One day Man went to God and said: God, death sucks. Please remove it. I dread it, I fear it, it brings pain, grief, loss – the worst things in life. People use fear of death to manipulate, threaten, blackmail each other. In fact, when you think about it, Man went on pontificating, death is the cause of corruption, inequality and poverty. People want power and wealth, out insecurity – and what is insecurity if not, ultimately fear of death? Death is the source of all evil. I don’t want to die. I want to be immortal.
God said fine, but then you will have to stop procreating, because if you continue, the world will become overpopulated and you will run out of space and resources. It made sense of course.
So from that day on people stopped dying. They did not die from old age or illness, nor from wounds and injuries caused by accidents. They didn’t die even when they did to each other the horrible things that used to kill them before.
They stopped procreating either. No new humans were needed, no babies had to be born anymore. People continued copulating out of habit and it was OK but the infatuation, the burning desire, the throbbing heat of passion, seemed to be fading. All that was obsolete. People did not have to be blinded by passion and break social conventions, prejudice and barriers, in order to mate in the most improbable and combinations. They did not elope, give up kingdoms, fame and fortune for love. Nor did they promise each other the moons and the stars, write poems and sing love songs. That was before, when the whole carnival was needed to secure the continuation of mankind as a whole, not the immortality of the individual. Love was replaced by the comfort of docile affection. All was good.
Gradually, humans grew less and less interested in sex. Since nobody died anymore, after some time everybody knew everybody else. The immortal human brain had learned to use its untapped resources including its vast memory. All immortals had met, fallen in and out of love with each other in the distant past, had moved on and forgotten about it. But not about each other. Everybody was old news to everybody else. The thrill of novelty was gone too.
The immortal world grew tired and bored with itself to … what, death? Well, no. Death had been long gone, it was not even in the vocabulary. It was not there to complain about, to blame for all evil – not there even as a figure of speech. Frustration crept in and started turning into anger. Anger turned into rage, rage into violence. Endless violence, because death as salvation was not there anymore. It was ugly, stifling, unbearable – the world was on the verge of imploding. And this was bad. So bad, that explosion seemed like a blessing. There was only one hope.
Man ran to God once more. The path was so overgrown he could hardly find his way. He arrived at the door. It was locked and there was a faded sign on it:
You traded immortality for love.
That was me.
Too late, mate.
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Eros and Thanatos, 2014, Pastel and Acrylic on Canvas, 47 x 39″