Death, I choose
A short story by COLLEN SABAO
I suddenly roused to TRUTH. It came to my mind again. OH SHIT! I know I should have stayed with her. If only. But, for the profane banalities of our impervious selves, the greed, I left. Died into immortality, a transient ghost of lustre and awe. I became one with myself. Mingled within myself and my other selves. For each day, we die, she told me. The ephemeral insolence of our yearnings torture and torment our mortalities day in and out. We die. Every day. She told me so.
‘How was it today?’
‘What? Sex? Is it supposed to be different?’
‘Of course! The craving for more, that death, should make it different each time’
‘Yes! Death! When you crave to be some other things, live some other fantasies, dream, you are not the same anymore. The old you has died. You are reborn, at times reincarnated.”
‘What the f**k? Are you still on weed?
I crawl into the sanctuary of that mind. Hers. I come back empty handed. I could not fathom the thought of such metaphoric talk. And yet, she was right. I got up. The new me did. At the end of the line starts another. Have I reached that end?
I roused to the nightmare that is she. A pretty dream. Cataclysmic torrents and mazes of fantasy. Entangled yet again in the roulette of phantasmal ambience. The dream comes again. I see Him and He weeps. My silent incantations as loud as nightmarish thought-tracks. I sing loud in order to silence myself. Confusion and anarchy of soul. Yet, I live again to wake. To stately stare at the rudiments of my mortality staring me in the face and laughing. ‘No more pieces to pick’. I wonder yonder. Ponder. In this short existence I have endeavoured to be good, do good, by me and all. Have I indeed failed to satisfy the point of view that goodness is? Selflessness is saintly. Selfishness, the life. The lie? Images of a gone by neighbourhood gangster permeate my mind. I recall him weeping at his father’s funeral. Crying like a babe. Even murderers cry too. But it begins today. The death. Mine.
I died again. I am back here sitting in this chamber of dreams. ‘Two years from now, you shall die again and resurrect a PhD holder’. Yes, she called that death too. The process of becoming. How many times I will die before this death. I ponder and wonder. Wisdom of ages incarcerates all of us and blinds us to the reality that is dream, and death. The laugh comes again. I sing louder to drown my noise. She passes out. Her noises drown mine. I sing louder again. Singing to my new death, to die before she.
And I didn’t do anything about it. I just let it be. Let her off the hook. I continue to gaze and reminisce over the noble cause my conception serves. None I am afraid. A reincarnation of the perpetuation of lives lived. Perhaps? And she begins again. Laments to visible spirits and invisible ghosts of yesterlife. She incarnates lurid thoughts. Gaudy and deceitful. Of how I perpetuate her oppression.
‘You treat women with disrespect! Like objects! Sexual objects.’
‘I know no better use for them! Oh shit! Did I just say that out loud?’
She has been on this awhile now. The stiches on my lip are evidence of the silence by which I said this. I sing again. To silence the noise in my head. I lie stone cold in my ocean of thoughts and wonder why my existence epitomises evil. And it came again. The light! I rouse suddenly to TRUTH. That truth, all the truths we hold in high awe and esteem are mere determinants of point of view. Indeed, I have foreseen my doom. Just it looked more beautiful than this. She has always claimed a knowledge of my wish to die.
‘You have a death wish’
‘You long to die. You are an ingrate.’
‘You will really die someday. Soon. That’s truth’
TRUTH? She has seen this in dreams. In reality. So she says. And here I am, wishing my mortality an end. Longing for another reincarnation of my undying devotion to devouring the signs that fate dishes for ingrates. I long for the elusive. The obscene. I wait. And die again.
A longing for death I’ve learnt is innate in all animates. Bipeds especially. I wait in the sunrise of my formative years, an agonizing dawn has passed undetected. The dream of continuity to dusk, a nightmare. The polity of life is not in a life lived, but in death. The end becomes the beginning of yet another end. I muse at such thoughts. Cogitate as all my kind, the human specie, would. Hope for answers. Signs. Answers. Cloaked ruminations. Veiled in blasphemous fits of sunrise. Choking such visions of insane gentry, a voice I hear. ‘Seek within thyself.’ I look and continue to wonder at this elusive phantom.
A tap on the shoulder. A peck on the nose. I jostle up to reality. To another point of view. To embrace that old hag my breathing mortality called life. To her. To the torso of my dreams. The hallucinations that endear my soul and calamities. I choose. I choose to sing louder and drown the noises. Her noises. My head ‘has gunshot silence’. Again. I die. To wake?
Collen Sabao is a writer based currently based at Stellenbosch University, South Africa.