I am unbound to age, yet I have created a morbid game with myself in which I guess mine. No longer twenty, I know that to be true. I have seen too many re-volts and re-volutions, too many conglomerate empires that bloomed and withered in a fortnight, for all of this to be just a dream. Though how I long for it to be one, one filled with premonition warnings that a fool like me could use.
“Oh, child. Live, live, you fool. The arrogance of youth will fade to melancholy if you prolong it.”
How I wish that I, of the time long past, could hear my crying echoes now.
Tell him to let go of such fool-hardy notions, to drink deeply of the present and cherish it, lest you age, and you ought to age. For you will soon find yourself without the fondness of your then-present and now-past that you have lost in the war of youth you have now found yourself in.
I have loved and lost, seen my lovers lose themselves to rot and senility. Decaying into the bed where we laid, with creaking bones and paper skin that have long forgotten the waltzes that once colored the ballroom floors.
All the while, they beg me, “Make me one of you.” For surely, they believe to know my secret. My secret, my choice, a haunting spectre that watches behind me in a mirror that only I can see. This secret begets within them a sort of jealousy of which I find myself incapable of allowing to pursue further than empty promises upon their deathbed.
Fever dreams and drug hallucinations, I have become in the minds of the ill and elderly that once loved me: an Angel of Death that once kissed them and showed them the pearls of the world, whilst remaining untimely perfection.
Sociality has left me desperate to find connection. Over my curséd years I have made bosom friends, true friends, of whom I will forever cherish. My collection of photographs and portraits will become warped with time, but their fire and memory will never fade so long as I live to remember them. A sickening oath to preserve the forgotten haunts my steps ‘ere I go, I see the eyes of comrades in the cityfolk or simplefolk and wonder if I am the last of them.
Through the many lives I have lived from birth to death, I have seen my companions die. Either by thine own hand or by the sword, it matters not. Valiant warriors or coquettish city men, they die, and that is all they can do.
And yet I find myself longing to hear the spirit-drunk vibrato from their aging throats as they sing old shanties or ballads, laughing as they go, spilling their drink, shouting misremembered lyrics. There will come a day where those songs are long forgotten, and I will be the last one singing.
I stopped visiting their graves when I realized I was just as corpse as they, buried in satin and lace under the Creator’s earth that we untimely fed, all save me.
I would become no flower to be handed from glovéd hand to a virgin one, nor tree to give shade to the academic or the lovers on holiday, nor weed from which a gardener botanist could pluck and chide, tossing me aside in all my mischevion that I would grow once more. A cycle of which would delight the resurrectionist in me.
I believe I dressed in black to mourn, once, but as the days and moments collide into a frenzied symphony, my mourning suit would become my day attire. I would be assured to find some calming repetition in that, that I mourn for the loss of mine own life along with theirs. I am my own funeral procession, alas I have not felt it yet.
My long-lost gaze acts as an invitation to the young and misfit, who throw themselves upon my lap and call for some pleasure as opposed to melancholy I could bestow upon them. They tease, so lost in their own mind, that it is a wonder they can find their way to my arms. I represent a pillar of some hierarchy they long to reach, a level of hedonistic self-actualization that scares and calms them.
Their souls will, inevitably, be forever embalmed in the acrylic and arsenic of the time. Their hearts become little tokens I carry with me, becoming baggage for the day the world ends and when which I am to forcefully meet my maker.
V. After Life
God. The nights where I have locked myself away and screamed His name in horror and agony, frightened of what judgement awaits me for all I have done. Surely, I could not be fed to the Hounds of Hell, for I am already feeling their heated breath across me when I stare at my visage.
But I am too gone, too fallen of an angel to be welcomed to Heaven and receive the kiss of the Creator before settling in for the long rest. No, I will be forever cursed to an endless purgatory of which I will have to face my every wrongdoing and momentary kindness that I will be begging for by the end of it all. I will be cursed to be alone, as I have always been.
I pace, awake at the witching hours, and wish I can forget the atrocious deeds I have committed. And yet, I cannot and must force myself to feel apathy as opposed to antipathy over them. To kill those I have loved and cherished in the maintenance of this unholy addiction of mine is something no god could forgive. And, as being as close to a god, I find no timely solace in the pardoning of mine own actions.
They rot within me like the bodies I have thrown into the river.
By Sam Sage