We’re All Gonna Die!

Image Credit: Jens Fricke

“We’re all gonna die! We’re all gonna die! We’re all gonna die! We’re all gonna die!” he proclaimed each morning at 6am, inside Grand Central Station. He wore the same bulky Yankees jacket each time. The words rang in ears, the annoying kind, the low frequency hum kind, resonating as he stood.

This was his daily prayer, his only meditation for the last thirty years. At six, every morning, he would yell his prayer and sit in silence. The silence was usually thirty minutes, but on particularly hard days, that was his day. Reputations are made by actions, unless there are none to see, then words must suffice. For the city rushing past, only his words could be known. So they called him “That Yelling Death Guy.” In thirty years of devotion, not one person spoke to him. He grew to love the blankness he received, like an artist with no audience, no feedback, no critique. He was free. He was no artist though, and this was no mission. It was his prayer. It was what he needed to live; his breakfast of champions.

That’s why we’re all here today. That’s why the city mourns, and will every year after this. That Yelling Death Guy was Antwon Garcia, killed tragically by falling debris from the construction happening above him. I, Frank Garcia, the Mayor of New York City, have known Antwan since birth, for he was my father. His cheating, gambling, and drinking led to my parents divorce, and sent him to the streets. I was three, so you could say I never knew him.

He cleaned up his life through those many years, and he always gave credit to this morning prayer. We never reconciled, though he tried, which makes this moment that much harder. I never knew him, but occasionally I would sit and watch him from a distance, trying to grasp why he was doing what he did, and how he could be my father.

It was only through his death, all of you filling this stadium, and the millions of you I’m told are watching his funeral on TV, that I realise how great of a man he was. I have spent my life chasing all sorts of goals, and reaching them, but now I find myself wanting to be just like him. That is why I hereby resign as the Mayor of New York City and take up my father’s place in Grand Central, to let his legacy continue. I can no longer ignore death and expect to live. Thanks Dad. Rest in peace.


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