Close ones' memories are all that is left to look fondly on.
The imagery by itself is enough to wither the heart.
A modern work of sorrow.
Shone on by the moon.
Bound in smoking, twisted metal.

There's no tragic beauty or art in this.
They almost killed another living human.

But it's still a stark image of the fragility of life.
Not only of one's own, but of those around them.

Memento mori…
Memento mori…

Fragility is subject to protection.
Preventative measures.
This wasn't the cruel hand of fate.
It's the direct result of choices made by someone who knew better.

Regardless of whether or not it is, now isn't the time.
Please listen to me for once.

But it's true.
Why deny what's true?

Because it's callous.

It's reality.

Please, just a moment of silence.
Haven't we bickered enough?
This is a time that deserves some reverence.
A bright and beautiful flame, snuffed out.

Certainly an apt metaphor.
Flames go out once they've consumed all around them.
Without a care for whatever's in the way.

People make mistakes.

A mistake is spilling water.

Then it's a tragedy.

It never should have happened.
We can agree to that, I hope.
But now is not the time to dwell on mistakes or tragedies.

I can hear an ambulance's sirens.

Heralding sorrow.
Inspiring dread.

The other driver called 911.
It wasn't their fault.
They could have just left.

Don't avert your eyes.
We have to watch.
We have to know.

I can't…
I can't…

This is something of a gruesome situation.
You'll have to forgive us if this isn't something we want to always see.

It's gruesome, yes, but it's like dissecting an animal.
Observation is a learning tool.

The scalpel in my hand is unsteady.
I'm sorry.

Is that all they are to you now?
A dead animal on a cold metal tray?
Ready to be cut into and tested?

The paramedics are here.
They're pulling them out of the wreckage.

It's already so obvious to them.
You can see it in their eyes.

But they're still handling them so gently.
There's nothing they can do to make it worse.
Yet they're being so gentle.

They rolled out a gurney.
But there's something laying on the white sheet.
A black bag.

A slow zip-up.
Stoic, yet somber.

Police are talking to the other driver.
Investigating the wreck.
Figuring out what happened.

They found them.
The crushed cans.
The empty plastic bottles.

They know…
They know…
No emotions, nothing.
It's just another case.

You can't let emotions take hold.
The job doesn't allow it.
But now they're numb to the world around them.
Tragedy at their feet and yet?

Too late to think about that now.
We're on the move.

But the ambulance has gone silent.
The harrowing wail, replaced by an even louder silence.
No rush…
No rush…

Why engage in dangerous driving?
They can't save the patient lying in the back.

The slow roll into the morgue.

So quiet.
No mourning song.
The birds are asleep.
The streets are empty.
No one to cry for them.

Not yet.

No one will find out for hours.

Their naked body's laid out on a table.

So cold…
So cold…

It's standard procedure.
Soon, the family will be able to dress them up again.
Something to keep them warm, make them look nice.

A needle's jabbed in their arm.
The vein rolls.
They adjust the needle in the skin.

Just another test…
Just another test…

They already know.
They just need to know how much.
How much?

Filling the syringe.

Long gone.
Ready to reveal the truth.
Screaming it…
Screaming it…

The legal processes requires it.
Tragic, almost desecration.
But necessary nonetheless.

The results are back.
Scribbled black ink.

The number will be an anathema.
I don't want to know it.
Don't say it.

I'm sorry, but we have to know what it says.
So tell us, please.
What does it say?




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