I’m a good person, but a shitty writer. You’re a shitty person, but a good writer. We’d make a good team. I don’t want to ask you any favors, but if you have any time—and from what I say you have plenty—I was wondering if you could write a eulogy for Hazel. I’ve got notes and everything, but if you could just make it into a coherent whole or whatever? Or even just tell me what I should say differently.
Here’s the thing about Hazel: almost everyone is obsessed with leaving a mark upon the world. Bequeathing a legacy. Outlasting death. We all want to be remembered. I do, too. That’s what bothers me the most, is being another unremebered casualty in the ancient and inglorious war against disease.
I want to leave a mark. But Van Houten: the marks humans leave are too often scars. You build a hideous minimal or start a coup or try to become a rockstar and you think, ‘they’ll remember me’, but (a) they don’t remember you and (b) all you leave behind are more scars. Your coup becomes a dictatorship. Your minimal becomes a lesion. (Okay maybe I’m not such a shitty writer. But I can’t pull my ideas together, Van Houten. My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations.)
We are like a bunch of dogs squirting on fire hydrants. We poison the groundwater with our toxic piss, marking everything “MINE” in a ridiculous attempt to survive our deaths. I can’t stop pissing on fire hydrants. I know it’s silly and useless—epically useless in my current state—but I am an animal like any other.
Hazel is different. She walks lightly, old man. She walks lightly upon the earth. Hazel knows the truth: we’re as likely to hurt the universe as we are to help it, and we are not likely to do either. People will say it’s sad that she leaves a lesser scar, that fewer remember her, that she was loved deeply but not widely. But it’s not sad, Van Houten. It’s triumphant. It’s heroic. Isn’t that real heroism? Like the doctors say: ‘first do no harm’.
The real heroes aren’t the people doing things; it’s the people NOTICING things, paying attention. The guy who invented the smallpox vaccine didn’t actually invent anything. He just noticed that people with cowpox didn’t get smallpox.
After my PET scan lit up, I snuck into the ICU and saw her while she was unconscious. I just walked in behind the nurse and got to sit next to her for like ten minutes before I got caught. I really thought she was going to die before I could tell her that I was going to die, too. It was brutal: the incessant mechanized haranguing of intensive care. She had this dark cancer water dripping out of her chest. Eyes closed. Intubated.
But her hand was still her hand, still warm and the nails painted this almost dark blue, and I just held her hand trying to imagine the world without us and for about one second I was a good enough person to hope she died so she would never know that I was going, too. But then I wanted more time so we could fall in love. I got my wish, I suppose. I left my scar. A nurse came in and told me I had to leave, that visitors weren’t allowed, and I asked if she was doing okay, and the guy said, ‘She’s still taking on water.’ A desert blessing, an ocean curse.
What else? She is so beautiful. You don’t get tired of looking at her. You never worry if she is smarter than you: You know she is. She is funny without ever being mean. I love her. I am so lucky to love her. You don’t get to choose the ones you hurt in this world, but you do have some say in who hurrts you. I like my choices. I hope she likes hers.—
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN;
Augustus Waters (via itsbayleigh)
overheard while watching "the fault in our stars"
- Girl #1: *crying*
- Boy #1: THE OPENING CREDITS AREN'T EVEN OVER YET.
- Boy #2: Pretentious douchebag...
- Boy #3: He is hot, though.
- Girl #2: Isaac is hot. I didn't see him as hot in the book.
- Girl #3: Oh my God, he's breaking the trophies while they're having this moment. What the fuck?
- Girl #4: Shhhhhh!
- Girl #5: I'm not crying. I'm not crying.
- Girl #6: Oh, God, I'm gonna cry.
- Girl #7: Shut up, he's in the middle of the soliloquy.
- Boy #4: Monologue.
- Girls: Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
- Boy #5: Something tells me he ain't gonna be a virgin for much longer.
- Girl #8: Wow, spoilers.
- Literally everyone during the Van Houten scene: Dick.
- Boy #5: What did I tell you? No longer a virgin.
- Girl #8: Shut up.
- Boy #6: WHAT?!
- Boy #7: I did not pay for him to die!
- Girl #9: Shut the fuck up, oh my God.
- Girl #10: Are you... crying?
- Girl #11: No. No. No. Shut up. No.
- Boy #8: Someone's gonna have to clean that up.
- Girl #12: Eh, she deserved it.
- Boy #9: I'm not gonna cry.
- Boy #10: I'm gonna cry.
- Everyone: *crying*
- Girl #13: NOT FUCKING OKAY.
- Boy #11: Oh, and on top of everything else, Ed fucking Sheeran, Jesus Christ, this was even more traumatizing than the book...