Letters to Death: Second Letter
Haven’t written to you in a few years, old friend. I’m fifteen years old now, and I think I’m in love with you.
Where do I even begin?
I don’t know how it is for everyone else, but I feel like I’ve never been alive. Not even for a little bit. Like my life was taken away from me when I was too little to understand, and now I’m left to live out my days on the Earth. Just a specter. Just a spectator. I’ll never be alive.
Every day I feel like I’m in prison. Wake up in the morning, go to school, get home, eat, do your chores, then homework, and at the end of the day if I’m lucky I manage to spend a couple hours reading.
I never make any decisions. I never have any choice. I always just do what they tell me — do the schoolwork and do all of it and it’s all so easy but it’s all such torture. I hate it here. I hate living here with Mom and Dad even though I try to be their perfect little boy and never make any trouble for them. I hate living in this body that has all these gnaws and aches and desires and always feels so powerless to do anything.
I look at my future and I see nothing I want. It’s October now. Even making it until Christmas break with the routine of the schooldays makes me feel like iron bars are closing around me. Then I have three more years of this hell until I graduate.
And then what? College. More of the same. Go to your classes, do your work, hate every minute of it and curse the fact that you were born in the first place — but it’ll only last four more years, so what’s that?
And then? Graduate school maybe, or maybe I’ll go and get me one of those careers that sound so God-damned enticing. Then I do that, probably find a woman and raise a pack of hellfiends of my own. Curse the next generation to carry on this farce of an existence, why don’t I?
Just to convince myself it’s worthwhile, is that it?
Then retirement — if I’m lucky and there’s still such a thing as retirement when I get to that age. To savor the fruits of my labor long after I’ve lost the ability to really enjoy anything. Assuming there was anything to enjoy in the first place.
And that’s my life. Already decided in advance, already planned out for me, already given its momentum since the moment Daddy’s cum spurted into Mommy’s cunt.
I hate it. All of it. It’s a nightmare. This world, this life is a nightmare. None of this should be possible, none of this should be real… I think of my future and I imagine a dark corridor with dust on the heads of marble busts just visible through the gloom. It’s misty outside, and a chill breeze runs through the corridor even though there are no windows. And I go forward, getting weaker, getting colder with every step, as it slowly dawns on me that the walls have been getting closer and closer together ever since I’ve started walking, and already I can hardly move forward because my shoulders are touching the walls to my left and right… and I hear the clink! of metallic locking.
A caged animal.
This world is a prison.
This life is a trap.
I look at the other kids at school. They always seem so bright and animated and alive, even if they’re not happy. Why can’t I be that way?
Just the other day it was Homecoming. And after the game one of the Vice Principals caught Eric Kurzweil, the kicker of the football team, having sex with Teresa Rodriguez, one of the cheerleaders. Right in the biology classroom while the dance was going on.
They were both suspended for a week, of course.
But by all that’s holy how I envy them! That’s what being alive means. Taking risks. Winning sometimes. Losing sometimes. Getting out into the game and having experiences.
But I wasn’t made for life, now was I? I was made for you, Death. And how my body aches sometimes with the longing for you to consume me.
No life for ole Jack boy. No football team, no fucking cheerleaders in the biology classroom, and no solitary day without the yearning for you to take me off into your cold grasping embrace.
Just stacks of books and symbols. Just embalmed tales of the dead penetrating me through my eyes. Just stories of different times, different countries, all to take me away from this here and now that I wish I could escape into, if I only knew how…
When I’m at home alone some evenings I take a knife or a sharp pair of scissors. I stand in the kitchen and hold the blade to my throat. I could slice the jugular and it would all be over in seconds. Sure, I’d leave a little bit of a mess in the kitchen, but the main thing would be solved.
No more trap.
No more nightmare.
No more impotent yearning for life.
But I’m afraid it will hurt. I’m afraid I might fail to kill myself. I’m afraid there might really be a God and he might send me to hell for it.
But then whenever there’s a big test in algebra that makes me nervous, or anything else I’d like to avoid… I catch myself thinking, “I don’t have to worry about it. Who knows, I might kill myself before that day comes.”
And that thought comforts me. And that thought worries me.
I don’t talk to anyone about you, Death. I hate the kind of person who burdens others with their own struggles — or even worse, uses them to get attention. Besides, I want to decide this for myself. If I ever decide to do it, I’ll do it cleanly. Well-planned. Thorough enough to know I’ll get the job done. I have nothing but contempt for those fakers, whiners, and losers who make attempts.
Because this goes deeper than that, now, doesn’t it, Death?
It’s a question of whether anything is worth anything. Whether there’s hope for anything other than having my energy sucked out of me till the day I die. Whether it’s all pain, suffering, emptiness, and futility all the way down.
Or whether there’s a chance for life?
Most of the time I think you make everything worthless, Death. Or that life is nothing but constant pain forever. That it would be better never to have been born. That if there is a God he’s a spirit of cruelty that created this world to torment us. Simply out of pure sadism.
In my darkest moments I think about school shooters…
But no. No, I could never do that. Even if it would be a hell of a way to go.
I don’t know what I want more, Death. To have you take the pain away or to find some other way that would make going on seem like something other than a constant overwhelming nightmare.
Why do I feel this way all the time, Death? I don’t think the others do. Or even if they do, I don’t think they do all the time. Or if they do feel that way all the time… well, then this world really is hell.
I still don’t understand you, Death. Even though I think I was born for you, claimed by you, possessed by you. I don’t know that I’ve ever felt alive.
But I would like to live before I die.
Do you think that’s possible, Death? Do you think that’s real?
I don’t know. I don’t know.
Maybe I’ll write to you again, Death. Either that or I’ll meet you soon.