It is four years today, three years and 364 days since I got the call. When she told me, I knew it was true, though I felt no shudder in the floor beforehand, nor any dizziness in my heart. It was the call I had expected for years. That isn’t to say that I thought his life was predisposed to danger. I think he behaved fairly unrecklessly. How he lived, however, is another matter.
Where he lived dangerously wasn’t on the roofs of buildings, or in seedy underworld beyond the notice of proper society, though those are places he frequented. His dangerous acts were the violations of decency and common sense in the arenas of art and social behavior. He never let the dead constriction of courtesy prohibit his playful invasion of someone’s arbitrary space, nor would any unspoken code of decorum keep him from bounding up and addressing another person on a level so direct and so personal, as to be an visceral, joyous shock. Boundaries to him were meant not to be broken so much as to be transcended. He knew that limitations are self-imposed, and he chose to live a life without them, and to show the rest of the world how that looked.
He danced through life protected by an armor of faith that there was nothing that could hurt him. Walking naked around Nagoya was certainly an exercise in confronting his fears, but even a baton-wielding policeman was an accepted challenge, one that was in no way a betrayal of the trust he had in his body, his environment, his Universe, and his God. He lived with the knowledge that while there was uncertainty, everything was allowed, and absolutely nothing opposed him.
When we are in moments of crisis, time slows, our thoughts accelerate. As he fell, I think he must have had time to consider his situation, time to wonder if he had somehow been cheated, snookered, hoodwinked by the Universe that had pretended to nurture him so lovingly, yet firmly, for 33 years. Did he have any regrets? Was he afraid? Did someone, somewhere, break the deal?
If he had regrets or a pang of fear, (he was human, after all,) no doubt it was to be his final, glorious challenge. His faith was so strong, his life lived so honestly, that there at the threshold he must have remembered, without reservation, that he was exactly where he should be. He felt the hand of God on his shoulder, His breath on his face, and joy in his heart. He knew his own death would not be a tragedy, it could not be a mistake. He knew that everything is, and will always be, absolutely perfect.