morose? yes. strange? yes. do i have too much time on my hands and spend too much time making up a life out of pleasant lies? yes. do i care? not really.
Death and I
I was contemplating my own mortality the other night, when the moon was almost full and I could not get to sleep. Many events concerning death had converged that day and I was wondering how I would prefer to die if I knew that I soon would and I had been given a choice. I know this will not occur but I am known, within my own mind, for my ability to spend a great deal of time on events that will never occur. It has ruined my sex life.
So I sat there, after having spent the day reading 1984 and various angst filled fan fictions of what George Weasley will do without Fred, having recently finished the last book in the Harry Potter series. We, as humans, do not like to contemplate death, and while I had often thought on general mortality, rarely had I thought so deeply on my own. And so I placed myself in a similar position to that of 1984's protagonist, Winston Smith and sank into my mind.
It is something I do often: completely drown myself in the world in my head. It's how I passed through a friendless childhood relatively unscathed, how I manage to get over the pettiness of everyday life, how I manage to live my life like a fantasy book that has yet to be edited.
It went, as such things in my head do, as a conversation with someone I did not know, a nameless faceless being with a voice. I was setting up the story, telling them that I had been given a choice: kill yourself or be tortured and then killed, and that I had chosen the former of the two paths. I have no qualms about admitting that the slightest hint of torture would bring out everything I know, whether the torturer wished to know it or not. I am no good at dealing with pain; I largely sit, pant and whimper until the ibuprofen or narcotics kick in. And so I tell this stranger, to whom I am accustomed to speaking, that the time is right for me to leave this world.
Suddenly, I am terrified.
I am entering unknown territory and no matter how many times I recite mantras from fantasy books, I have not yet come to terms with the fact that I will one day die. 'One day we must all wake from the dream' is not a pleasant thing to tell a person who enjoys her dreams more than waking life. The Litany against Fear only works when I managed to remember it and when there is actually a way out of whatever situation I've managed to get myself involved in. And death certainly does not feel lighter than a feather when one has no true duty in this world.
My mind races as I think up things for him to tell my family and my friends. "Tell my parents that I love them. But they already know that. Remind them how much I like sleeping. It'll just be like going to sleep. I'll be happy, like always. Remind them of my water-fountain-that-doesn't-work idea. I always meant it. Tell my friends of my rambling curiosity and that I've always wanted to know what lies on the other side of life. Tell them I planned to die young, because I couldn't see myself old and that this is the way I've always wanted it…" I'm nervous, anxious, absolutely horrified at what I am going to do and so I'm rambling… and yet at the same time, that anxiousness is channeled forward into energy. I know there will be nothing waiting for me, but I have to see it for myself.
I remember something important.
"Tell my brothers about my notebooks. One, a bright green one, labeled 'misc.' is on my extra bed. The rest are in the attic in a blue 1' binder with peeling vinyl covering. There are about a half a dozen from when I was about 12 til now. Most things are dated. They aren't all of me, but they are a lot. Tell them not to tell anyone about them until they've gone through all of them. Then they can use their own discretion."
I gulp and slow down my breathing, but for some reason it's imperative that my friends and family know that I've left things behind. "There are passwords and usernames in them for every website account I've ever had that meant anything. Tell them that this is my revenge, best served cold, for every childhood cruelty and then tell them that I'm kidding, that I've forgiven them everything."
I smile, satisfied somehow, and sink back on my pillows, my baby blanket wrapped tightly around my fist. I down a bottle of sleeping pills and throw my head back to swallow almost an entire bottle of water with them. "Tell them that I won't see them again," I say after I've choked them all down, "and that they won't see me, but that I have thousands of pictures and videos of myself on our computer. Tell them that that's what they're for: remembering. Tell them to name a Diablo character after me, that's all the remembrance I need."
I stare at the midnight sky through my blinds and smile. I wipe tears from my cheeks, snot from my nose and breathe deeply, glad that my twin is still downstairs instead of drowsing in the room next to me. Slowly I sleep with the quiet peace of one who assumes they will wake again.