A fey, glowing blue like a
Took over one of my dreams.
She (or he?) offered me the
Gift of immortality.
I (always one to read fine print),
Queried about any side effects.
I said “I’m not just taking some magic pill without all the stats.”
The snake-oil selling poltergeist winced,
“You’re the first to ask in 10,000 eons.”
“Taking it won’t hurt you right away,
But one day soon,
Your loved ones will die.
New friends, new lovers, new children
Will troop through like a crowd into a department store
But all will be mortal.”
“But what if I gave them the pill?”
“They’d stay with you, but…
You’d have to stay hidden from the world.
You’d flee all you knew every half-century and so would anyone you turned.”
“And it doesn’t guarantee perfect health. You could be quite miserable.”
I was more and more irritated by the second.
The fey coughed.
“There are a few more. You see, everything else would be transient.
After all, civilizations would fade,
Evolution would march on,
The planet crumble and the sun expand.
The universe stretch until the very atoms
Tore like a paper strip.
To put it plainly,
There would be nowhere to be and no one to keep you company. But I haven’t told you the worst yet.”
“There’s something worse?!”
“Creativity, ambition, dedication, even love,
Depend on the concept of the ultimate deadline.
If there is no deadline,
Then there’s no point.
You would cease taking worthwhile action,
Cease to search,
Cease to even think!”
“Why are you here? Why are you telling me the truth?” I asked. A swirl of light,
And the death angel stood in the fey’s stead.
“See? I’m nothing to be frightened of. Without death, there is no life.
You’ll see me again when the time is right.”