Meeting Elsie

From InMemoriam
Jump to: navigation, search

Once in freshman year I went to one of the big parties on campus hoping to better understand the college experience that had been portrayed in movies and tv. I arrived at the party alone and watched the interactions. Quickly i saw that movements seemed to be centered around a table far in the back. I went to that table and after a substantial wait managed to pour myself a glass of vodka. I didn't understand how everyone seemed to know everybody else. Finally, I found a comfy chair on which to sit. Once sitting, I began to understand the appeal of these parties. It felt like watching a sitcom, except I didn't know or care for any of the characters. Eventually a conversation made it's way to the couch and chairs surrounding me. They were discussing one of those brain dead people on life support. They seemed to be saying that the spirit and soul of a person could be kept alive with this life support. I thought this was a ridiculous notion and informed them of such. I let them know that when one loses brain function everything that identifies them is lost, never to be retrieved. I said that it's sort of similar to when a loved one becomes a zombie. They need to be let go. As I was saying this I could see the group growing uncomfortable. The all started telling me that something of the person remained and that it was worth keeping the corpse alive. I couldn't allow these misconceptions to persist so I continued to inform the group of what happens to the brain when it loses function, how it becomes wiped of all identifying features and memory. Then I felt a blow to my face and blood flow from my nose. I guess I had really offended them. I went outside for some fresh air and sat bleeding into my sleeve. Then after a few minutes someone asked what happened. It was Elsie. I explained to her what had happened and se told me that the man I was speaking with's mother was in the hospital on life support. I understood his anger I suppose, but Elsie also understood my frustration. That was the beginning of our friendship.