As I sit here, I am moving ever so closer to death. The room feels tighter, my hands that much stiffer. It’s as though I can feel my youth seeping from my veins, my life escaping with each breath. Watching the flickering of a cursor, I can’t help but wonder how many blinks of the eye does it take to watch a life slip away.
Because the moment I was born, I began to die.
Good news about that is that I’ve been preparing for death for a long time. Besides attempting not to blink, we all have in our own little ways. The Chinese, before the Cultural Revolution, thought that if they were prepared for their own funeral, they would live longer. Norse Vikings skirmished with one another to simulate death in battlefield – the ultimate glory.
Us North Americans are not much different. Everything we do is to either stave or quicken the rate at which death comes. Personally, I learn in a vainglorious hope to find comfort before death and I drink for very much the same reason. I search for love because maybe there is someone searching for me. I try to practise kindness because with one and only one life, I don’t have much time to fix the bad.
Most of all, I write. If there is any legacy of humanity, it is in the words we ourselves have created. For we are the dictionary creators, the wordsmiths, and the grammar gurus we have always wanted to be. It is all we are: twenty-six letters made to describe us – beings that are tall, inane, blonde, curious, lively, introverted, black, generous, genial, sordid, homosexual, exultant, imprudent, precocious, ardent, adamant, religious, persistent, and all the other words we have thought to develop.
Yet in our end, we are but one word that nullifies all. Dead. From the greatest ruler to the most insignificant beggar, we all die.
That is why I believe that last words are so remarkably important. If one is to live completely, they must do so until one’s very last moment. In their very definition, last words are the culmination of one’s life. There is nothing after their utterance, besides silence begging for more. There is just that moment, a few breaths, and enough time to say something that is worth preceding a final period. For in the end – the very, very end – last words are a whisper in a wind that was meant to be everlasting. That cliché stands as evidence of the fact.
Yet even the strongest wind dies down eventually and like it, most of us will fade away in total obscurity. We will be forgotten after our death. Our worries, our pains, and our successes will amount to nothing more than six feet of dirt and worms in our ears. We will not accomplish our dreams. Instead we’ll settle them on our pillow and perhaps most truthfully, we’ll live a mediocre life for mediocre pay doing mediocre things. Even in death, we will pass away in mediocrity, with fear and desire eerily plastered onto our sickened face. Our loved ones will say a few words. They will sprinkle handfuls of dirt on our resting place. And they will try to remember us for our good moments, mediocre as they may have been.
But I refuse to accept death’s kiss so easily. Death may be all powerful but I’m human, and I was always told that’s supposed to count for something. So I tell myself life is fleeting. It is short. And every second counts because every second could be your last. This is why when people realize that they will die, that they are momentary, that they will never be as smart or as funny or as attractive as they are now, that the person who they were four seconds ago faded in five, then they will want to live rather than wait to dwindle away. They will not greet death and ask what took so long. Rather death will greet them with sadness and give them five more minutes, just five more minutes please. In turn, I want death to be the only goal I still need to accomplish.
If this is to ever happen, then I must first write the words I never could, words I hope will never have utter again. For these are my last words.
Or, at least, some of them.
I never wanted this to turn into an ending. I never wanted to write this. I remember so long ago I wrote a beginning, and in it I pictured us. You drew in a heart and I felt mine beat and you said God was in it and now I can’t help but wonder where you have gone. It feels as though even God has abandoned me.
I guess it had to happen. Something always does, and whether it is good or bad is for us to decide only after the fact. I’d like to say that it was bad – all of it, any of it. But that’s not true. I think back, and I can’t remember why I was mad, why I thought it better to leave. Maybe it was something I said or maybe it was something I did, but you believed me. Now, I don’t even believe myself.
Relationships are hard, you said that once. You said a lot when you wanted to. I should have listened. I should have cherished every word. Instead, I talked. I berated. I was myself in all my forms and in those forms, I lost my true self. Me. Kacper. The person you fell in love with.
The person you still love.
This is something I never showed you. Something you were never meant to see. There are millions of stuff I’ve never showed you. The leftover hairs on my pillow. The wrapping I kept. The stupid things I read over at night, little scribblings I hold dear but you have forgotten. You thought I wrote everything for the world to see but I once typed you are my world, and I meant it. Believe that too.
And I know you would tell me to man up and stop moping. But I’m not. I’m just writing the ending. The final words I’ll ever spend on you. The last words you’ll never see.
They are everything I should have said and everything I didn’t. Things like I love you or you look beautiful today or what if we jumped now or I miss you or your palms are rough or a chick flick is alright with me or I like it when you speak so simply or the water is cold on my feet or that joke is pretty funny or every time I am sick is because you never share the blanket with me or your kisses taste like gumdrops or I like it when we sneak around or you should hang up first sometimes because we’re going to be here for hours or you snore like a giant or I’m glad you think my snoring is worse or do you really think we should be making this nutella so late or holding your hand is something I always want to do but never have the courage to or thanks for making me try tea again or I’ll only eat another bite because I don’t like how you waste food or how you don’t ask anything from me except for my time or how you make me feel important when I say I’m not or how you act like everything is okay or I’m sorry that it never really is or do you really not know what a katana is or when I buy you gifts, you smile and I smile back in return because I like making you happy or that I can’t always make you happy or those roses I send are only second to your eyes or the fact that I became an insomniac of sorts was because our relationship was nutty or I’m a vegetarian because you aren’t or I’m a coward because you aren’t or I’m a lover because you are or …
But all things, even parallel lines, eventually meet. And we met our end. Sometimes, it’s worth to end with an ellipsis in the hopes that it – whatever we had and whatever we didn’t and whatever we never will – could go on.
Sometimes it isn’t. So here it is. A period. A finality.
It is all I wanted and all you didn’t. It is all we both got.
And it is my last word to you, beautiful.