When you are what I am, you don’t feel things the way normal humans do. An emotion is like a flavor in my mouth. I can taste it. Joy tastes like strawberries. Hate is like ice chips in a martini. And love is… rosewater. I enjoy them all except for one. Betrayal. That has the taste of the char on a piece of burnt meat.
I think everyone in the world thinks they’re either blessed or cursed. I’ve come to realize that I’m neither. I am a curse. Nobody that gets within ten feet of me survives. And God help you if you get right up close, skin to skin. Then you’re really screwed.
Women age differently than men do. In a man, the left ventricle, the one that pumps red blood into the body, gets larger, thicker as he gets older. In a woman, it shrinks. I am now more than a century old. My heart must be just a few karats at this point. There is room there for very little, so what still fits inside means more to me than ever. It means everything. The last 100 years of my immortal life have been a lie. The illusion of control. In truth, I have controlled nothing. I have surrounded myself with fools and flatterers, put my trust in those who could not be trusted. Enemies without. Enemies within. It is time to construct something new. Something durable. With fortifications of iron, stone and steel. I will not be ruled. I will not be managed.
We have two selves. The one the world needs us to be, compliant, and the shadow. Ignore it, and life is forever suffering.
I love you. But you will learn, it isn’t our precious virus that makes you. It isn’t who you kill or who you screw. It’s the heartbreaks. The bigger, the better. I know better than any of us.