05 March 2006

That Which Does Not Kill You


Justice Putnam

I am an Immortal; that’s why it’s so hard to admit my life has been a mistake. But if you’re living forever, you might as well get used to it.

The problem with being an Immortal is that early on, when you just start being an Immortal in your youth; you think all mistakes can be rectified. But that is just youthful Immortal folly. Being an Immortal is recognizing that you make the same mistakes over and over, always thinking that it will be different the next time. And you have the rest of your Immortal life to ponder that.

It is very tiresome, pondering that which cannot be changed. Even when your children tell you that they always know you’ve loved them, you know the truth. Because an Immortal means not being tied to time and space; loved ones are ultimately neglected. Of course you embrace them and provide when you can, and they profess appreciation that you care. But an Immortal knows the truth.

Like the time a photography gig took you to Honduras. An Immortal always knows the danger. That’s why you went. And when the military broke your camera and your arm, you knew it was no different than surfing over coral, or hang gliding off El Capitan.

Or the time your son was ten and you left to work on a tuna boat in the Gulf of Alaska. You figured the experience would round you as a writer. Plus, the danger was as good as the money. Too bad money isn’t as immortal as you are. But an Immortal can always make money.

At least that’s what you told both of your wives. An Immortal knows that no amount of money can justify the absences, not really. An Immortal knows about these mistakes.

In time, an Immortal will ponder these dangers of the past, these mistakes. None of them killed you, after all you’re an Immortal; but the scars are there, for the rest of your Immortal life.

© 2005 by Justice Putnam
and Mechanisches-Strophe Verlagswesen

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