You have bought into
your Third Century!
I am one hundred and ninety nine years young.
By virtue of my accidental genes,
and the continuance thereof,
I have bought into my fourth lifetime.
Tomorrow is my 200th birthday.
This will be my third Fading.
Tomorrow I will have the injection.
It will be into my spine.
It will hurt.
In my first life, seventy two.
In my second, sixty three.
In this one, sixty four.
I have felt sudden violence, then blackness.
I have felt the slow ravages of disease and pain.
I have felt the time worn festering sadness
that makes one want to skitter quickly up that last hill
and jump into the uncertain void.
And now, this injection is peremptory.
They have enough of the serum.
They will not wait for the accidents and agonies.
I am to carry on.
It is tomorrow as I write.
The hurt has come, the sudden flush, the pinkish tears, the ringing ears.
The buzzing electrical feeling in the old nodes of pain.
Their cancellation. Their outflowing down my cheeks in impossible cascades.
A warmth in the stomach pit. A widening of crystallized vision.
They have left me, blessed in a white bed.
New clothes, shiny shoes, hot shower running.
In a room with curtains of knitted navy blue.
I sit up, then stand. I do not part the curtains,
but instead I let the light of day love me,
filtering through the navy mesh,
like the snowy screen of an off-channel television.
In this glow, I test my first paces.
At the window, I part the drapes.
I see it is still early spring,
the low bushes and twiglets bent with ice.
There are crazy birds, darting, darting.
these messengers of mirth.
I smile, and lick a salty tear from my lip.
To me now,
they are but flying seeds with button-like eyes.
The seeds of tomorrow.