Saturday, October 03, 2009

Highlander, You Lose

How long would you extend your lifetime? Eighty years? Eight hundred? Eight thousand? Eighty thousand? Eight hundred thousand?

You started life as Connor MacLeod. So far so good. As you approach one million years of unremitting personal youth and indestructibility, you realize that you are now the the ugliest and stupidest man on Earth. Your blue eyes and pale white complexion make you the object of glances and odd silences. Sometimes they, and they are not your companions, sometimes they stare.

Human evolution has left you wallowing in the dust of your own private Olympus. The plainest women are gracile and unearthly in their beauty. Pre-teen boys eviscerate you with the wit of Oscar Wilde, and human society excludes you because you cannot understand the terse form or rapid-fire delivery of normal conversations. Women speak like birds. Men communicate in brief sentence fragments uttered in low, quiet tones. Only children speak at length, in slang you can't penetrate. They travel fast, in packs.

Everyone fills in the blanks from a social context transmitted genetically. You are heavy, apelike, bearded, slow in body and mind, ignorant of the exact dimension of your deficiency. You live out your unending days under bridges, in jails, hospitals or sanctuaries provided for you by generations of the efficiently uncaring. Humanity abandons your planet to pester the stars. You inherit the Earth, meek by default, merely the last, lost among the half-remembered failures of the past.

A fool forever.

Not to mention, it's far easier to suck on sour grapes than it is to deal with mortality.



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