If you had asked me, when I was a teenager, whether I wanted to live forever, I would have said “Hell yeah, I do. Where do I sign?”
If you had asked me a decade ago, when I was thirty or even when I was in my twenties, I still wouldn’t have hesitated. “Fuck yeah.” I’d say “Who doesn’t want to live forever.”
About two years ago I was given a gift, you might say. The gift of immortality. I guess you can call it a gift. I didn’t deserve it nor had I asked for it. It was given to me by mistake. Somebody must’ve fucked up. Some sick cosmic joke. Mis-filed paperwork. Had it come in a box with seasonal wrapping paper and a bow, I would have ripped into it and said. “Thank you. Thank you. This is just what I wanted!”
I DON’T WANT THIS.
It’s been one year ten months and twelve days since I… Since I accepted a gift that wasn’t mine (Didn’t have my name on it. Could not have been meant for me) and I am the same man I was when I tore into that Pandora’s box with gusto. The same man I was. I am unchangeable. I can’t accumulate knowledge or new emotions. I can’t amass new experiences or learn new things. No nothing. No new nothing. Nothing new. Nothing. I have had this same pain in my left knee for two years. It never changes. Never gets worse. Never gets better. It is forever. I am forever. I am unchangeable.
I spent the first month of my immortality laughing at death but never getting any thrill from it. I tried to learn new skills but I have no muscle memory. I tried to learn to play the guitar but my fingers fumble on the fretboard after lesson one hundred and one the way they did after lesson one.
Not only can I never change, but I can not change anything around me. Everyone new I meet forgets who I am, forgets meeting me as soon as they take their eyes off of me. I could throw this rock through that window. This rock. That window. A physical thing. An actual event that everyone around would witness. I could watch the glass shatter and the people walking by react to the sound and the violence and then look at me like I was crazy, or angry and had broken the law, but as soon as someone averts their eyes or I look away for a moment, the window is whole, the rock is back where I had found it and no one remembers me or what I’ve done.
I remember. I can remember events and things as long as they fit within the scope of knowledge I already possessed. But nothing new. No new concepts. No new nothing.
I am the immortal. I can neither change nor effect change. It’s only been two years. Two… long… years… of just watching but never learning. Feeling but not remembering. Being but not belonging.
This is immortality.
I wanted to be a god. I wanted it… My friend J used to like to say I aspired to god-hood. Wanting to be like god… ha.
Ask me what I want today. Ask me what I would wish for now. It’s okay. I know you’ll never remember me or my answer but ask me anyway.
Thank you for asking.
Today, all I want is a sandwich.
What did you think I was going to say, that I wanted to die. I still don’t want to die. I just wish I could do something to help. To change things. But all I can do is watch. So I might as well have a sandwich while I do.