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Next Life

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Several lifetimes ago, I was a little girl. I got run over by a truck, and died. The lifetime after that, I was a truckdriver, and I ran over a little girl. Her body made a pathetic thud noise against the hood, and I don’t remember how long it took me to finally clean the bloodstains off my paint job.
In my last life, I was a Tory in the Revolutionary war. A bad, bad time to be a British loyalist. I survived the war, only to be forced out of my house and never reimbursed by the government. I think this time I’ll be a white Apple IT guy. I want to live a low-key life.
I have moments like these, in between lives, when I remember everything. Every lifetime I’ve had, all the ones I could have, all the ones I won’t. It’s a beautiful feeling, omnipotence, but it gets boring.
Hold Up.
Maybe I want to be an African-American singer. Or maybe a Chinese bisexual man. Or maybe an Indian trophy wife. I don’t know at this point; really, I just want to feel.
And I feel something like pride when I look down on my little green earth.  You did that, it whispers. You are that.
I hear a gunshot go off and I can feel a lifetime die. A bell sings and I’m decapitated. I lift a sweet poison glass to my lips and feel every single nerve in that body shut down and rot. A woman screams in labour and I die, and from her I am born. Dying hurts only for a moment. Then it’s a feeling of wholeness, and that lifetime is added to my omnipotent existence once again. I think I’ll be a Medieval queen.
And that’s the best part of it all: I can be anyone in anytime. I am everyone in every time. I am every person on this little green earth, every person who was, is, and ever will be. Every little girl with short hair every little boy with freckles, every divorced woman every widowed man, every murderer and every victim.
I kill myself. Over and over. I see one lifetime holding a knife to another’s throat, press it against the quivering flesh until it breaks skin. The victim dies. I die, and there’s a moment of searing pain before a burst of ecstasy. The killer runs. I run. I run and run and run and I can remember this moment, of thrill and of horror, of extreme excitement and of absolute terror. I’ll be a peasant.
And maybe one day I’ll stop this. Stop living, stop yearning to feel. One day I hope I’ll feel enough to last me forever, or however long beings like me live, and I’ll stop being born and I’ll stop dying, and for the first time I will be completely whole and sated.
But I am young. I have talked to others like me in the vastness of space and so many of them are ancient beings, older than I can even begin to comprehend, capable of feeling things I could never perceive in the wink of existence I’ve lived. They know things and whisper things, possible futures where I flourish and grow, expand, and learn new things and know things and feel everything that can ever be felt and more. And they whisper other futures, futures where I grow bored and flounder, where I grow numb to life and waste away. I wish I could tell the little me’s on earth that they are not alone.
And that may be the part I hate most. The creatures on earth that I make in my image are so delicate and frail, so narrow-minded and foolish. I can only fit so much of my complete sentience into their little heads. They don’t even know they are one and the same–I cannot even recognize myself if I’m wearing a different face.
Drag queen. Drug lord. Mafia boss. Savior.
I should decide soon. And once I do I’ll be born, born into complete ignorance and loneliness, thinking that there’s more to feel than what I’m feeling and there’s more to know than what I know. I’ll be born and I’ll grow, and I’ll hurt myself and help myself, hurt others and help others. Hurt me help me I’ll feel, and it will be grand, and then I’ll die and remember everything all over again. And I’ll do this as many times as I need to, and as many times as I can. A farmer a technician a surgeon a bouncer. A soldier a warrior a general a leader, I’ll go down to the earth and forget and live, and I’ll die and I’ll wake up and know.




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