“I’d like to offer you some advice,” he said, putting the cup of tea down in front of me and lighting a cigarette.
“And what’s that?” I asked, wrapping my hands around the cup of tea. I had expected it to warm my hands and soothe my soul, but it was cold and did anything but soothe.
“Take care of yourself. First and foremost. You are the priority.”
He exhaled and I watched as a trail of smoke lingered around him like a halo.
“Is that really how to live forever?”
My question was tinged with sarcasm. He was the first person you saw when you transitioned. He was your introduction to your new life and he was a raving lunatic.
He stared at me and exhaled smoke in my direction neither in frustration or admiration. He did it just because he could and knew that I, like the many others before me, would do nothing about it.
“If you don’t, you won’t live forever that’s for sure.”
I sighed and forced myself to take a sip of the tea. I didn’t want to be rude and I didn’t need to be on his bad side. He might have been a raving lunatic, but there was a reason you saw him first when you transitioned. He was good at sussing out the ones to watch and the ones who would leave well enough alone. “I didn’t choose to live forever,” I confessed. The tea was sweeter than expected and deceivingly tasty despite its coldness. “This picked me.”
“Here’s what gets old quick,” he said as he took a long draw on the cigarette and ignoring my confession. “Drugs. Old ones and new ones and the ones that promise a high like never before. Stay off’em. They’re shit. All of them. You’ll never get high enough. You’ll waste your time and energy trying to do so. Find an alcohol you like though. Never binge. Just one you can enjoy at the end of a hard day or on an occasion. Drink daily and you’ll grow bored. Like drugs, you’ll never be able to drink enough so don’t try. I prefer scotch made by one of our very own. It is old and it is perfection and a treat. Don’t overindulge in sex. You’ll hate yourself. Trust me. Everyone who has sat there and said that will never happen to me finds themselves questioning their existence after trying to fulfil every sexual desire. Find yourself a partner if you desire or don’t. Choice is yours. I prefer to keep my own company with the occasion of a sexual partner. Sometimes it’s nice waking up to someone, but more often than not, it’s nicer to wake up with no one. Other things that also get old, violence and surprisingly money. Let’s be honest, it will only buy you so much. Keep what you need to survive. Don’t be lavish about it.”
“What never gets old?” I asked watching the smoky fingers dance around his face.
His face relaxed and a light filled his eyes. A smile creased his brow and face. This was a question he did not get asked a lot. “Watching the sun rise or set,” he answered, dropping the cigarette into my tea. “Seeing the faces of Luna transition. Getting lost at the edge of the world with the Universe. Staring at an ancient tree from long before your time. Marvelling at the colors of an aurora.”
I nodded. “I think I’m ready for the next step.”
He eyed me.
“If I’m never going to get old,” I replied, “I know where I’d like to start my life.”
He smiled. “You’re going to be just fine. Perhaps you’ll even be one of the best. Welcome to your new life.”
Inspired from “Never Get Old” from REALITY
Categories: Flash Fiction