HELLO! It is I, Kiana. I’m back, and I’m (marginally) better than ever!
Today, I would like to try something that I’ve never done before. WordPress.com, the site that hosts this blog, has an awesome feature called The Daily Post. Basically, every day, those celestial beings over at WordPress HQ smile down upon us bloggers, enveloping us in heavenly light, and give us a sacred gift: a writing prompt!
On June 29, the daily post was as follows:
You’ve imbibed a special potion that makes you immortal. Now that you’ve got forever, what changes will you make in your life? How will you live life differently, knowing you’ll always be around to be accountable for your actions?
Photographers, artists, poets: show us LONGEVITY.
Usually, I don’t give these prompts a second glance, but this one stood out to me. When I was in middle school, one of my friends told me that I had an unhealthy obsession with death. It’s true that I talked about the subject quite a bit, peppering lunchroom conversations with charming facts about death deities and life-threatening ailments. In my mind, however, it wasn’t an obsession with death so much as it was an obsession with life. The breath within our lungs is the most precious thing we’ll ever have, and It’s important not to take that for granted. I made sure that I appreciated life by coming to terms with the fact that at any moment, death could open up its gaping maw and swallow me whole.
…Maybe my friend was on to something there.
Anyway, I also learned to appreciate life by musing upon how I would spend my time if I had an infinite amount of it. I’ve had a good eighteen years to think about this, and I’m pretty sure that I have created the perfect immortality schedule. DRUMROLL PLEASE!
My Immortality Schedule
- The first thing I would do is make sure that I spent as much time with my family as possible. While I may have escaped the rules that govern mankind, my various family members will still be mere pawns in Death’s game, a merciless round of hide n’ seek that doesn’t end until he finds you and slits your throat (again, maybe my friend had a point…). Thus, it would only be logical that I make every moment count. Eventually, things will get a bit awkward, what with my ageless appearance and all. “Kiana,” they’ll ask, “How is it possible that you look so young?” I will smile kindly in response, but that will not be enough for them; they will continue to badger me until my smile curls into a grimace “NO MORE QUESTIONS,” I will growl, as I shove a roofie down their throat, covering their mouth with my hand to muffle their screams, “Shh, it’s better this way. Mamma Ki will take care of you.” and I will rock them while I hum a lullaby under my breath, back and forth, like a large child, until they are at rest.
- After my entire family has wasted away, I will enter the ultimate state of irony: to be surrounded by people at all times, billions upon billions of people, and still be totally, utterly alone. As a result, I will have a lot of time on my hands, time I will spend doing whatever I please. I will create a long and intricate bucket list, a la SpongeBob Squarepants in that bomb-pie episode, in order to keep track of everything. I will travel around the world, meet important people, and live out all of my dreams with the comfort of knowing that I have all of the time in the world to make them a reality. Eventually, though, the years will begin to slow down; like any drug, life will lose it’s edge, and I will need to intensify my experiences to keep the high. I’ll engage in increasingly dangerous activities; wrestling a bear, eating as much crack as I can find (You do eat crack, don’t you? That’s…that’s how you use it, right..? I’ll eat a bunch to make sure it works. ALL OF THE CRACK), I’ll purposefully hurt myself, just to feel something real! Eventually, though, I’ll catch sight of myself in a mirror, perhaps from across the lobby of a crowded hotel, or in a Street Merchant’s hut along the Mediterranean, and I will see myself for what I really am: a disgrace. I will appraise my reflection, and I will remember all of the harm that I have inflicted upon myself, and a shudder will pass through my body. It was all to no avail, I will think to myself. I’ll still feel empty inside, and no amount of adrenaline could ever change that. Thus will begin my descent into insanity.
- After that shocking experience, I will attempt to turn my life around. By now, decades and decades will have passed, each more uneventful than the last. I will think about how throughly bored I am as I sit in a European cafe. I will wonder if this is how the elderly feel, and a harsh sound, bordering between a laugh and a cough, will escape my lips. Imagine! To be immortal, and still be plaugued with many of the same issues as a mortal man! Why, it’s all so thoroughly unfair. Disgustingly unfair. My laughter will slowly trail off as I chastise myself for ever expecting better. Cruelty is the way of the world after all. It shows us shiny things, things that seem attainable, only to snatch them away from you, leaving you with less than you had before. And yet, after you have seen such things, you can never quite forget. The door was flung wide open! It gave you a glimpse of what could have been, and though is was shut once more, you will never be totally in the dark again. I will think about this as I take a slow bite of my croissant.
- After years and years of pain, some joy will come to me: I will begin a forbidden romance with Pope Thadious, the youngest man to ever ride in the Popemobile. After seeing me, an ageless being he will come to have doubts about his faith.”Thad,” I will say with a bat of my eyelashes, “This isn’t right!” He will look at me and reply evenly, “I have always followed my heart, and now, this is what my heart is telling me to do.” I will smile back up at him, and he will place his awesome Pope hat upon my head because he’s chill like that. Over time, however, age will take its toll on Pope Thad, and he will begin to have doubts once more. One night I will find him standing in the darkness facing the front door, his hand hovering over the doorknob. “Thad!” I will cry out, “Where are you going?” He will look up at me, his eyes full of agony, and he will reply, “What we had was special, but I am not the young man I used to be. I was a fool, abandoning God in the days of my youth, when death seemed so far away. Now here I am, standing on death’s doorstep, and my immortal soul is in peril. I must go and make peace with the Lord before it is too late. Surely you understand.” I will nod somberly, “Oh, I understand, all right. I understand that you are a coward!” Though I will whisper these words, he will jerk back as if I yelled them. A beat will pass and the resolve will return to his eyes, “That’s easy for you to say. You’ve never had to be afraid.” And with that he will run off into the night. I will never see him again.
- Every superhero needs a good origin story. I don’t think you can get any better than ‘Immortal being with a heart of gold constantly facing one emotional blow after the next’. It only seems natural, then, that the next phase of my life be spent saving others from the pain that had ruined my own life. I will wear a mask and a silk dress the color of blood, and they will call me Madame Guillotine. I will appear when I’m least expected, leaping from the shadows and murmuring in French before delivering a crushing blow to the head (Or maybe to the waist. Depends on my mood). I will be adored by the public, but abhorred by the police for making a mockery of their jobs. They will lay a trap for me, and I will walk right into it, thinking that I’m there to help a young woman fend off an attacker. When I enter the dark warehouse at midnight, however, I will find the girl lying on the ground in a pool of blood. I will run to her and attempt to save her, but it will be too late- her soul vacated her body long ago. Suddenly, the lights will flicker on, and I will be surrounded by the police. “Freeze!” the police chief will say, “You’re under arrest for murder!” I will smirk back at them. “Do you know why they call me Madame Guillotine?” I will say slowly, as I spin around to look each one of my agressors in the eye, “Because CHOP CHOP, BITCHES!” and I will dive directly upon the Police chief, unleashing a hail of karate chops. The other police will rain bullets down upon me, but it will be no use. One by one, I will pick them all off, and then run into the night, not stopping until I reach a dark alley. By then, the sun will have begun to rise, and I will look down at my hands. BLOOD. BLOOD EVERYWHERE. The blood of the girl I couldn’t save, and the blood of the police officers I killed. I will fall down to my knees and cry, great, heaving sobs, until the sun hangs high in the sky. Eventually, when I can cry no more, I will rise, and fling my mask to the ground.
- After this, I will run away to the Appalachian Mountains and take up residence in a small, bare, shanty. I will sit in the corner farthest away from the door, rocking back and forth. This is how I will spend the rest of my days, until some horror overtakes the earth. Perhaps it will be death by supernova or by giant volcano. Either way, an end will come. It has to come, I will think to myself, rocking ever faster and faster. And when it does, I will let out a breath that I didn’t even know I was holding and whisper, “Finally.”