December 11, 2017

 

Fevered Dreaming 05

 
 
 

They told me it was the best thing I could possibly do for myself, and yet it took literally years before I could find the motivation to make the Big Step. For twenty years I had subscribed to the myth of immortality in which youth are immersed; I felt no need to begin to disbelieve, no need to leave the altar, toss that faith in the dumpster, and begin again in uncertainty, learning a new catechism. I was slim and magical, containing in my form all the lithe beauty of my race, the thick flowing hair and infinite depth in my eyes. I could run as fast as a rabbit, leap into the air like a colt, dance all night and greet the dawn with laughter. People looked at me and gasped to see my grace if I let them catch a glimpse of me. My skin shone like the sun on the waters of the Great Ocean, and I was happy that way.

My feet didn't hurt.

One day I heard an Elder cough upon rising, and heard the sound I made when I climbed from my nightly bed. It was the End. Full of sorrow, I followed the advice I had been given.

Aside from the hollowness that seemed to make my belly feel like the inside of a moldy barrel, a thick lining of anger and abraded emotion obscured my thoughts; logic and compassion disappeared from my world. A kaleidoscope of stupidity and irritation formed my vision. I was moving into another world.

The new world was one of digestive upsets. No food that I had supped before had the same savor; no drink satisfied. Would I become a horse? A donkey? Certainly a change was upon me. In a matter of days, my feet lacked the sparkle of magic when I trod the earth. This is the better way, they told me. You must do this.

I grazed on the same holy grasses and spicy leaves as before, but something had changed. The grasses sat like lead in my belly, and the spicy leaves gave me heartburn, a condition I had thought was only in the minds of its sufferers. In the next six months, I gained a full thirty percent of my previous body weight, and no longer had the energy to leap or to run.

When Autumn crisped the air and pushed the colored leaves to the ground, I began to sneeze. My head was sickened, and it was only the Wise One's antibiotics that kept my head from rotting off. The Wise One had to administer the tonic again in the Spring, as well as an admonition to lose some weight.

My feet began to hurt, as did my knees. Exercise became an excruciating experience. Any outdoor activity became an occasion for illness, as pollen and atmospheric toxins could set off a months' long series of illnesses, from sinus infections to pneumonia.

Yet my Elders told me that I was lucky to have made this big step. A lot of people simply can't, and thus they are doomed. I'm not doomed, not any more. I can't run, I can't fit into the hide that I used to, I'm ashamed to be seen, even in the briefest of glimpses, but I'm not doomed. They say I took the Big Step soon enough.

I keep telling myself that I'm glad.

.

Article © Sand Pilarski. All rights reserved.
Published on 2008-11-10


0 Reader Comments
Add your own comments!
The Piker Press moderates all comments. The commenting policy can be found
here.
Name

Email

Comments




In the same series:

Fever Dreams 117
Fever Dreams 106
Fever Dreams 131: With No Announcement
Fevered Dreaming 08
Fevered Dreaming 07
Fevered Dreaming 06
Fevered Dreaming 05
Fevered Dreaming 04
Fever Dreams 130
Fever Dreams 129
Fever Dreams 128
Fever Dreams 127
Fever Dreams 126
Fevered Dreaming 03
Fevered Dreaming 02
Fevered Dreaming 01
Fever Dreams 069
Fever Dreams 124
Fever Dreams 123
Fever Dreams 122
Fever Dreams 121
Fever Dreams 120
Fever Dreams 119
Fever Dreams 118
Fever Dreams 113
Fever Dreams 112
Fever Dreams 111
Fever Dreams 110
Fever Dreams 109
Fever Dreams 108
Fever Dreams 107
Fever Dreams 105
Fever Dreams Classic
Fever Dreams 104
Fever Dreams 103
Fever Dreams 102
Fever Dreams Classic
Fever Dreams 101
Fever Dreams 100
Fever Dreams 099
Fever Dreams 098
Fever Dreams 097
Fever Dreams 096
Fever Dreams 095
Fever Dreams 094
Fever Dreams 023
Fever Dreams 093
Fever Dreams 092
Fever Dreams 091
Fever Dreams 090
Fever Dreams 089
Fever Dreams 004
Fever Dreams 075
Fever Dreams 059
Fever Dreams 088
Fever Dreams 087
Fever Dreams 086
Fever Dreams 085
Fever Dreams 084
Fever Dreams 083
Fever Dreams 082
Fever Dreams 081
Fever Dreams 080
Fever Dreams Valentine
Fever Dreams 079
Fever Dreams 078
Fever Dreams 077
Fever Dreams 076
Fever Dreams 074
Fever Dreams 073
Fever Dreams 072
Fever Dreams 071
Fever Dreams 070
Fever Dreams 068
Fever Dreams 067
Fever Dreams 066
Fever Dreams 065
Fever Dreams 064
Fever Dreams 063
Fever Dreams 062
Fever Dreams 061
Fever Dreams 060
Fever Dreams 058
Fever Dreams 057
Fever Dreams 056
Fever Dreams 055
Fever Dreams 054
Fever Dreams 053
Fever Dreams 052
Fever Dreams 051
Fever Dreams 050
Fever Dreams 005
Fever Dreams 049
Fever Dreams 048
Fever Dreams 047
Fever Dreams 046
Fever Dreams 045
Fever Dreams 044
Fever Dreams 043
Fever Dreams 042
Fever Dreams 041
Fever Dreams 040
Fever Dreams 039
Fever Dreams 010
Fever Dreams 038
Fever Dreams 037
Fever Dreams 036
Fever Dreams 035
Fever Dreams 034
Fever Dreams 033
Fever Dreams 032
Fever Dreams 031
Fever Dreams 030
Fever Dreams 029
Fever Dreams 028
Fever Dreams 027
Fever Dreams 025
Fever Dreams 024
Fever Dreams 022
Fever Dreams 021
Fever Dreams 020
Fever Dreams 019
Fever Dreams 018
Fever Dreams 017
Fever Dreams 016
Fever Dreams 015
Fever Dreams 014
Fever Dreams 013
Fever Dreams 012
Fever Dreams 011
Fever Dreams 009
Fever Dreams 007
Fever Dreams 006
Fever Dreams 008
Fever Dreams 003
Fever Dreams 002
Fever Dreams 001

Other articles by Sand Pilarski you might enjoy...

After Life 07
After Life 06
After Life 05
After Life 04
After Life 03
After Life 02
After Life
The Accursed
Remembered Flavors: Tony's Salad and Firehouse Chicken
Out with the Trash 32
Out with the Trash 31
Out with the Trash 30
Out with the Trash 29
Out with the Trash 28
Out with the Trash 27
Out with the Trash 26
Out with the Trash 25
Out with the Trash 24
Out with the Trash 23
Out with the Trash
Out with the Trash 21
Out with the Trash 20
Out with the Trash 19
Out with the Trash 18
Out with the Trash 17
Super Sport: Book Review
Out with the Trash 16
Out with the Trash 15
Out with the Trash 14
Out with the Trash 13