View Full Version : Dying

04-21-14, 11:33 PM
My mind is a hurricane. Everything is amped. Everything is changing. Clouds slanted by wind swoop over the highway and the engine growls it's best for the full moon. Embers of cities shiver across the valley. Time is running out- the speedometer now begins with 1921, ends in 2014. The needle is glowing like a branding iron and swinging frightfully close to 2014. Time has now been revealed in true form as a drug, a nutrient, a need like water without which you cannot survive long. The hospital is nine miles away and I know that his time ran out hours ago but for my sake he's bummed some off a guardian or crosser in the unknown and is waiting to share as much with me as he can, even if it's cut with pharms and electricity.

The scents of hospitals are well-established pillars of their description. They smell like mistakes. I bolt like an animal past the various wards and in elevators with shells of matriarchs in paper gowns supported by grandchildren counting the seconds this better earn them in karmatic ecstasy. Time is a teardrop of gold so mailable it can be stretched into a thread which glimmers past sight. It can be made just long enough that we are unable to perceive how little of it we really have. I feel like I am dying with him, every useless second, every moment spent sleeping in or drunk in places I didn't find beautiful or with people I never loved a lie, a waste, a ruse. Everything you are supposed to use as rational for your vices and wastes when you are young just feels so clatteringly hollow. The words no one ever escapes, whether recollected with a chuckle or wailed in despair, are If only I had known.

My grandmother passed before him. He clenched such a strange and kind joy from her death, which was that he never had to contemplate again the misery of his death leaving her heartrent. He was so happy to shoulder the agony, so beyond relief, so ready. That was his justification for smiling after she died, for laughing, for spinning around and leaping, even in his ninties, after her fashion even hours before her death, when she had requested stimulants, painkillers, and her love. They had danced together on borrowed time, laid together and loved, they had wandered to the burial grounds of the wolves and howled at the moon, pointed out stars where she would always be his to find. After she died he took on the mourning like a champion, because it was his pain, not hers. He was capable of watching his wife die, because he would so much rather feel that pain then inflict it on her. Once she was gone she would never fear anything or suffer again, without a doubt, she would only be happy, and that gave him a well of peace inside which he fully submerged missing her and so continued on with his life. Her death was perfect, even she said so. I have never seen anyone go so happy. I have never seen any misery so woven with hope. If before there was nothing after death, there is now a warmth, a region being built by her light. I used to believe humans didn't have souls. Now I believe she had the first. If I am wrong I need to be.

“Seeing as how you've always had trouble tracking time, I give unto you another marker for the road. Another numeral for the chapterbook.” He had looked up from tracing over the poem tattooed on the back of his hand. My grandfather on his deathbed, 93 years old, reading Robert Frost one last time.
“I'll take it as a compliment. You know who's waiting for you over there, but you decided to stick around for me. That's almost flattery right there.” I'm out of breath and briefly aware of everyone watching me sweat.
"Well hey kiddo, you're losing me tonight, but I promise, I'll be on sidereal time out there. You're such a soul. I'll have a castle in a different dimension, I'll be atop a throne out there in the nebula, I'll keep my watch over you. They said they're proving the multiverse the other day. Somewhere out there is the me that never dies, and the me that never was. You'll probably never meet them so I guess this is all the time we have with eachother now bud. Like it or not that's the way it is. I figure we had our chance to love eachother and make memories and we took it, and I've thought that about everyone I've ever loved, because we all have to lose eachother, but we shouldn't ever lose ourselves, we shouldn't ever be a part of something which makes us into something smaller, like two people marrying and becoming one, so that when one dies the other loses a half. I thought, and I still do think, and your grandmother agreed, that we should be part of something which makes us bigger. Two people become a dozen. You explore and discover your sides and secret selves together, and ask them questions and go on their adventures and let them grow until they're all so rich and fulfilled and happy you feel like six people all living at once, all in love in different ways. I'm sorry to leave you all, but I hope I made you feel like you were a part of something bigger, that you are always as happy as you made me. Goodbye.”
“Goodbye. Build me a new kind of light out there.”

A tide of something pulled back. The room lost him. His body suddenly became a corpse. He was gone, and there was no dreading the swiftly dwindling moments now, just a flood of regret that there had not been millions more. We all cried together, all lamenting the strangest things, all blaming everyone who had ever lived that they had not put more work into curing sleep, curing work, curing meaning and fear and waste, streamlining time, because it was so evident right then what was important, what time deserved to be spent on. Damn ourselves aswell that we had not cured the wretched tendency of ephipanies to fade, that we could not hold this clarity forever.