Akira's passing have been making me reflect a lot these days about death.
I was watching his memorial and several people mentioned that he for sure fulfilled all the dreams he shared with his friends as a teen.
Those stories transported me back to my childhood, to one of the two funerals that changed my life. It was in Mexico City, a distant uncle I never met. I don't know how I got it, but I picked up a book from his collection that I just couldn't stop reading. I was probably around 12.
I was a big nerd as a kid. Big nerd as in, I used to read encyclopedias and dictionaries for fun since I remember. Every year, after getting enrolled to school and receiving a new set of books, I used to read them all before classes started. I even pre-filled some. Again, for fun.
I grew up in a catholic school, with nuns as teachers, frequent Holy Hours (silent meditations) and heavy indoctrination in Catholic mythology.[^1]
I scanned technical texts as curiosities, like cookbooks, compendiums about sharks and other marine animals, pharmacopeias, anatomy books, encyclopedias devoted solely to Ancient Egypt or the Bible. (My mom dropped out from Medicine and my grandfather loved the sea more than anything, so I grew up with an interesting library.)
The Bicentennial Man and other Asimov stories in that book made a profound impact on me. Sci-fi made me crave for a world in which, for the first time, I could see myself in.
One of my first Internet friends, E, gifted me once a
.zip full of PDFs: an Asimov anthology. I devoured it and gained a role model: Susan Calvin.
The first time someone emotionally close to me died, I was too young to understand all its meaning. The second time, thought, when I learned that E committed suicide, I had a serious conversation with myself about death.
Since I'm ~13yo, I've only had three big dreams:
- To become a cyborg.
- To travel through space on a daily basis.
- To be immortal.
As I grew up, I started to dismiss them as non-sense. Time, technology and my personal growth curve are starting to bring me new hopes.
[^1] While I don't consider myself Catholic anymore, I'm in good terms with the Creator. I attribute my absurd luck to our friendly relationship. I might write about it just to explore the topic in public, because for me God is not an entity, but an... essence? ...a mood?