I am the ultimate liar, because even I believe my own lies, if I believe anything at all.
I meet every bullet with indifference. I have felt them before – and worse. The longer you live, the less relevance pain has. It becomes another experience to be analysed and classified. The unfortunate repetition of it tends to make it less meaningful. The Buddhists were right to a certain degree, but the idea of suffering applies only when there is a known end to make the current experience of it all the more tragic. Don’t get me wrong – there’s plenty of happiness to, it just doesn’t seem to have the character building qualities that we attribute to pain and suffering. Things are generally defined by their end – their boundary. Things that are boundless are transcendent, and by definition, beyond understanding and definition in any real sense.
It’s not like the movies when you get shot. It sounds different – more kind of dull. There are no little squibs detonating in sequence, no graceful slow motion spin through the air on impact or cool theme music. It comforts me to know that you’ve got that image in your head though.
But why am I a liar? Because I don’t believe in the truth. Without death in your life there’s not a lot of truth because there’s no end to anything. I don’t know when I’m going to die, but it’s not now, and it hasn’t been for a long time. Romantics call it immortality – but I prefer the word deathless. I know it sounds a little ungrateful and glass half full and all that, but I’m not cynical. Mainly bemused, or – something else. And friend – I’ll tell you while I’m spinning through the air in your head with little explosive sacks full of red stuff bursting like succulent grapes to music – history has no end, it goes on whether you’re there or not and the more of it you see, the funnier it gets. It takes on a slapstick quality – disasters, victories, pies in the face, discarded banana peels etc.
I’m being figurative as I hit the ground, and probably annoyingly simplistic and sarcastic, but I’m not forcing you to follow this, it’s consensual by now (and a little romanticised by the filmic image of my apparent death).
It’s a mess. Not history or life or whatever – my bleeding body. But I know that without fail, it will suck itself up as if through a magical straw and reconstitute itself as it always has been and will be ad infinitum. I know you’re jealous. You want to live without wrinkles, without infirmity, to always be hard or wet or however you respond to that primal urge to smudge your DNA over a little bit of eternity. But from bitter experience I can tell you that the old adage about being careful what you wish for likely applies to most who wish for this.
I’m sterile; my DNA means nothing to anyone else. I can tell you that when my cells divide, they’re not in any way diminished and they make no mistakes. So I continue to live (or not die) as a perfect copy of myself despite random historical encounters with pies in the face, banana peels and bullets. It’s transmutation really, a kind of benevolent cancer. I was lead and now I’m gold.
This is the start of a novel that I keep starting and never finishing. One day I might start and finish it. As it is this stands as a short story in and of itself, and condenses a lot of the ideas I want to express in the novel. Thus giving me an excuse not to start and finish it.