The Wishing

I was a good man once. That was long ago, before I forgot how to live in this world of ours, where today is just the threshold to a much more tempting tomorrow, and memories are left out in the cold. I have lived a thousand years or more, only to find that the meager existence makes me hungry for precious oblivion, and yet I, good man once I was, have forgotten how to die.

Immortality gets old when yesterday is just as easily forgotten, and tomorrow becomes a regret. Today is merely an inconvenience.

I wander the city by night and wonder how I got here, alone surrounded by millions, with no one to miss me when they're gone. They don't question the phantom as I pass silently through the streets, and no one seems to notice when I'm gone. A ghost requires death, and I have not been spared. I do not sleep, for my dreams are all of endings, and I wish to save myself the wishing.

Throwing yourself off buildings will not spare you when you are all but angel. You will dust yourself off, and they will call it a miracle, and you will give up on the wishing.

The world is ending soon. I can feel it in my bones, a warning. It will crumble and fall from this pedestal plane, and I will be left to tread forever in its wake. I cannot follow you into the end. I can merely watch, never wishing, because I have long since lost hope in tomorrow.

They said it was a blessing. A gift. A wish, to live forever. It can not be wrapped and sent by mail, or slid under Christmas trees, or found in window displays. Forever is a ghost, and only I can see it. I'd hate myself for saying yes, but I'll spare myself the wishing.

The fire will tempt you and you will lie in its depths and seek release. The smoke will clear, and they will call it a miracle, and you will give up on the wishing.

I sit in the office, glaring at the creases in my hands as she sits there, and talks to me about the wishing.

"A time will come when you will stop the wishing. When you'll realize that this is all there is, or ever will be."

"And the wishing?"

"A time will come when you have no more wishes left to wish. But you will never really give up on the wishing."

"But why?"

"A time will come when you will understand." She looks at me with her fairy eyes, and I think, just for a moment, that I have seen the end.

Then I realize that I have an eternity of therapies, and I give up on the wishing.

There is no salvation waiting for you when you raise the knife and dance along the edge. The blood will ebb, and they will call it a miracle, and you will give up on the wishing.

I live in the night and live off the wishing. Maybe if I baptize myself in the shadows, I will seep into them, and this stubborn spark of life will be snuffed out. But I am all but angel, and will spare myself the wishing. I walk through subway tunnels and imagine a meager tomb.

Tossing yourself in front of trains will not end the wishing. You will pick up the pieces, and they will call it a miracle, and you will give up on the wishing.

"A time is coming?"

"Yes. A time is coming, and soon. You will understand, and will stop the wishing."

"But not give up on the wishing."

"No. Never the wishing."

"Never?"

"Never. Everything else, but never the wishing."

"But why?"

"A time will come when we stop living. But the wishes never die."

"And what about me?"

I cradle a fragile form in my arms, cold and pale and living in my hands. The girl looks at me with star bright eyes and calls it a miracle. The blood is blasphemy, and it is flowing.

Her broken chest wavers, then falls. The cars whirl around us, save one, and the man dies a little watching.

I don't remember how, but I would follow her over the edge if I could, to spare myself the wishing.

In the end, it is a fragile line we walk between life and death, leaning one way or the other as we go. But I can only haunt the streets walking straight, looking over the edge onto the other side and wishing.

"You are merely the wish of heart and hands and harm, cursed to live until you die, and God damn the wishing. Humanity is a wish and so are the souls who seek it, and call it a miracle. Spare yourself the wishing, because that is all there is, and all there will ever be."

"And me?"

"Spare yourself the wishing, and spare yourself the living."