The following was written for my thesis. The final copy was heavily edited,
I don’t know how to explain it, Marge, but it feels like I’m on part of the short end of a stick that only gets shorter. I wake up and my back hurts. I move and my hands hurt. I look around and I don’t recognize anything.
What about me? You recognize me, don’t you?
Of course I do Marge. Of course I do. It’s not that I don’t know what things are anymore. I do. It’s just that I see things and I feel like I don’t belong to them. People look at me that way. They pierce me with their eyes. They look at me with disgust but smile as I pass. It’s like they’re afraid. I can’t understand why. They’ll grow as old as me some day. Don’t you feel it too Marge? Don’t you feel like the whole world got up in a hurry and you’re left behind with your pants between your legs?
I don’t know, Jay. I don’t like to think about it. I just do what I have to do when I have to do it. You should too.
I try. I do. I swear. I can’t do what I want to do anymore, though. That’s what’s the worst about it. I can imagine myself doing it, but I can’t actually do it. Remember when I told you if you can imagine it you can do it? I guess it only applies when you’re young.
Ha, Jay. You still got your sense of humour about you.
I wasn’t kidding, Marge. Did I tell you that I had a dream yesterday?
No you didn’t. What was it about?
I was in my bed. Just like every day. I was waking up. It was a beautiful day. Birds were chirping. The sky was the bluest blue you could ever see. I was just so happy. My back didn’t even hurt. But I couldn’t move for some reason. My eyes could only bounce around. I wasn’t sure why. Nothing in my room was different. Nothing in the world was different. It was always changing. Always moving like it always would. Yet I was the only thing that was stuck in place.
Oh Jay. You don’t have to continue. It’s all right. I don’t want to hear it. Please.
No, I need to Marge. And I was stuck in my bed with a completely healthy back. Can you believe that? The first time I was able to move about without aching and I couldn’t even move around. It was just so funny. I was laughing so hard in the dream. Not with my mouth or anything like that. But with my eyes. They were going up and down, up and down. Even the birds laughed about it, chirping out the window. Then something just changed. It wasn’t the world. It sure as hell wasn’t the fact that everything was so funny, so happy. It got so dark and cold. I couldn’t see anything and I was shivering. My eyes were still going up and down, but because they couldn’t stop. It was the only way I could get warmth. The door to my bedroom opened. Some guy I had never seen came in. He just looked at me. Didn’t say anything. He looked so sad. So lonely. He was wearing this old worn coat with what was a million holes in it. His face was so dirty. Looked kinda’ like he was a forgotten coal miner. But he was smiling. His teeth were all gold.
He then stopped smiling. His eyes were black as night. They looked empty. He said my name. Jay echoed off the walls. All the paintings in the room fell off the walls. All the furniture broke in half. I just looked at him, helpless to it all. I wanted to say something to him. To tell him he didn’t know me. To ask him how he learned my name. To tell him that you’d be so mad that the room was messy. But I couldn’t. He came closer and closer. His face took many forms and suddenly it took mine when I was about twenty-one. He or I or whatever grabbed my neck and said Only humans think they can live forever. Then, he disappeared and everything was like it was before. Only difference was that I could move now. But for some reason, I decided to stay in bed. Nothing to move for, I guess.
After some time, I must’ve awoke in the middle of the night. It was dark in my room, just like the dream. I think you came into the room. I don’t remember exactly. Did I say anything to you?
You said turn off the light, Marge. You said turn off the light.