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Storytime Blog Hop: SUBJECT: If you don’t hear from me again

From: Kayla <kayla@kaylabee.com> | Wed, Oct 11 at 6:00 PM (1 month ago)
I’d like to put a TL;DR here but I really can’t

Hey gang,

I’ve put off writing this newsletter for a number of reasons, not least that I’m not sure how to say what I need to say here.

Let me start with the basics: I have a group of friends. You’ve heard me talk about them before. My lifelong neighbor Kennedy, who you’ve seen in nearly all my garden escapade photos, especially last year’s Rabbit Apocalypse. My girlfriend Mio, who I met abroad and who featured heavily in my viral goat yoga post from 2019. My “very bestest ever” friend Brant—what stories was he not in? Last time I mentioned him was probably the “private tour” he gave us of the air and space museum. He was a test pilot and had something to say about nearly everything in their collection.

He crashed two weeks ago as I write this. He was in a coma and then, one week ago, he passed away.

Obviously, we are devastated. He was only 36 years old; he had so much time left. The funeral was yesterday and Mio and I are doing a lot of sitting around, staring at nothing. I don’t think I’ve been functional since the crash. I don’t expect to produce a lot of content in the near future, or possibly ever again.

So. There’s that. The easier thing to talk about, if you can believe that. If you want to preserve your impression that I’m sane, or if you are not at all open to “woo-woo” stuff, stop reading here. Maybe I’ll email again in a month and everything will be…not normal, but sane. If I don’t, draw your own conclusions. Love you all, goodbye.

If you’re willing to hear the real story, read on.

The first thing to know is—and I’m just going to come straight out with it, so if you don’t believe me here, then, again, just stop reading and move on with your life—the four of us have known each other for several lifetimes. Brant and I are the ones who remember the best. It gets fuzzy over time, as memories too, but it’s as if it all happened to me in this lifetime. For Kennedy and Mio, it’s more like a vague impression. Mio always says that when she first sees me, she knows she knows me, but can’t place from where.

The second thing is that none of us have ever died young. We aren’t usually all this close in age—the first time I met Brant, he was my foster son. The second time, I was his foster daughter! The third time, we were classmates, and Mio was our second grade homeroom teacher. You get the idea—but usually, when we start dying, the youngest of us is at least 60. Which is still not that old, but it sure is older than 36. Or 32.

The third thing to know is that, every cycle before now, we’ve all died within a month of each other. No suicides—I certainly don’t want to die, I am not ready to die—but, one way or another, when one goes, we all go. There’s no apparent rhyme or reason to it when we can have 20+ year age differences in the next life, but it’s always been the case so far.

The final thing you need to know is that Kennedy collapsed at the funeral. She had a major stroke. She’s only 32 and she was declared brain dead this morning. They’re going to unplug her soon.

Are you still with me? I’m going to die within the month. I don’t know how or when. I sure as hell don’t know why.

We talked about it around Brant’s hospital bed—what his death would mean for us. You would think repeated cycles would’ve given us some insight into the universe, but it hasn’t. Nothing seems to mean anything. All we know is that we’re moving sideways, not forward—always starting in this same thirty-ish-year block around the millennium. Presumably in alternate universes, or else sooner or later we’d meet ourselves, and that hasn’t happened yet.

Maybe that means this is all a simulation, and none of you are real. Sorry. Maybe it means this is already the afterlife—some kind of system like The Good Place had, except there’s no apparent end goal to (spoilers!) make us better people. God that show sent us into existential spirals. I don’t know what we’re supposed to be learning here, though. What is death supposed to teach you? What was Brant’s death supposed to teach us?

Maybe some of you remember, too, and you just haven’t admitted it to anybody. Come find me next time, if that’s the case. I want to compare notes.

I don’t want to overstate the existential crisis, though. We all did the what-is-it-all-for thing cycles ago. We’ve learned to find meaning in each other, to make our own meaning in a life that just keeps going. That could be the case here, too—that we have to make Brant’s early death mean something to us, and incorporate that into the next cycle. Maybe we don’t change for a purpose, you know? Maybe we just change.

Mio and I have cashed in all our vacation time for the next few weeks. We haven’t decided yet whether to hole up and try to survive, or to get out there and live these last few weeks to the fullest. If you hear from me again, maybe you’ll get pictures of our adventures, or maybe you’ll get a review of every show Netflix hasn’t canceled yet. If you don’t, it’s because I died, for no reason at all except that that’s how the cycles go. I hope you find some meaning in that.

With love,
Kayla

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