Hell is not what comes after the end, hell is waiting for it. The fires have yet to consume us. The skies were a reddish-orange all day from the smoke. Ash is falling everywhere. Our immediate futures are once again uncertain. Sheltering in place seems bad until you consider sheltering out of place. Foreign sheltering thrusts uncertainties into realms of other uncertainties. One need not believe in the multiverse theory to experience pleasure, pain, comfort, and safety in all the places where you are not.
In the past, whenever I would think about what it might be like to get the news that my days were strictly numbered, I would envision taking whatever money I had and heading towards the place where I might want to die, however ill-defined a place that might be. Those fantasies are not nearly as entertaining as they gradually cease being speculative. I fall asleep now practicing the acceptance of something other than sleep.
We are all okay here - we are fine. Family, this.
We have cars and insurance and cash and a vague plan in place, but without a single firearm or any ammunition. We will take off to some other part of the world when the fires get too close, again. People, friends, will take us in and protect us from the horror that we fled. We will eat festive dinners together and discuss our luck and intelligence at having made the decisions that any reasonable person would have. We will drink the nicest wines to celebrate being refugees in troubling times. That is what we have always done. Who can blame us?
I have my assisters all packed neatly in a bag and ready to go. Everything not in that bag might one day soon burn to the ground, again. I envy those who can rest their minds by submitting the request then lying still, awaiting the peace the mind can bring by excusing itself from the nightly conversation with itself.
To whom is it that I cry and beg, Shut Up! each night?
If the power of silence is within me, what makes me torment the listener?
I have been whispering threats of imminent death to everything around me when nobody can hear and nobody is looking. I lean down on bad knees, towards open boxes with old dvds, dusty books, and domestic detritus. I have expensive storage units that seem to be about my life. I whisper my private maledictions to the very specific facts of my past. I lack the courage to set them ablaze. They know my loathing, my wishes to see them become smoke rising into the skies, to hear my laughter at their fatal faults for having entered my orbit. I want to free them now, before the real screaming starts.
I wish to erase the fear and the dust and the memory of the smoke and the memories of the dust that seem to rise from the sunset and then forever blot the evidence of the erasing and then to delete the shame of having admitted there was ever anything to efface. Scrape the mistakes and the victories, and expunge this last paragraph, too. I want to delete the reader, eradicate the writer, expunge the platform. I want the power of death over my life. The right to be forgotten. The right to disappear.
Nothing lasts, even loss. Despite significance, time softens the mislaying of forgetfulness, then there is only death. Unless time inserts terror in the slivers and shards that land or explode in moments between. I'll remember those too, until or unless, I can not remember them any more.
Nobody, I do not believe, can claim otherwise. They can state it differently, and they have. Are there heroes, stoic in their pain, that escape private desperation? Name them. We are each and all of us, right now, dying as we smile. That is somehow not enough to change one jot or tittle about how we live, or love. Or, perhaps that is precisely why we are as we are.
Who gets to say. Who gets to speak. Who gets to hear. Who gets to breath. Who corresponds. Dinner invitations never sent to the poor. Finenesses lacking, of course. The luck of life is the precedent by which we endure.
I tire with burdens; cling to needs.
A tire burdened; swinging towards trees.
Attire, with curtains; binging under uncertain