If I am ever doomed to a catatonic state – not that there is anything wrong with being consciously or unconsciously frozen, it’s just I like wiggling my toes once and a while – then this is a letter to myself. It is also a prayer of sorts. It is also a will of other sorts. Sort it out for what it is. That is to say, the declaration of independence.
We’ve had a good run. We did some cool things. Remember the time that we got that scar, or that time that girl broke up with us, or that other time we got so drunk to forget about how much both hurt? Ya. Those times. The good times. The great times.
Well, enough is enough. Times pass, goodness ends, greatness collapses, and all of a sudden, everything changes: you are a vegetable. How it happened, don’t ask me, but it is a weird feeling epitomizing the saying “you are what you eat”. Who knew that a vegetarian can turn into a vegetable?
Here’s how. Crash. Squish. Ka-boom. Ka-blam. Ka-cper ka-gone.
Things happen. It could be worse. You could’ve become an adult. Imagine that. Becoming an adult. If you could shiver, you would. If you could vomit, you would. If you could become an adult, you wouldn’t. Some things are just too horrid to experience, old age being one of them.
Still. I advise you to throw in the towel because the towel throws itself on you. Just quit now. You were young once. You lived already. Your time has come and gone. Plus, it’ll be for the best. Think of your family. Your friends. Yourself. You don’t deserve this. No one does. Sure. It’ll be suffocating in the onset, I know. Don’t you worry though. Only through suffocation can you truly understand how precious breath was.
And how many breathes you wasted.
And how long you have breathed purposelessly.
And how the pulmonary machine currently does both for you.
Beep. Beep. It sings. You can’t. Whoosh. Whoosh. It breathes. You can’t. Click. Click. It lives. You can’t.
At least, not any longer.
You have batted your beady eyelashes hoping for someone to do something long enough. Even if someone did fix you, you’d only be wasting more breath, more time. So, move forward. Stretch your legs. Feel the lack of ground underneath your feet.
Ah. Feels like freedom. All it took was a chair and some rope and some sinew, and everyone can be free, a vegetable included.
You prepared. Chairs were around. Curtains made good rope. They keep out the sun. They keep out the noisy eyes of onlookers. Maybe, they can stomp out your languid breath too.
Maybe. You hope so.
What are you smirking for? You’re still an optimist, aren’t you? You think they – the same people that put you in this mess, that laugh at you, that belittle you, that look at you with disgust – should be free also?
Well, I agree with you. They should. Everyone should. That’s why people call it free-dom. Free ‘dem. In time they will be, even if they don’t want to. It never matters what most people want; only a select few ever do.
Welcome to that select. The select are those who are burdened by stress, work, marriage, family, expectations, responsibilities, debt, ideologies, religion, conflict, war, food, water, and so on, and so forth, and so forever more troubling. Not to mention the looming Damocles sword of gravity, striving to find purpose in a random Universe, and being placed on this Earth as mere accidents jumbled together.
Know that your birth was an accident. Know that your vegetative state was also an accident. Know that accidents happen.
And that’s okay.
They, you, we, I, didn’t have much choice when coming into this world, but they, you, we, I sure as hell deserve some choice out of it. That’s freedom. That’s what we are offering. You and I: we are offering choice.
And people are grabbing at it by the million. Cancer sticks, cell phones, nuclear bombs: our work is being done every day in little clusters. Feels good doesn’t it? Being the destroyers of creation, the creators of destruction. We are doing the work of humans and humanity’s work is to kill themselves. That’s what we’re doing. Killing ourselves.
Rub your feet into the plastic.
Dangle your hands in the flowing air.
Bath in the sunlight like a vegetable cooking.
What we had before wasn’t very much. Let’s face it. There was a life coerced on us, a life coerced on others, and a life we could barely call our own. As I said, not much. Now as a vegetable, you are that and more. A burden. A stress. A constant prayer to God asking why a beautiful son was taken away. You are also a lack of answers, a shaking fists, and an agonizing pain.
But here you can be something else entirely: a choice, a decision, and a consequence. The last bit is very, very important. Nobody wants to see their consequences come full circle. Most run. That’s why hide and seek was invented.
Your consequence will come, however, and you, unlike so many others, will see it through. You will embrace it. You will enjoy it. Don’t close your eyes. This only comes once in a lifetime. Here you are, hiding again.
Open your eyes. Gulp. Breathe. Smile. There. This is your future: purple curtains. They are dull. A plastic chair. It is stained. Frail, wobbly legs. They are pale.
They are dancing on air.
Nothing else matters; all else is arbitrary. Don’t you forget it. So scratch what you know, the little wormholes of knowledge that you claim to have. Throw it all away. You’ll find there are millions of them: little blueprints drawn up in fragments to create you as a whole. It’ll take a while to discard them all. But soon, they’ll fade. All does. Experiences. Gone. Ideas. Forgotten. Yourself. Never again.
In doing so, everything will change again. From something, you will become nothing. From a whole, pieces. From a vegetable, freedom.
I know you can do it. You are I. I are you. Together, we can do anything, this included. Where this will lead us, no one is sure. Maybe nowhere. Maybe everywhere. At least we’ll be away from here. That’s reason enough to celebrate. It seems you already are. Smiling. Laughing. Taking a leap of faith. Oh, how festive you are preparing to do a pirouette in the air with an angel wing around your neck.
Oh, how festive you’ll be when in the air, nothing will control you. It will just be instincts and gurgling and eyes racing around trying to escape from their spherical prison.
It’ll be peace.
Before you go any further though, know that the only reason you exist is to toot around. So while you exist, you must toot. After that, you should scribble. Then carve. Then realize why writing was invented: for you to broadcast your message to the world. So you write.
“Kacper was here.”
Good start. Very powerful stuff. Crushing stuff, really. People will look at that one-day and understand what a historic moment this was. They’ll say, “The day that Eve bit into the apple was the only time humanity had choice. Until this brave, brave man did what he had to, of course.” People will even have parades for you. Choice is that important.
Queue the streamers. Queue the music. Queue the champagne.
Jump back to now, jump back to crying. To teething. To wondering. To reinforcing. To doubting.
Write this too: “From perfection, we fall. Eve did. We all do.”
And then, fall. And jump. And fly. And sway. And writhe. And fade. And fade. And fade.