PART 6 – AIRPORT (ENCORE)
And they say that dead men don’t tell lies. I told you to take my tale with a grain of salt. Though one truth remains. I did kill a man in Lisbon. Only thing is: that man wasn’t Rodolfo. It was me. Not by throwing myself of the Castelo dos Mouros. No, I was never a drama queen. Not even by slicing my wrists or taking some pills. I died from the life I have lived. A life full of alcohol and smoking and debauchery and lies and all those things your doctors say is bad for you. It was bound to catch up with me someday. It did in Lisbon.
They say your life flashes in front of you when you go. It doesn’t. At least not in the way you expect it to. There is no showreel of highlights. Instead you get the story you concoct yourself, a delusion that tells you life was worth living if only for that one story, a tale that sums up your time on Earth. I have been a writer, ever since I could remember. So I went out on the thrill and suspense of a novels I had authored, this time starring myself. Parts of what I told you was true, just not the parts you’ll probably remember. That’s how a good writer should work: hiding something true in between the fantasies.
The only thing I don’t know is why my farewell tale was set in Lisbon. I’ve spent more time and had more lasting memories of other places, of other people. Perhaps that’s just the way it works. Perhaps you don’t get to choose your final arena. It is chosen for you, at the place you die. As a final reminder that you should live your life to the fullest and be at places you desire to be, lest you be disappointed in your final seconds. And though it might not seem that way from some of the descriptions I have fed you in these past chapters, there are worse places to die than Lisbon, a glorious city, especially in the sun, with lovely people, memorable sights and an all-round amicable atmosphere.
Oh yeah, one last thing. It doesn’t end immediately. There is still some waiting involved in what is best described as an airport lobby: a cold, detached, eerie place filled with lots of strangers – some in groups, some alone – checking the boards to see when their flight departs. We mostly avoid each other. You never know what wounds are still too fresh to open. Luckily the waiting doesn’t take as long as on a regular airport. This place has one not insignificant perk after all.
Just two gates to choose from.