Thursday, October 20, 2011

Chess and the Eternal Sleep

TV sounds coming through the wall, noises of my mother in bed trying to get to sleep, the sound of the TV helping her, but hindering me. I look at the chess set on the table at the end of my bed. It was a wedding gift to my aunt and uncle who divorced before I was even born. She died a few years ago and I took the chess set to remember her by. I have other things of course, the pictures we took together, trinkets and my memories, but this chess set is something I can look at and remember her by.

It actually has an interesting story behind it, concerning a sales man from the middle-ages in Scotland who buried it in the sand out of fear of being mugged, only to never return for it, leaving to be found nearly a thousand years later. The chess set became quite a big deal. Lots of reproductions were made, including for use in the Harry Potter movies, which I remember well because I was watching it when I spent that magical night with Elizabeth. I loved her so much, but I never know what was going to happen next with her. We spent the night together and made love many times. As she slept in my arms, I laid awake and watched Harry Potter on the cheap hotel TV and noted that Harry and Ron were playing chess with the same pieces as the one I had from my aunt. I thought about waking Elizabeth and telling her, but somehow I don't think she would feel that it was that interesting a story. Maybe she was right, maybe I was wrong, but it’s funny how these things turn out. When she did awake, I told her the story of my aunt and Harry, she looked me in the eyes, kissed me hard on the mouth and then went down on me, so perhaps the stories of chess sets and recently deceased aunts is more exciting than I give it credit for. But that was Elizabeth; you never knew what was going to happen with her from one day to the next. She somewhat spoilt one of the best nights of my life though by later accusing me of taking advantage of, even though she was the one who invited me to the hotel. And she wonders why I have no confidence with women.

But my aunt is gone now; the magical pea and ham soup and walnut sponge cake that sustained me through my first 20 odd years of life has now vanished forever. I wish I still had a load in the freezer, waiting to be defrosted and eaten as I have never had soup like that before or since in my life! It’s funny the things you miss most about a person. Sometimes it’s their laugh, other times it’s their bad attitude, and sometimes it’s a steaming hot bowl of pea and ham soup. But she's gone now. Dead, along with my grandfather. Where they go after their body ends is a mystery that I often ponder into the small hours. As much as I would like something special and amazing to be waiting for us after we end our normal lives, deep down I know that there is nothingness. Just a soulless empty void that swallows us whole. A girl I once went out on a first date with asked me about my views on what comes after death once. I told her about my beliefs and how it would be just like falling asleep. Once asleep you remember nothing and you have no concept of time. Sure, occasionally you have vague and fleeting dreams, but for 97% of your sleeping time, you are mentally and physically non-existent. You have no recollection of it, you are not aware you are asleep and essentially you cease to exist for those 7 or 8 hours. People often wonder what happens after you die, and for me this is the most likely answer. No 42 virgins waiting for you; no loved ones from the past waiting to welcome you in to the pearly gates. Just an eternity of peaceful sleep and quiet. In a way I think that has its own beauty, to become one with the stars again and drift off into space. Your body going back to the dusts of space and time as you end your short stay on this planet.

I don't know. I'm making everything up as I go along. For all I know, maybe Zeus will welcome you back to Mount Olympus and give you his well-worn speech on how he has no idea why everyone is worshiping all these false Gods now a days.

I never saw that girl again. She told me she just wanted to be friends. Maybe Elizabeth had told her I was a "sex fiend", or maybe it was because her grandmother had recently died and she held strong beliefs of magic clouds and harps waiting for her after her passing. Or maybe it was because she was a stuck up bitch cunt whore who deserves to get her car smashed up and wrecked. That would teach her to reject me. I don't know where my passive aggressive nature comes from. We went out on a date, she didn't feel anything so decided to move on. But for some reason that pisses me off. I'm a nice guy, I have a good sense of humour, I’m young free and single, so what is this bitch’s problem? I tried asking her in the days, weeks and months that followed, but being one of the beautiful people I guess she has to deal with this all the time and is now an old hand at ignoring losers like me. Still though. Bitch....

Time for bed now. I hope I wake up tomorrow morning. It’s a funny feeling knowing that one day I will most likely go to sleep and then never wake up again. Will I be aware that I am dying? Lots of people seem to have a sixth sense when their time is up. Will I? Will I go to my bed willingly or will I freak out and attempt to out-stay death with lots of Redbull. How long will it be before I leave? 1 day? 100 years? I don't know.

Maybe I’ll play chess with my aunt, or maybe I’ll drift through darkness, oblivious to the silence around me.

Maybe that bitch will change her mind.
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