Even if it means a couple of extra minutes, I like walking through the nearby park whenever my route brings me close to it. It’s a sunny autumn day. In this small park, there are never many people. Only me and this guy. We’re on the same path. He comes closer. His loud and harsh voice breaks the late afternoon silence. “Are you afraid to die?!” I wear headphones. I pretend I didn’t hear him. We pass each other.
Is he a threat? He’s bigger than me. Just in case, I prepare myself. I know what to do. Hit hard (if necessary) and then run as fast as I can. How can I take control of the situation from him? Or did ignoring work and he will just leave me be?
“Are you afraid to die!?” He’s shouting at me now. I slowly turn around, prepared for the worst.
Ok, what’s the answer he doesn’t expect? A philosophical discussion of what he means by ‘die’ as opposed to ‘be dead’ won’t do. He sounds too aggressive. It would be fun though. Most people are even afraid of thinking about death. But death is merely the end of experience. Therefore, you need not worry about it, because once you’re dead, you can’t worry any longer. It is hard to imagine not existing any more. It would mean ridding yourself of your own conscious experience. A lot like sleeping, actually. Without waking up. Inspecting myself, I don’t think I’m afraid to die now.
“Moderately.” I respond, quietly. I look totally calm from the outside. He didn’t see that coming. He is confused. “Moderately, hm?!” He says, calmer than before. I nod. We turn around and part ways.