When is it the right time to die? Is it when the world has changed beyond recognition? Is it when the world ceases to change and you become bored? Is there a right time to die? I read a story today (by Charles Bukowksi) about an old man. The man was sixty years old — not really that old, all other things being equal, but he’d lived a life of labor, drinking and smoking, so I guess that adds some years. In any case, the man has an encounter with some teenagers who taunt and tease him. Later he finds himself drawn to darkness and the sound of the ocean… He seems to be withdrawing from the world. At the end of the story, he simply dies, listening to the faint sound of the sea. He doesn’t kill himself, he just dies, as though the time had come, the conditions had been met, it was appropriate. It made me wonder just what that must be like, to cease to be a part of the world, to see everyone as a stranger. Is death the natural result of such a progression, and will old age always lead to alienation? Being only 21 years old, I probably can’t truly consider this question…I feel like I understand the world. But what if one day I woke up and I wasn’t part of the world anymore. Would I want to face the day? Would there be any rewards for living? I’m not sure. At what point would I simply die, without a struggle? Does a time come when the only way to fit in is to stop living? I really want the answer to be “not necessarily”, but I’m afraid that the answer is “inevitably”.