They told me I would be dead by twenty. That’s okay; I don’t want to live my life counting sheep anyway. They tell me there is no god, and I accept the silence and the fact that I will never walk on the sky. I wake up every day at 4:09 am [the lights are always too bright] and they tell me every single time today’s the day, today’s the day you’re gonna die.
The clock-radio is blinking at me furiously, yelling in my mother’s shrill voice to get up get up, today is the day! Every morning it’s the same. But today really is the day. It is two years before my use-by-date, but this stench has been following me.
How do you spend your last waking day, knowing that by tomorrow you’d be gone? You can drink all your memories and rejoice or regret. I’m writing my obituary, in case my father wants to say he loved me, and I loved kittens because I was such a good person. I’m trying to come up with last words, but no one is going to hear them. I’ll shout them out the window; let them travel along the tempest to the furthest reaches of the city. Hug your kids because you never know when they’ll be gone.
There are 8,213,839 people in this city, none of whom have changed in 125,000 years. I spew statistics like the six o’clock news; they’re so easy because they’re not really people and I have no time for people. Numbers mean so much yet so little, which is why my language is binary. I will recite Shakespeare in silent 1s and 2s and it will be romance. I was once a Shakespearian romance, now I am just a Shakespearian tragedy. My first love was once a name and a face; now she’s just a statistic. I hope she swam away like all the dreams she had about things under beds and the man I could never be, the man who let her free.
I took the boring things in life for granted. I want to live underwater, even though I can’t swim. Water distorts everything, adds different facets and faces to the mundane. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful world? I feel too mundane to even be pop-art. I strive to be generic; I try and try to be forgotten. Everybody wants to be different, but it’s really quite overrated. I want to be normal for just a day. Stop smiling and calling me special! I’ll be reckless all I want, I’ll be crazy and all the candy pills won’t stop me. I want an interesting life and a boring requiem because everyone thought I was mediocre.
I am lucid, the way stained glass is. I hate churches, because my mother loved them so much. I see my childhood in crimson, in wine, on thorns. My mother wanted a Jesus but I was born with red hair, the colour of blood cells. I know my mother is in my head right now, on her rocking chair, saying “he’s no son of mine.”
I don’t want to die just in case I see her. They might have told me there is no God, I’m all alone, but that would be just like them. They told me: “Consequences are not really of consequence when you walk and talk alone. Trust me, I majored in philosophy.”
And look where it got me. I am Picasso too often, and crawling out of my skin.
If I die today, let it be as a totally average martyr. I’m not that different. Weren’t we all made in factories, anyway? But I can feel them looking at me, dirty eyes searing into me. I close the blinds in case Big Brother is watching. I step outside and I’m invisible and no one knows a thing. But outside is such a big place, 16,427,678 chances I have to avoid.
I used to love music, but now, it is all just noise. Paintings are just frustration. Mona Lisa smiles and wiles. Poetry is nonsense. Humanity is worthless.
Today is the end. At lunch my mother said it was a good thing too, she doesn’t want anyone else hurt- other than me. I can hear two sirens- one on the street, another victim of industrialisation. One on a rock somewhere far away, a victim of suffrage and haunting eyes. I am persecuted by only the complex, and songs of sirens and streets are simple. I was once a simple man, a working man just like my father. I never wanted to be anything more.
You have an apple a day and a soma an hour and pay that it will all be okay, but it never is. You’re still the waking dead, with blank eyes and flickering mouth. And you’re still the waking dead. You could be famous, popular, beloved, but it wouldn’t matter. The lonely are never alone, the alone are never lonely. I am never alone. I lost everyone, once upon a time in a land far, far away, everyone is gone. Silence is a perpetually ringing phone, a roaring thunder that vibrates every chord of your soul.
I used to think life was an opera, all high notes and baritones and acrobatics. But life is really like a downpour, a gentle pitter patter, and occasionally a deluge building to a crescendo. Mine was a dwindling drizzle on a tin roof. I had woken up thankful that it was a sunny day. But now it seems like someone is mocking me, someone with an appreciation of irony. Years of rain, and the sun comes out today, of all days? Maybe someone really does love me.
The sun is setting, but all the metaphors are just coming out to play. The curtain is closed. I may dies as a thousand words, not just a statistic; but at least I won’t die as just a schizophrenic.