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Perhaps only the morbid could sit down to actually pen their own epitaph. Perhaps it takes a large pinch of self-confidence or self-derision.

Maybe then, to actually take to writing your own words is wrong, but you can do it just through your actions. Something you've said, your characteristics.

I have a friend who has a fascination with his own death. He doesn't appear to know it or understand it, I think it's a form of depression. His only expression of this is his fight. He fights constantly and always against heavy odds. Most people I know think it's some form of bravery or foolishness, or both. I'm convinced he just wants to die but is neither brave enough nor foolish enough to do it himself.

Let me explain, he's lived a life on the edge, never any money, no family to speak of, homeless at times, on drugs when he could get them. But he has a brain, an ability to perceive his situation beyond what might be expected of some grunt from the worst parts of Glasgow. After all, we are all inarticulate, stupid and stubborn, good in a fight and nothing else. That is our charicature and we stick to it well. We get drunk for you, we waste our lives in the petty, we can afford little else. But no matter how it seems to most there is a light behind this boys eyes. There's something there beyond what you wanted to see in him. Something more than the comfortable category of yob you put him in.

He tried to get into a nightclub one evening, the bouncers knew his face however and would not allow him in. He started a fight with them, all six of these heavy guys. They pounded on him. They floored him and kicked him when he was down. It was only when the head bouncer said "Stop, he's near dead", and with the blood pouring out of him, they paused.

Your man raised his blood covered head from the ground, looked at them and said

"Is that the best you could do?"

With one last kick to the limp figures stomach the head bouncer said "They'll put that on that bastards grave" and went back inside the club and closed the door.

Perhaps. Did he just write his epitaph? I hope not. He is still alive but looking less and less like he knows how to hold on these days. I'd like to think someone else could write a more fitting one for him though. Something that spoke well of someone who was alive inside, no matter how many kicks were sent in from the world around him. Someone who felt the pain of a life that was being torn apart and wasted and knew there was more. Someone who had a light inside them and when it couldn't shine just wanted to find some way, any way, to put it out before they put it out for him. Before it flickered and died from the inside. While he still had a choice.

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