First of all I have to say that you don’t have to worry about me. I’m not too upset. And your words made me feel a lot better. I knew you’d be understanding and keep my secrets and not think I’m crazy. So thank you so much for that. And thank you for all the things you said to make me feel better too.
You’re so wise and kind, Mr. Liam. I think that life and death are some kind of circle too. I once asked Uncle Tad if there is someone who’s Life as well, but Uncle Tad said that life is for the living. That we are the ones who shape it too much for there to be a being who is simply Life. So life is something that happens, and death is something that ends it. Or something that picks up from where life leaves off. Sounds kind of like a circle to me. Or maybe a spiral that loops back into itself at some point.
And sometimes people get out of that spiral – like you and the other immortals. And maybe ghosts too. Or maybe they’re just sticking their heads through the spiral to say hi to those who are still in it. Like your Anne with the flowers. I’m glad she got to be there when you had to pass on too. I think it’s lovely, seeing a loved one when one dies. And if I want to think about something positive about me having to leave my Uncle, then it’s just that; I know I’ll see a loved one when I die, even though it’ll hurt.
Thank you for telling me about that Twilight Zone -episode. It was lovely. I asked Tad to watch it with me. He liked it a lot too.
“That man smiles a lot better than I do,” he said.
“Could you somehow recruit helpers?” I asked.
“I do not need helpers,” he said.
We sat in a comfortable silence for a while. And then I thought about your letter again, and I just had to ask:
“What happens if a universe gets destroyed?”
“Then I will have a very busy day,” Tad said.
“I mean… what happens to you after that? Or to the universe? Will there be anything left?”
“That is one of those things people are free to have theories about. I am not spoiling it.”
He was quiet for a moment.
“Well, I suppose I can tell you that this is not the only universe out there. Far from it.”
It’s one of those things people have theories about, I know. Many universes. I think it sounds neat and logical, but it’s too big a thought to really understand if I think about it too much.
“Oh,” I said, “Well, what about the immortal people here? What happens to them once the universe ends? Would they start over in a new one?”
“I suppose it is possible,” Tad said, “However, I doubt anything can survive the end of a universe unchanged. If someone is bound to never properly meet me, they might be able to start over, but they would probably not be exactly the same.”
He smiled again, and then looked sad.
“This is one of those days with a lot of questions, I see. I hope I did not upset you the other day. Again.”
“You didn’t,” I said, “I talked with my pen pals again. That made me feel better. And so did all this. Seeing you smiling and all.”
“That is good to hear. Writing to other people seems to have done you a lot of good,” he said.
“Yeah. Maybe you should try it too.”
It was only a half-joke. Uncle laughed at that, and then dismissed it all as being too complicated.
I think he was mostly nervous about the thought of having to talk to new people. I’m not sure if him writing to people would be a good idea, really. Then again, it might be an awesome idea. Or then reality might break if Death wrote to someone. I don’t know. Uncle keeps telling me there are cosmic rules that apply to immortal beings, and I think most of them only make sense to him. So I didn’t push the issue and instead I changed the subject:
“My sister asked me to play the guitar at her wedding,” I said. Because she really did ask me to do that just the other day. I’ve been super nervous about it, and I don’t think I’m that good a player, and I’d have to play in front of lots of people, but I wanted to do something nice for my sister.
“That is nice,” Tad said, “What did you say?”
“I said yes. And now I’m terrified.”
Instead of telling me it was going to be okay or laughing or anything, Uncle asked if I wanted to play the songs for him first. So we went to my room and I played a couple of songs. I’ve played for my family sometimes, but I’ve never thought of it as a performance. So I thought about some advice I’d got about stage fright and how to deal with that. So in the end, it didn’t feel so bad. If I could play guitar in front of the Grim Reaper, I could do that in front of others too.
Uncle Tad liked the music – he even started to sing because apparently he knew the words to one of the songs! He’s actually a really good singer – though I guess it’s no surprise seeing how he can sound like anything he wants. He does this surprisingly human-sounding voice that’s sort of wispy and dark, and when he forgets himself, he starts to sing in at least three voices at once and it sounds awesome.
So we had a lovely evening. Something I’m sure he’ll remember later. When I’m gone.
I’m trying not to think about it too much. Live in the moment and all that, embrace the life and the joy like you and many others have told me. It’s still difficult. But maybe I’ll learn someday. I hope I do. You’re right; it’s better to remember how lucky I am to have him as a friend, and to enjoy the things we do have, even when they might end sadly. Especially then.
Oh man, I think my sister is calling me to help with decorating the yard for her wedding. It’s going to be tomorrow! Also guess what? You talking about meringue pie in your last letter made me mention it when people were planning the desserts for the wedding. My other sister – who went vegan just last month – was immediately curious if it could be made without any animal products. So we looked it up, and it’s possible to make vegan meringue out of the water that canned chickpeas are floating in! That was so weird, but we tried it and the end result was delicious, so we’re definitely having small lemon meringue pies at my sister’s wedding.
Yup, food sounds like a good way to end a letter indeed. And talk about family. Your Lenora is indeed lovely; I can understand why you like her so much – and I’m not even related to her so I’m not biased that way. 🙂 How’s life been for you and your folks lately? I’d love to hear more stories about your family!
Wishing you good times,