Death Becomes Me
I was thirteen the first time I wanted to die. Maybe I thought about it, imagined what it might feel like to shut down my mind and close my eyes for all time, but I never wanted death. Not really.
Not until that day.
I knew the gun was loaded. Always. Ready to fire. It lived on the top shelf of a closet, buried behind a dusty tackle box and a science kit for exploring the wonders of nature. I used the latter when I was a boy. Outgrew it when my school mates made fun of me for collecting leaves and smothering small animals just to study them. Age eight or nine, I’d look into their lifeless eyes and wonder: what does death feel like?
To me, it was the picture of nothing. The personification of peace.
I wanted to gaze into its eyes. That’s why I put the barrel of the gun where I did. To the bridge of my beaked nose. Curious. That’s what I was, pondering whether I would see my killer between the time I pulled the trigger and the moment my head came unglued like a ripe melon.
I sat on the edge of my bed. Stripped it, even, because I didn’t want to make a mess. I sat there and stared Death in the eye. Lots of folks try to make Death out to be a goon that lurches around in a hooded black dress, but I know better.
Death is a cyclops.
It has one eye that sizzles through its surroundings. Makes everything ash. Powder. Dust. Nagging remnants of a life lived that cast a shadow over living.
And that’s why I wanted to die. To float in the sunlight. To rest next to a stream. To flit from surface to air.
To embrace my need to be free. Pull the trigger. Finish me.
Death Becomes Me is a work of fiction. A back story, if you will. Perhaps you will read the front story.