"Living Is A Problem Because Everything Dies"
Come on baby do you think it's good to feel,
Like I'm lying here swimming in memories,
I’ve asked him so many questions and he’s never had a valid answer for any of them. He just looks at me and tells me “It’s okay, that won’t happen for a long time yet,” and gives me a smile. In that smile, I can see that he doesn’t understand me, that he can’t comprehend the thoughts that go through my head. He’s so naive, innocent, and I think that’s one of the reasons why I love him. It’s not an illness. I know what he’s thinking when he looks at me. His false facial expressions cannot defeat my insight into what he really thinks. I know Frank like the back of my hand, but he doesn’t know me; he only knows what I let him in on. Still, I need to talk to him, to see and hear his reactions to my questions, to my cluttered mess of thoughts.
My mind is flooded with memories. My memories aren’t too distant either; it could be when I went to the pharmacy for antibiotics last week, or visiting my mom on Tuesday. I’m consumed by the past just as much as I’m consumed by my considerations of my fate. I’ve told him that there’s not too much time left, that with each memory the clock is winding down and that I’ll miss him, but only for a short time, because if I go first, he’ll follow shortly after.
I fear God because everything dies, babe,
Got a gun in the back of my car,
Frank’s from an old-fashioned God-fearing family and their beliefs have rubbed off on him. His faith probably exceeds my own. God is powerful, God can take us before we’re ready to go. I’ve watched the world around me for longer than I can even explain. I’ve seen what happens. Everything dies. When I was a child, I watched the trees with their leaves so full of life, then that vibrancy would disappear when they turned brown in the fall. They’d gently slip from the tree without making a sound. It was then that I first got a taste of my obsession. I was only a child, but my thoughts were beyond my years. I remember sitting with my elbows propped on the windowsill, thinking, ‘Everything dies. I’ll die.’
My cat had just died when my parents first explained death to me, they told me that God decided to send the angels to take her away. I imagine they would have said that to make me feel better after finding her in the laundry, but really, it terrified me. That fear has never left me and when I was sixteen, I took action and bought a gun. I didn’t want God to take me whenever he decided, if I had to go, I wanted to go by my own choosing. When I bought my first car, that gun stayed in its case, resting on the floor in front of the backseat. Since car crashes were the leading cause of accidental death for people my age, I wanted to always have it with me. I didn’t want to crash my car and sit there bleeding to death just because that was God’s plan for me.
A spasm of good sense is making my eye twitch,
I've had enough of all your consolation,
The thought that I could be the one to decide when it was my time was what allowed me not to commit the action and take my own life. I just needed to know it was an option, that I didn’t have to be afraid. But it didn’t work, I was still afraid. So afraid that I spent the majority of my time thinking about the possible ways I could be taken against my will. I told all of this to Frank. From day one, he knew that these were the things I worried about, but he willingly entered out relationship anyway, only to complain about my obsession afterwards.
“Why do you worry about it so much?” he asked.
“Because I know it will happen. Whether it’s now or years down the track, it will happen. Death is unstoppable, unpredictable.” I tried not to upset him when I said it, but I didn’t want to lie to him. After a while I just told him to stop trying to make me feel better. It wasn’t worth his time. I’d never feel better until the task was over with. My eyes flickered whenever I felt burdened enough to take the easier option and release my soul from my body. It would be a relief, and really, who wouldn’t want to take the easy way out of such a difficult situation?
I want him to stop talking. I want him to stop telling me that things will be fine. Things will not be fine.
I'm drowning caught in a shit tide,
Tape my face to the inside of love,
It’s a fear I can never escape. It washes over me constantly. Every time I get distracted and decide to actually live my life, something drags me back down to remind me that my days are numbered. I’ll be watching something on the TV with Frank, so blissfully unaware of tragedy in the world with his head in my lap. I’d be so happy in that moment, looking down at his eyes that are fixed to the screen. I’ll lovingly stroke his hair and then I’ll look up just in time to see that there has been a fire in some random apartment building in New York, or that there was an eight car pile-up on some highway I didn’t even know existed. Instead of thinking about the survivors like Frank would, I think about how it would have felt for the people who didn’t make it. I try to put myself in their shoes, to see if I would be scared, but I can’t see how dying could be peaceful.
Frank is my main distraction. He removes me from my fixation more often than anything else I’ve tried. I’m surprised at how often I forget all of my worries just because I know he loves me. The problem with that is that now I have two people to worry about. Yes, I am less possessed by the notion of my own demise, but with him, it’s taking up more of my time because I’m not the only one. He’s the most important thing in my world and I can’t stand not knowing whether or not he’s going to make it home from work in the night, or if some junkie is going to stab him trying to steal his wallet. Anything could happen, which is why I like to drive him around everywhere; because that gun is always behind the drivers’ seat, waiting for chaos to need it.
Nothing to eat but fears in the back seat,
Well I've met God and he had nothing to say to me.
When Frank found out what I had done, that I kept a deadly weapon in the car as a sort of a ‘Plan B’, he flipped. I can understand. I’ve tried putting myself in the shoes of someone brave like him, and I can see how it really does look crazy, but I know I’m not crazy, I’m just prepared.
After going to a restaurant on our anniversary, we didn’t exactly make it all the way home. Instead, we stopped after the bottle shop because Frank’s hands refused to stay in their own lap. We may have made it, had he not gone further and unbuckled his seatbelt and looked around for cars, before leaning down and taking me into his mouth instead. It was exciting, risky and exhilarating, but I had to pull over near a park for fear of crashing otherwise. There we began to celebrate our anniversary in a way I had been waiting for all night.
I don’t remember having moved at all, but our bodies seemingly found their way into the backseat. Frank straddled me, kissing, licking, touching, teasing every part he could reach before easing himself on me and slowly grinding up and down, savouring every moment. I moaned and sighed at the hot, tight feeling and tried to listen to the sounds he made whenever I hit his spot. Everything was perfect, but once again I was reminded of how everything could turn South when he stopped moving and leaned down. I didn’t know what he was doing until I heard the click of the case that held my gun.
“What the fuck is this?” he asked me.
I looked up at his face wide-eyed as he held the pistol, still straddling me. I had nothing to say. How could I explain that? I knew how much he hated guns, and he stayed there, swearing and asking me if it was loaded. I told him it was but that the safety was on. His next move was the most unexpected thing he had ever done.
“You’re this obsessed with death, huh?” he asked. Then, like a brain lapse, he placed the gun to my temple and told me, “Then you’d better start fucking me how I like it.”
He allowed me to turn him onto his back and get on top of him. I had to open the car door to give myself enough room. He held that gun to my head the entire time I fucked him, until finally he came, then put the gun down. Only after he came could I drive myself to orgasm. I could never climax with death breathing down my neck like that.
It was the most exhilarating feeling of my life, but I felt God getting closer to me with that bullet so capable of embedding itself in my brain. Even with God so close, he didn’t say a word. I received no sign from him; even if God was the one to take me, that night proved to me that I would still be alone, even in my final moments.
I pray to God that you're right before my eyes,
Bathed in white light with halos in your eyes.
His presence made all the difference. It made my fears less powerful. Just to have Frank before me allowed me to hear the little voice that told me that everything is okay, as long as he’s with you.
Frank tried to make me get rid of the gun, but I refused, and finally, he backed down, telling me that he never wanted it to come out of its case.
After the events of our anniversary, I began to think more and more about what I wanted to happen when the end came. The only things I wanted was for it to be me who performed what needed to be done, and I wanted Frank to be there when it happened. I didn’t want to be killed by cancer, too many people allowed that to take them out. They’d lay in their hospital beds for a lifetime, waiting for the final intake of oxygen. I didn’t want my last breath to be the difference between my time on Earth and my move to whatever came next. I wanted Frank to be the one that lead me to the next stage. I wanted him to be the last image in my mind before my eyes closed. I wanted to look up into those eyes of his, those eyes that reminded me of life rather than death. Precious life. Frank was precious life to me. I couldn’t lose that feeling. I’d have to take him wherever I went, even if that was further away than I could bear to think.
He didn’t have to be dead for me to see his aura, to see him glow. I could see it every morning, when I awoke and saw his figure beside mine, sleeping so peacefully. Most mornings, if he seemed too peaceful, I’d take his wrist, ever so gently, and would check to make sure he still had a pulse. Times when I did that, were the only times I felt that this fixation was overpowering my will to actually live. Only these times did my obsession make me afraid of myself.
Don't wanna waste no more time,
Time's what we don't have.
I’m trapped. I’m stuck living a pitiful loop of only waiting for the end. When I think about all I have and all I’ll have to leave behind, it feels like my chest is going to cave in and puncture my heart. Maybe that will be the way I go? Maybe I’ll become so frantic one day that my body will just give in. The coroner won’t ever be able to explain to my grieving parents what actually happened to me.
“His body just stopped,” he’ll say.
I know that it’s pathetic. We’re all just little ants to God, waiting to be squashed. If it’s inevitable anyway, then why am I just waiting for it? Why can’t I just ignore the fact? I’d like to walk blissfully unaware down the street, my hand around Frankie’s waist, looking into store windows at flower arrangements, go for a cup of coffee and not even notice when I cross the street and get hit by a car. I’m sick of wasting time. Frank doesn’t waste time, he lives every moment to the fullest. Why can’t I live every moment like it’s my last? Of all people, I should know just how likely that is.
I don’t have time to wait around. There are too many things I want to do with my life. I wanted to be a successful artist; one that could actually sell, rather than the recluse that I am, taking shitty jobs to get by, having sold only three paintings in my entire life as an artist. No one will remember me for what I’d like them to. Even the people who now own those paintings have probably taken them off their walls to replace them with pieces by a better-known artist. But, I guess the dark and depressing subject matter of my works don’t help.
Time slips away from you. It seems only yesterday, I was twenty years old, fearfully studying my way through art school, and actually considered myself ‘straight’. Can you believe that? I wasted my time just as much then as I do now. Back then, I had the nonsensical belief that the amount of women I slept with was a testament to life experience. Really, I know it was just my way of trying to find an outlet for my fears. I’m trying to make the most with Frank. He’s enough for me to say that I’m doing pretty well. If you’ve got Frank, you’ve got it all.
Everywhere I look someone dies,
Wonder when it's my turn.
Frank’s aunt died two months ago. A stroke. She was only fifty-two years old. I remember how he cried and recovered. He said that she was going to heaven, that God would not allow anything less for her. I had been relieved that it wasn’t his mother, I’m not sure he would have been so positive about the matter if it were her. He may never have recovered, and he would have been stuck in my mindset. I can’t handle it when people Frank knows die. What can I say to make him feel better? “Well, at least they won’t have to worry about it anymore”? I’m not particularly helpful with these things, and as much as I hate to admit, no matter who it is, Frank has the dreaded task of consoling me because I get so scared. Our neighbour, an old man from across the hall, died a few weeks ago. I don’t even know what happened. Apparently, he had no close family or friends. He had been dead for over a week before they found him, when the landlord went to pick up the unpaid rent. He wasn’t to the state of decomposing or anything, but that didn’t make much difference to me. The man died all alone. I think his name was Norman.
The night the old man was taken to the morgue, Frank and I went to bed late. I wouldn’t let him leave my side, I just kept holding him. I was holding onto the world. I wasn’t ready to go yet. I looked up at Frank’s beautiful face as he read some silly children’s science fiction book. It was so obviously not meant for adults, but there Frank was, reading it anyway, not giving a shit about age brackets or reality. How refreshing it must be to just wake up one day and be oblivious to reality. I thought about that for a while, then I thought about Frank some more. I didn’t want to waste any time with him, I wanted to do what I wanted with him as many times as I could before the hand on my biological clock struck midnight. Right now, I wanted to rip that juvenile book from his grasp, throw it to the floor and fuck his brains out.
How well do you know me? Leave an open door,
What you looking for, babe when you come down?
I took him by surprise when I dragged him further down the bed, so his back wasn’t propped against the pillows. I had been lying subdued against his chest like a faithful dog whilst he read. I didn’t want to be that for the moment. I wanted to be in control of both myself and Frank, not thinking about death, not thinking about a possible afterlife, not thinking about a more likely possibility of eternal nothingness. Right at that moment, I was going to be something else, more like Frank and less like myself. I straddled Frank and pinned his wrists. Now with the advantage, I looked down at him, contemplating my next move. He looked up at me, wide-eyed, but I could see it was out of curiosity rather than fear. His mouth twitched, and it looked like he was going to say something, but he must have decided against it. I saw a smirk play across his lips and I frowned.
I leaned down to whisper in his ear. “You won’t be smirking for long, honey.”
Against my wishes, he continued to smile, he couldn’t help himself. I was acting differently which must have been quite a turn on for Frank. I hurriedly dragged his sweatpants off and undid my fly. With what I had planned to do to him, I knew he wouldn’t be ready. I had to prepare him for my attack. I huskily told him not to move as I leaned over the side to feel around under the bed. The lube had fallen there a few nights ago. I retrieved it and turned back to Frank, applying some of the gel to two of my fingers and hastily inserting them into him. Once they were all the way in, I drew them back, then pushing in again a few more times, until I slowly worked in a third. His body thrashed once when I managed to brush his prostate. I had never before managed to reach the gland using only my fingers. I hit it a few more times, and stopped when I knew he was ready, I didn’t want it to be too good, too soon.
I positioned myself at his entrance and thrust, a little quickly, judging by the hiss I received.
I built a time machine to escape from
All the pain in the back of my car
Living's a problem because everything dies babe
Save yourself you're not too far away