Alchemist (December 2015)

At some point, cheating death gets very boring.

It starts as a rush, a spectacle. A high that lifts you then drops you and you love the pain. In the beginning, you have so much to give away. Things seem so worthless when staring into the face of immortality, when the whole world is yours to have if you sacrifice some here and there. Then again you’ll give up your sight too later. It’s worth at least twenty years if it’s clear enough. You’ll count those years like they mean something, like value is something you could ever understand after trading away everything you were given just for time.

Five more years, five more hours, five more minutes, five more seconds.

If you hadn’t given up your memories, maybe you’d remember you wanted this. Outlasting everyone else. Conquering death while those around you dropped to it. If you still had your emotions, maybe you’d care. Maybe you’d regret it. Maybe you’d cry those tears you threw away. Maybe you’d laugh and laugh and laugh because all the precious time you collected was just a waste of time.

Ifs don’t matter. Now all you’ve got is a soul. One last thing you can trade. The only card left in your deck. It didn’t take long to tire of an existence of all those hoarded years. You’re not attached to them just like everything else.

What can please you?

Something new

You/your soul is a distant dream unraveled and disseminated into particles. The concept of you is erased, in place of a new existence defined as…

 

 

Bubbles drift overhead, floating higher and higher until they burst and disappear. Suspended in the middle of a cerulean blue world, uninterrupted, the feeling of wetness subsides into nothingness like the void of the universe.

No one’s explored the vast ocean like this, discovered every detail, every creature, the murky depths unveiled for lifeless, scattered particles of a once intact soul, a once so-long-ago whole person.

Sinking underwater, drifting over coral, scraping and cutting but satisfying an itch, an inkling to be something

alive again

Something new

            Scattered, infinite stars, galaxies that expand further than any of the thousand particles can reach

Something new

Bright, hot liquid shelled in the center of the earth, unreachable

Fewer particles remain.

Something new

Would it be more of achievement to know all the universe’s secrets, to be grander than God? Is that what comes next?

Just one particle left.

This is it.

Something new

What do you mean this is boring?

Something new

There’s nothing new.

Something

There’s nothing.

START OVER?

#

At some point, cheating Death gets very boring. So I didn’t. I walked with him when he offered out his hand and it was warm. I didn’t ask where we were going as long as it was somewhere I’d never been.

Something new

We kept walking until we reached a cliff. He looked down then I looked down. The bottom was impossible to make out but clearly something was down there. He put a hand on my back and led me closer to the edge. He waited with his hand nestled there until I jumped on my own.

Something new

            I wish I’d said goodbye. I debate whether I should regret not saying it or let it go while I’m carried down. Everything’s dark and quiet except I could swear I hear him still above me breathing. I feel the shape of each of his fingers.

Something new

            I land on my feet. I see someone lying on the ground and lie with them and we stare up into the dark. Maybe they’re waiting for someone else to lie down too, but I’m content with it being only us. We don’t talk, but to fill the silence, they hum and it echoes around us. I close my eyes

Something new

            and wake up surrounded by hundreds of mirrors angled so that there are thousands of me staring back at me. I sit up and meet each me’s eyes one set at a time, slowly. I reach the last pair. All of the mirrors fall to pieces. Light bounces off the scattered fragments and makes everything glitter. I see it outlined on my skin.

Something new

            I’ll stay here a while.

 

 

 

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