The kiss was electric, sounds cliche I know, but it was that kiss that changed it all. It was our first date and I couldn’t tell if he liked me at all, I decided to take a chance and ask for a kiss. He turned, grabbed a hold of me and gave me one of the best kisses I’d ever had – I felt good from my head to my toes and I wanted more, all of his kisses were like that. As we were moving forward with the wedding plans, because I said yes, a thought occurred that disturbed me:
I have to care about being alive and now I have to try to stay alive longer.
That was the lingering thought during the rest of the engagement – the kiss was electric, the sex ok… but having someone to live for… not something I had thought about, it was an inconvenience. That isn’t to say that I don’t have other people in my life, but none of them need me to stick around. When you commit to someone else “for life”, til death do us part and all that jazz… then you should actually try to be there with them as long as you can.
“Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses. You build up a whole armor, for years, so nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life… You give them a piece of you. They didn’t ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn’t your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so simple a phrase like ‘maybe we should be just friends’ or ‘how very perceptive’ turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It’s a soul-hurt, a body-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. Nothing should be able to do that. Especially not love. I hate love.” The character “Rose Walker” in The Sandman #65
So, kind of happy that that all didn’t work out. I figure 15 more years is all I really want (I don’t think want is the right word).
I was re-reading the Harry Potter series over the holiday break and He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named was obsessed with living forever and I just can’t relate… after a while you’ve done everything you really wanted to do, what the hell would you stick around for? It’s different if you have kids or that other person I suppose, then you’re rather obligated to be there as long as you can. He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named had none of that, he had worshipers and fear but why would that be worth sticking around for, I think it would get boring.
I’m not seeking death, not yet anyway (give me 15 years), and this isn’t a “cry for help” it’s just casual observations from my mind. The only thing that seems really suicidal in my own behavior lately has been a weird craving to buy a pack of cigarettes – WTF is that about? no clue
“Life is a disease: sexually transmitted, and invariably fatal.”
― Neil Gaiman
Then if you bring religions into it and we talk about afterlife or reincarnation – I just can’t grasp why that would be something you’d want. Here I am, having lived a life to it’s fullest (or as full as I cared to muster), then I’m dead and wait… what? now I have to sit around on a cloud for eternity (oh wait I’m gay… burn in hell for eternity). What’s appealing about that. They say things like “spend eternity with the ones you love”….. Seriously, I love my family and friends, but I can only take so much of them before I need to get away… if you want to give me something to look forward to in an afterlife, give it some rocking special effects or great music or excitement… you know, the stuff I was supposed to be searching for and enjoying in life. And reincarnation… why would I want to do it again? Hell no.
“You get what anybody gets – you get a lifetime.”
― Neil Gaiman, The Sandman, Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes
In this life I’ve done all those things I’ve wanted to do, someone asked me once “Like what?” I’ve sung at the Kennedy Center, had a story or two published, loved someone so much it hurts, escaped the cold winters of WI, made amends for the mistakes in my past and learned to be myself.
I think that’s enough.