In This World, She Loves Rocco

Carbon Monoxide is created by the incomplete combustion of organic matter; it’s what happens when fuel is burnt in an area with restricted oxygen. Like a car engine. While not deadly to all forms of life, Carbon Monoxide poisoning can be fatal to humans. Due to the fact that it is a colorless and odorless gas, Carbon Monoxide poisoning usually sneaks up on the unsuspecting person — triggering headaches, convulsions, respiratory arrest and death before the victim is even aware that something’s wrong.

Last night was so fun!

Oleander is a beautiful flower that can be found in gardens, parks and playgrounds all over the world, but it’s a beauty not to be touched: Oleander is one of the most poisonous plants around. Every part of the plant — flowers, leaves, stems and twigs — are all toxic to humans. Poisoning commonly occurs when unsuspecting victims inhale smoke from burning the plants, or mistakenly ingesting the leaves. Digitoxigenin ingestion affects the nervous system in several different ways; causing nausea, dizziness, confusion and death — the deadly symptoms just lying in wait underneath the unassuming exterior of this beautiful flower.

Thank you for dinner.

Botulism, food poisoning from a particularly nasty form of bacteria, can come from eating ill prepared or old food. At first, symptoms include nothing more than weakness and fatigue throughout the body, as well as a general sleepiness — many of the same symptoms as depression. If left untreated, victims have trouble seeing, trouble speaking, and eventually a feeling of severe weakness that spreads across the chest and down the limbs. Respiratory failure soon follows, as the victim slowly slips into a fatal coma.

I always have a good time with you. We make such a good pair!

Victims of Vivisepulture usually die from asphyxiation — unless there is enough air to die from something else: dehydration, starvation, or hypothermia. In all cases, however, a person who has been buried alive would spend their last moments experiencing extreme panic. Countless coffins have been exhumed with scratches on the inside, the prematurely buried having torn off their fingernails in desperate attempts to escape. In 2014, kids playing near a cemetery in Greece heard screaming and banging coming from under the ground; a woman had been buried alive by mistake earlier in the day. She died before she could be rescued.

I think you’re amazing.

Most people think that the pain of burning to death would come from your skin and hair being on fire, but that’s not the case — the real pain of being burned alive comes not from the nerve endings of your skin as it peels from your bones, but from breathing in the air that’s been superheated by the flames around you. This superheated air torches the inside of your mouth, throat and lungs in an instant, cooking you from the inside as well as the outside. The pain is excruciating.

But I’m still in love with Rocco.

In the ancient world, a common form of execution was being crushed to death by elephants. This type of punishment, while seemingly extreme in modern times, was so popular that it persisted for over four thousand years. The elephants used were trained especially for the task; the animals had such restraint and control that the mahout could torture you for hours by having the giant beasts roll you around on the ground to make sure your death was as prolonged and painful as possible.

I’m sure you already knew that, but I didn’t want there to be any confusion.

The best part about being electrocuted is that it happens so quickly that you usually feel nothing. But hit by a low enough dose, every muscle in your body would clench at once; every nerve ending in your body would feel intense heat and searing pain. If you’re extremely unlucky, you would remain conscious while your head burst into flames.

I appreciate the kiss. I do.

The venom of the Brown Recluse Spider can be necrotic, meaning that it kills whatever human tissue it comes into contact with. If you’re bitten, the bite might not be felt but the poison can spread around your body in minutes — causing fever, rashes, and wounds that may grow to be as large as ten inches across. The agony would be nearly unbearable as large parts of your infected flesh spread and became gangrenous, sloughing away in enormous chunks. Death would be a welcome relief.

But I really only see you as a friend.

There are plenty of ways to die. Some of them more painful than others.

They say that the universe sprang from a single point, that it continues to expand endlessly. That, even at this very moment, there are stars forming from giant clouds of gaseous matter. That there are new worlds being created. That there are long arms of newly formed galaxies just beginning to spiral out from their cores — neutron stars collapsing into black holes in one part of the universe, while chains of amino acids combine in shallow pools, creating new life on barren rocks that spin around distant suns in another part of the universe — Life springing forth from a single explosion of unimaginable violence. Destruction can be a creative force.

Death isn’t always the end. Sometimes it‘s a beginning.

If the universe is forever expanding, then it stands to reason that anything we can possibly imagine exists; planets of solid diamond. Creatures made of light. And worlds like ours, but just a bit different; worlds where you die before your time, from something innocuous: A spider bite. A car accident. Flowers. Bad tuna. And other worlds where it all works out — a world where she bumps into your table on the way to the bathroom, spilling your coffee. A world where she stops and apologizes profusely, insisting that she buy you another. A world where she notices you both take your coffee the same way and you notice you both have the same weird brand of backpack, and she asks you where you got yours, and you realize that you both lived in another city just three blocks away from each other. A world where you end up having drinks and then dinner, and then regular dinners, and daily texts, and late night phone calls, and marathon binge watching sessions, and a day where you teach her how to drive stick in your shitty car with holes rusted in the floor and an afternoon where she helps you bury your cat and years later you take her to Thailand to ride the elephants and then a night comes when you are out in the country around a bonfire at her sister’s wedding watching her tell the story of how she learned to drive stick all those years ago and you realize you can’t imagine life without her. When you ask her to marry you in the little garden in the back of the apartment you share among the pink ocean of Oleander she planted, her face lights up with pure joy.

You can’t imagine anything more beautiful. Even the Big Bang.

If the universe is ever expanding, anything we can imagine exists; planets of solid diamond. Creatures made of light. And worlds like ours, but just a bit different. Somewhere out there in the black, there’s a version of you spinning through space with that perfect life. In that world, she loves you.

In this world, she loves Rocco.