I was thinking about it earlier today, and I can't remember how it came up. We were driving through New Orleans, packed into this car and talking about something that wasn't our collective fear of death, the inability to deal with our mortality and whether or not we're in charge of our own fate when all of the sudden the conversation shifted and we were talking about the Blue Light.
The concept is simple, and probably very indebted to the brilliant Machine Of Death book which you can read in its entirety at that link right there.
The idea is this. Shortly before your death a blue ball of light will appear above your head. It could appear seconds before your death, or it could appear a week or two before anything happens.
It's a fun thought exercise.
I don't want to put too many rules into play, I just want to think of the possibilities.
You're walking down the street and you pass a stranger with the blue light. What do you do? What do you say? Do you apologize? I think I'd just apologize. I'd smile at them. I'd hope that they were on their way to do things they really wanted to do.
Would society embrace death? I mean, it would torture us in some ways, but we'd get more of a heads up than we usually get. That would be nice. Would there be "blue light parties?" 'Oh, sorry man, I'm busy Saturday, my friend's having his blue party.' What would you do if you couldn't make it to your friends blue party? How could you possibly make it to them?
One of the tempting ideas was to allow a friend to kill me in an awesome and preferably painless way. But if I did that, why did the blue light come on in the first place? I would be dying because of the blue light. It be both causing and forseeing my death. Can you beat the blue light?
My roommate Michael brought up how many euphemisms and slang terms we would have for the blue light. "She's been lit." "Feeling blue" would have a new emotional punch. We also talked about maybe the light changing colors, towards a red or maybe a white as you neared your death. You could watch the second tick away. One guy got his years ago, maybe, and there's been no noticeable change. Some unlucky people watch their light wither away before their eyes so quickly.
What if one day you woke up and you had an orange light, or a green light, or something?
I imagined all of my roommates and I in our living room, when all of the sudden all of our lights were there (would there be an accompanying sound? Something terribly inappropriate) except for one person. Let's say Caitlin. I feel like we'd all try to kill Caitlin. And according to our new lights, we would fail.
Could you die without a blue light or would it just appear a second before the event?
People are on a plane when everyone's lights suddenly appeared. Every single person on board. Somewhat reasonably, mayhem ensued. The pilot, fighting the urge to react in the exact same manner, manages to calm everyone down and he lands the plan successfully. Everyone walks away completely unharmed, but dies within the next of couple of days.
It's a fun thought exercise, I think.