You are messing the bed, but you don’t need the help. You take one lap around the circle of a park sidewalk on a good day. You stumble on the bricks on a bad one. But, you could leave these people behind with a flannel shirt and a toiletries bag – just zip away on your $6,000 vintage Schwinn. So convinced this is all against you.
We might be taking your money, but who’s to know?
We might have eaten your piece of pie, but who would take the last slice?
We may have killed the mice in your front room, but we’re leaving the door open.
Scattered and falling to pieces. Your chest – we worry – it could break open.
There is no contempt in us, no anger to burn a matchstick up with.
Only sorry that the story can’t go on.
You’ve completely forgotten.
Only your propane tank is empty and someone’s got to fill it. You pay the money and your spouse is making the coffee and we made you oatmeal with the flame that the pay-out put out. We picked it up and plugged it in, turned on the heater so you’d feel the warmth on your back.
But here these silly teenagers are making noise in the middle of the night and waking you up.
And if they’re sick they out to go to a hospital, instead.
This is the end of life, and what counts now is what you’ve already done, who you’ve already been.
I wasn’t there at the beginning, and you don’t want me here at the end.
What do these years I have amount to in the face of what you’ve seen? How can I scale a ladder I don’t understand where it is going. But, unfortunately, in this age – we do know the way. I’m sorry it was all medications and procedures, prescriptions and doctors’ offices, doorways and hallways in hospitals. Meals you didn’t want to eat, but someone made you. Things you didn’t want to do, but someone did them for you. Pills you didn’t want to take, but someone got them and your blood’s too thick to go through the holes in you, now.
So, what are you going to do?
This is the ultimate end, and we can see why you don’t want to face it.
You were – for ages, for decades, for almost a century – the one you chose to be. And now there’s not a lot of choosing left, but you’d like for there to be.
You can’t drive the car and you can’t ride a bike and you can’t go out alone at night. You only read a magazine over three hundred times. Watch the same movie you watched last night. And the story of the snakes in the tree is heard three hundred more. But it’s never the same, anyway.
Your sister did you wrong and you got her back. And your father wanted to laugh, but he knew he wasn’t allowed to. And who got the land when your grandparents died isn’t in the story, but it happened at some point. But you don’t know.
Death is not a feature we tell many tales about.
So, what now that the stories are coming to their end?
Skailord and Fenugreek and Saerwind are hiding in a study with a single bed.
Wander’s off somewhere and Briar met Bon without your being there.
And the small boy you never knew revealed that it was just a trick by someone else, and for you – there’s nothing left.
Who could say otherwise?
Who would want to?
You breathe your first relief sigh in a single breath into Skailord’s chest.
Everything you feared is alright.
The truth of this end is there’s a way to get the communication working and you three in this hidden private study full of the things you wanted so bad before are the key. There’s lot of work ahead, and you like the taste of it.
For you, there’s a lot more work ahead. And who else knows the taste of it?
A camera in a far-away room where you might sleep at night. And we’ll be in a minivan with all these things that got in your way. And the world we had left behind is still within us all – but we’re moving away at miles per hour with no chance of getting it back.
And you are slipping away at years per minute, and it’s impossible to keep hold.
Who knew it’d go like this?
We never do.
But there’s always a resting place and an end.
We’re approaching it at an indiscernible pace.
Maybe in a hundred years, we’ll be in the processing plant of the moon and watching the ruined Earth rise.
And maybe then, we’ll stop and wonder what we did wrong.
But like a life lived out – the questions are answered in the things we were.
And the truth of that is – there is no escape.
There never was.
It was only a trick.
One of the lies they lied to you.
I’m sorry you believed.
I’m sorry no-one told you.
But we all end up here.
And the end sets in like stone.
We all die.
And, after, death comes back around to a life that is not our own.
That we do not recognize because we have lost our eyes.
But, it has to be alright.
The tree grows from the rich soil of our collective end to grow and shelter the future us from the blazing sun. And the sun is the life-force we go around, beating down, turning green, growing us up from that ground.
This story is only one piece.
You and I, only one part.
One mystery only leads into the next.
And the rest always goes on.