Cell Division

This is one of those ‘how wrong can a person be’ type of scenarios.

We were so wild, and we were the same. One person expressed twice. We skated all summer, and in the winter we let the cold animate us. I guess I just thought that when one of us died it would be like cell division. Nothing would be lost because we were both fully contained in each other. And we both wanted to die, that was no secret. There was a recklessness to us that scared everybody else.

There was always a roof we hadn’t climbed, or a train we hadn’t surfed. And at the end of it there was always the stars in the dark, holding each other and screaming like wolves as the moon reflected off the clear, cold water. Nobody could ever synthesise a psychedelic compound that affected me like you did, and I know I was the same for you.

All my illusions were shattered at once today, when they told me you were never going to wake up. You see, it’s not cell division. It’s a compound fracture. And the weak sunlight filtering into this corridor is laughing at my complete failure to realise before now that, for all the risks, the self-destruction, the daily nearness to death, we loved life because we loved each other.

How is that all supposed to stop now?

We thought death was the adventure, you and I. Nothing to fear. I guess like me you thought we were a cell that lived and died as one. You never imagined what it would be like to be standing outside a hospital room, whole, with me inside so horribly broken, either. To be so suddenly and irreparably awakened to the reality that we were, in fact, two. That there was a way to feel more alone than we ever thought possible.

There’s so much that is going to be lost with you. A library of genetic material that can never be copied or retrieved. You’re dissolving into nothing and I’m being swept far away by the bloodstream.

We didn’t hate life. We loved hating the world together. Now you’re gone, and all the light with you. You were a bioluminescent cell, and it’s all gone dark.

And, you know the craziest thing? In this moment, I don’t want to die. For the first time I can remember, I don’t feel like I could let go in one instant and leave this world behind. Because that was all an illusion too, and all I want to do is grieve for you the way you deserve.

Then I have to find others, others who think they hate life. I have to show them how wrong they can be.

Orange Grove

A small girl splits open a juicy orange, dropped ripe from the grove. The sun is risen to its zenith, and her father, all weathered-skin and cracked palms, watches from a worn deckchair. The sky is an improbably deep blue, one of those really special days where you can’t look up or down, left or right, without seeing something wonderful. The father knows his girl is the most wonderful of all. As she enjoys the orange, the fruit of a complex array of natural systems and not a little hard work from him, he wonders about her future. What lies ahead for her, beyond the grove?

Wind catches her hair and she laughs, and turns back at him with a grin. He could write every day for a thousand years, study with the greatest tutors of many generations, and never quite be able to capture what he feels inside when he sees that smile.