One Immortal's reflection of his life.
| Have you ever thought about immortality? Have you ever wondered what you'd do with it? Most people would simply sit on their couch, eating, drinking and being merry even though they don't die tomorrow. But what about someone like Einstein? Or Edison? Or, God forbid, Hitler. Lord knows THAT was a close call. No, these people would continue to make a difference, because it was in their blood. They would continue to influence those around them. To build, or tear down. A poet would continue to make new works, as would an inventor, an architect. Given a few hundred years, they would become masters at their crafts in a way they never could being mortal.
But what about when they reach a level they cannot surpass in their chosen field? When they have mastered it so well, they cannot learn from it anymore? They would go on creating, of course, but what happens when they cannot improve upon their creations anymore? They get to the point where they can create perfection without effort. Effort is everything to these people.
Luckily, I know exactly what they would do, because it is what I did. They would move on to another area of interest. They would pick something they haven't learned and begin to learn it, and learn it well. They would find something, perhaps similar to their original interest, but subtly different, and become a master in that. A painter would sculpt. An architect would paint. A warrior would dance.
But, given enough time, that too would become something they would master. That, too, would cease to be an area of learning. So then what does he do? That's right. He chooses another field to delve into.
And another, and another and another until, given enough time, there are no more fields left to learn. It may take many thousands of years, but with an immortal that is sufficiently motivated, he would have learned everything mankind has to offer. He would be not only an expert on everything, but a master at everything. Unparalleled in all subjects.
But then what? Yes, that is the question, isn't it? What happens when an immortal runs out of things to learn? Everything he touches becomes gold, because he has been around so long that he can almost predict the future. Would that not take the fun out of life? You would think he would want to end his immortality.
But, alas, I do not. I have learned everything there is to know. I have forgotten more than mankind will ever learn. Turns out, there is a limit to what a person can learn, even for an immortal, which is why our brains forget things that are trivial. To have a perfect memory on everything is to limit the amount of things you can know. So no, I am not perfect. I cannot remember everything at all times.
But I can write them down, so I won't have to.
I spent a long time after learning something writing down everything I knew on the subject. Logging it away while on my own, personal planet.
Yes, I did say planet. I have lived so long, I have bought my own planet. It's not hard. All you have to do is put a hundred dollars into a checking account every year for ten thousand years. Because of compound interest, I am the richest person in the universe. \
Of course, that was quite a while ago. I haven't had a visitor on my planet for so many years I’ve lost count.
In my personal library I have books on every subject you can think of, all written personally by me. Once I finished writing down the accumulated knowledge of mankind up to the last time I was with them, I began writing fiction. I did that for about a thousand years. Oh, I could write a novel like you wouldn't believe. Had this one character that stuck with me for the entire time, too. Wrote about five thousand novels about his life, world and everything. Too bad no one will ever read it.
I spent the next thousand years reading everything I had written, because I had forgotten most of it. So strange to be surprised by the ending of something you've written, but I suppose when it was written six hundred years ago, that'll happen.
I do get out. I'm not a hermit. It's just, when you're around people for as long as I have been, you need to just get away for a while. Everyone is the same. Disco's come back fifty times, and each time it does everyone thinks it's new. Still horrible. Every time.
Every few thousand years, I feel the need to get out, go see what's become of the universe. Besides, I need new material for future books. And, perhaps, mankind has come across some new forms of learning to enrich my mind again.
And there's always the possibility i'll run into some interesting people. Yes, that is the secret, isn't it. Learning is limited, but people are always unpredictable. I've been around so long, and seen so much, but people always continue to surprise me. Just when I think I have them figured out, they go and do something so outrageous I can't help but laugh. And every now and then, I meet a girl who can hold my fancy for longer than a few decades.
I've married countless times. Stayed faithful to each one, too. Sometimes I live with them in the outside world, a few times I took them back to my planet, just to live with me in solitude, but only if they wanted to. It makes no difference to me where we live, as long as it's together.
You'd think it would get easier, watching them die. Every time, if she doesn't leave me, I have to watch them die. Yes, they do leave sometimes, especially when I was younger, before I could spot the type of woman who could handle what I am. It's almost easier that way, because I don't have to actually see them grow older. And then there are my children.
Oh, yes, I forgot to mention my children. Yes, I’ve had quite a few. Unfortunately, they aren't immortal, like me. So, again, I have to watch them grow old and die, and my grandchildren, and their children, and their children. I keep in touch, always keeping an eye on my own lineage from afar now. I don't get involved with them much anymore. The pain is too great. Having children is a part of the curse of what I am. I have to watch them die along with everyone else.
Every now and then, someone finds me. A scholar, a scientist, someone looking for the secrets of the past. Apparently there are stories about me everywhere, all blown out of proportion. Sometimes they want to enlist my help in this war or that, claiming their idea or cause or whatever is the end to all suffering, if I would only fight their enemy. Pah. I'll still be alive long after their nation has crumbled into dust, and there's nothing left of them but the ruins of cities whose names no one can pronounce or remember.
That's not to say I always said no. Sometimes I did help, but usually because I wanted to experience something new. If they could give me a new experience, I’d do it, no matter how small it would be.
So that is my life. The life of an immortal. It's been so long since I left earth, no one else remembers it. It's been lost in time. Not even the oldest libraries in the worlds have mention of it other than some legendary origin planet. Most don't think it exists. Funny. Who'd have thought the world God gave us would be abandoned.
I will probably live forever. I am what men seek to be. They do not know the hell they wish upon themselves.