Writing Prompt: You’ve been looking for love for forever. Literally. It’s hard to find love as an immortal. But you can’t help but catch feelings for a cancer patient who’s been given six months to live.
I imagine it was the very contrast to my own troubling life that first drew me to him. As the saying goes, opposites attract.
I am not able to die. I am immortal. My coming to be so is a tale worthy of its own telling, but that is not why I write this memoir. I write this for him. For Curtis. Perhaps the only true love of my undying life.
There is no family that I can speak of. There are those that might be considered family, depending on how you might chose to use such a word, and to them I am eternally grateful, but not one could hope to hold a candle to the flame that was… that is… my love, my Curtis.
A heart grows weak with age, it grows yet weaker with the constant beating of life unaging. I may say that I’ve had my fair share of lovers, men and women alike. Flavour is the lone remainder of immortality, or perhaps it is there lack of. Why call it flavour when not a taste to your tongue is new.
You may imagine that with time certain things become… tiresome. Acts that once brought so much joy to life soon sour and seem to bore. If I could pass but one message from my time to date it would be this; to love and to be loved is, perhaps, the most beautiful of all experiences. And know this, love itself holds no single flavour, and I would urge you taste all you wish before deciding on a favourite.
Some four hundred years past I would have never thought myself capable of lying with a man, let alone to fall in love with one. Superficial, now I come think upon my reasoning. You see, regardless of who you are you share one fact that I have been so bitterly denied. You will die. Life is short. And come death’s door there will be no consideration for your colour, your gender, your beliefs nor sexuality.
You will wither as will even the most beautiful rose.
You will rot as will even the mightiest of Oak.
You will fade from living memory, as will we all.
Share in life and in love, and perhaps the later of these facts will come to end not so quickly as the others.
Forgive me, when one is stripped of time, when one is immortal rambling becomes almost second nature. After all, I have time to kill, do I not?
Curtis, the hope that quells my rage, the compassion to my hate. He was… he is… a patient of Cancer. His doctors have afforded him six months, and with his expiration date now marked I am reminded once again how fragile, how precious, life can be.
He will be presented a sweet release from life in a time now known, where as I will go on living, if and when an end might come still very much unknown. Curtis radiates a warmth in his inevitable death where I bare only a chill to the ever spanning days before be.
And yet with him I believe there is an end. I no longer pine for the eternal tomorrow, I relish the memories of what came before. Curtis will soon be apart of those memories, and with them I could live a thousands days in grace.
I do not mean to say that I will feel no sadness in his passing, already a void opens in my very soul that shall soon fill with an unbearable sorrow. But such sorrow is a burden worth baring for the way he makes me feel, right here, and now.
That is perhaps the point worth making. The here and now will forever outlast the yesterday and coming of tomorrow. Embrace it, seize the day… idioms have long ago become so senseless to me, as have most things.
I met Curtis on a chance, you see it is not just Cancer from which he suffers. Addiction runs deep in his veins. We both attended sessions as you might call them. Not quite rehab, but one hop, skip and a short jump away from such a place. My addition was not of narcotics or liquor, but of a desperate need to end my own life. A pointless exercise. I cannot die. I have tried in more ways that I care to admit.
Curtis, however, was plagued by an addiction more befitting those that can die.
I understand, almost entirely now, the high that he described during many an occasion at our sessions. Curtis has become my new addiction, my reason for keeping on keeping on. So long as I survive, so does his memory.
I saw something in him, a desperation I have only ever seen in countless those reflective surfaces. When he spoke so openly of his imminent passing I knew at once there was but one thing I must do.
Save him, from himself.
He deserved to die happy, and in the presence of love.
His parents abandoned him at the lowly age of four years old. Throughout his life he suffered the abuse of those that called themselves his carers. Abuse I care not to muddy his memory with. Though I would ask those of the world who feel need to seek self-worth from the turmoil of others to cease this most wretched of behaviours.
Suffering breeds unto iself, hate evokes hate.
We are all one in the same body, we are all only human. Worth comes from the raising up of others, not the beating down of them…
Curtis had no better a life when he met with adulthood, he was born different, and by God he’ll die just the same. As I have said, I once misunderstood love, I once believed there was no chance in all eternity that another man could take my bed, let alone my heart… I was mistaken. Yet this does not forgive my ignorance, nor will I forgive the ignorance of others.
Let love be.
Six months I have to spend with the most precious of gifts this life has ever bestowed upon me. I know when my love’s time will cease to tick, you may not be so lucky… and I do consider myself lucky, as does Curtis, I believe.
We intend to cherish every passing second of these next six months, to hold one another as often as is possible, to simply be in one another’s presence.
How long might you have?
Do not waste what grains of sand in life are passing.
Not all are immortal, like me.
Copyright © K R Perry 2019