Some Things Taste Like Home [Requeim]
Let me tell you a few things about dying.
Over time, I have learnt how to die from watching my father's memory drift about in this lonely room in which my peace and patience now reside. It's a dark lonely room. And the transparent form of my father's memory flutters about.
"Dad, teach me how to die."
My voice is a breaking piece of music that carries from my tired lips, across an empty room occupied by a transparent memory and lands on the walls opposite. My lips quake as the words ricochet off the wall and spiral back towards me, before I see his formless memory reach out and grasp it.
"Son, there are two things you need to know right now. One is that you can't talk to a piece of memory with your lips. The second is that you are already dead."
A lump in my throat. My heartbeat increases, as if to reassure me that his words are just metaphorical. I heave; a heavy breathe down to calm my nerves or reassure my shaky hands. Whichever works.
"So, how should I talk to you?"
"With your heart, son."
I realize now, that his voice wasn't coming from the form. It was coming from his voice in my head. The one I remember. The weak slurring voice with which he asked me to look after my siblings before he hit the hay and never rose from it. I whisper to him with the voice in my head.
"How do I die to this world?"
"You're forgetting son. You're already dead."
I panic. My heart thuds. I feel a weight in my stomach. Toilet.
I think about it for a while. Yet another dead lump, waiting to be buried in my toilet.
"How do you mean?"
"Close your eyes."
I closed my eyes. Felt the pain seep out of my frame. Felt the world move out of view. Before me, two roads materialized. One led nowhere, the other ended in front of a grave. I walked towards it and found my siblings weeping beside what used to be the form of me.
"Dying is a choice, son."
Now, my father's voice was firmer. A lot more realistic. It wasn't the tired broken voice I heard him speak in before he moved on. I turned and he smiled at me and moved to place a hand on my shoulder. I flinched.
"Why can I hear you better now?"
"Because death is a choice. And choice is the process of dying."