"I remember first learning about death quite vividly.
I'm not sure how old I was, but I remember the conversation like it was yesterday. My grandfather had died, and my mother was trying to explain it to me.
'Sometimes, when someone gets ill, and they're very very old, they don't get better again. They just get iller and iller and then... then their body stops working.'
'I don't understand.'
'What's in them just goes away, and doesn't come back.'
'Grandpa isn't coming back?'
'No,' she said. 'Not ever again.'
'Grandpa said he was going away and not ever coming back after he held Grandma's head in that cotton-dump outside of town and kicked Skeeter seventy-three times.'
'Grandpa was very drunk. That's not the same as being dead. Grandpa's dead, son. He's not there anymore.'
And I remember saying, 'Hold everything right fucking THERE.'
'You went to all the trouble of conceiving me, and giving birth to me, and raising me and feeding me and clothing me and all -- and, YEAH, whipping me from time to time, and making me live in a house that's freezing fucking cold all the goddamn time -- and you make me cry and things hurt so much and disappointments crush my heart every day and I can't do half the things I want to do and sometimes I just want to scream-- and what I've got to look forward to is my body breaking and something flipping off the switch in my head -- I go through all this -- and then there's death?'
'What is the motherfucking deal here?'
I wasn't having this.
I wasn't having this.
This was not fair.
There was no way you expect me to put up with all that daily shit and know that at the end of it all when you presume things have to get better, you just die.
It was explained to me that this wasn't so bad. I mean, I could expect a century or so of life span. There was a time when a guy who died at forty was revered as the toughest and most doggedly ancient son of a bitch in Cow Ass Clearing, Shitolshire, Engalond, back in the year Dot.
After countless centuries, things had gotten to the point where I'd outlive Fred of Nostril, official sheep-jerker-offer to the king in the days when dinosaurs roamed the earth.
I was unthrilled.
To say the least.
I'll never forget that day. It was like being stamped on.
It was the old joke, told to a kid for the first time: life sucks, and then you die.
Here just to die.
Here to go.
- Spider Jerusalem, via Warren Ellis.
No blogging 2-3 weeks. On the other side, then.