Friday, September 12, 2014

My death in 5 years

I always thought it would be cancer, or maybe it would be cardiac arrest. It turns out, however, that my battery is running out. Yes, you heard it right, my battery. I wanted to die like the rest, human like the rest.
My brother told me yesterday that I was not human. I have a running expectancy of 40 years as well. Since I am 35 years old, that makes my day of death in five years, respectively. And yes, I laughed pretty hard when he told me-my brother has always been one for dry humor. I saw this as one of his silly little stories, set amongst a satirical background of other ridiculous things. I laughed with him and punched him on the arm, and everything seemed like a usual summer day. Then my brother took my wrist in his hand and pressed down.

I was frozen. His mouth moved, the words coming out slowly and melodically-he talked to me but I could not understand what he was saying. Then he pressed my wrist in the same spot and everything went back to normal.

“What did you do?” I questioned him, tilting my head.

My brother shrugged and spoke. “I told you, you are not human. I just pressed pressed your slo-mo button-makes everything you see or hear slow down dramatically. If I could keep that button pressed for the duration of your life, you could burn up within 2-2 and a half years, maybe.”

My brother laughed at the fact that, if he was right, then he thought it was hilarious to shorten my life even more. I thought about what he said and it didn’t really make sense.

“Why would slowing me down make my life pass quicker…I mean…if this notion were real?”

My brother leaned close and whispered. “You see, when I press your slow-mo button, it presses your circuits together and they tend to overheat, like this.”

My brother reached out for my wrist again and I jerked back.

“No way! Stop that!”

The whole thing seemed amusing to him and he continued through his laughter. “You see, if I were to press this button here..”

My brother reached out and pressed the top of my hand gently. Everything surrounding me grew darker and my brother’s voice climbed higher and became virtually inaudible. It was fast-his speech whipped by my ears like squealing chipmunks. The leaves in the trees, the rustling paper scurrying down the street-all these things whipped by at breakneck speed.

“See, now that would prolong your life for about, hmmm a year or so. The thing is, those circuits could snap from stress as well. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t, I say.

I stood and stared at him for quite some time, trying to put it all together. The fact of the matter was that I knew something really strange was going on, but I wasn’t quite convinced that I wasn’t human.
“What are those things you put in my hand?” I held up my hand and examined the surface of my skin. I wanted to find the telltale signs of how those blasted devices had been inserted, apparently in my sleep and at the evil hand of my brother.

My brother laughed again and told the story.

“Mom and dad couldn’t have any more children after I was born. They always wanted a girl and so they just kept talking about it around the “wrong” crowds of people. There was this guy, this strange dude that offered my parents a way to have another child. This guy, he had a very talented gift, especially in those times. So, you know the deal, couple pays a hefty price, man makes a way and everyone is happy.”

I heard the story-don’t really know or care too much about how this made my parents happy. Don’t’ understand what I am. I couldn’t be a cyborg, because I was created small and I grew. I just know that, according to him, I am on borrowed time. He showed me how to pause myself, to gain a few hours here and there, and how to watch scenes from my very detailed memory bank.  My brother pressed the nape of my neck and showed me images from my own mind-my smiling parents, my childhood pets and some face that I didn’t recognize. When I described the face to my brother, he smiled.

“Yes, that would be Frank, your creator.”

I have 5 years left, respectively. I guess I should do something amazing, something that will leave a legacy for those who cared about me as a human being. I guess I should do something out of the ordinary. I can go to Disney World or I could climb the Eiffel Tower. Maybe I could stand on the beach and watch the waves crash against the shore, far away from here…on some exotic island. I guess I could do that.

But I don’t want to do that.I think I will try to be as human as I can and lonely. I want to feel the pangs of dying in a normal setting, an unfortunately lonely place, far from the make believe happiness of denial. When the time comes, I shall die peacefully at home, and I will tell them that I have cancer.

I will die as the rest of you, wonderfully full of regrets…human

Mother's ring

My mother’s engagement ring sits in the palm of my hand, or at least I wished it did. It think I will get it out of my jewelry box again and stare at its brilliance. Actually it is ugly now, tarnished and bent. It even has a break in the band, worn thin and broken-it pinches my finger when I put it on.

My memory serves me well, that my favorite thing to hold was her ring, mama’s old engagement ring. She never wore the ring, always taking it from her finger to wash dishes or to mix ground beef. I always saw the trinket, glimmering faintly on the kitchen sink.  Most times, I ran up and got her attention, so that I could slip my hand around her waist, without her being the wiser.

When mama wasn’t looking, I took the ring and ran into the other room. I would hold it tightly at first, feeling the realness of the trinket. Then I carefully opened my hands and enjoyed the fact that I had it away from her. In the kitchen, mother sang some old spiritual song and kept on working. In the living room, I sat on the couch, feet propped against the edge of the table, and I stared at the ring. After a while, I returned to my grandmother’s room and lay on the bed. Sometimes I fell asleep, sometimes I hid mother’s ring in my toybox and sometimes, she came to ask me if I had it again.

I remember holding mama’s ring, thinking that it was really mine. It is an item from my past that I shall never forget. When she died, I took the ring and placed it in my jewelry box. It is still there and sometimes I get it out, lay back on bed and dangle the old thing in front of my eyes. Whether I cry or not, in memory of mother is beside the point, and I have no idea what the ring means for me. I just know that I will forever be in awe of this simple object of beauty.