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My Last Night On Earth?

I don’t know what to say anymore. I’ve been lied to a million times by this voice in my head. It’s told me that I’m everything from the messiah to chopped liver and the points that exist between. I’ve been listening to The Invisible Man’s plan for eons and tonight he told me to eat pizza like it was the last pizza I’d have on Earth.

Maybe the spacelings will take me away. (My parents were watching some bizarre film with Richard Dreyfus and aliens, so they’re on my mind now.) Do they have pizza in space? Do spacelings like pizza? The world may never know, but we’re certainly projecting our shame straight to them. I heard we are beaming images of a man and woman (naked) straight to space with a DNA helix, trying to attract intelligent life.

According to Dr. Richard Greer, they’re already all around us. We don’t need that kind of B.S. to attract them. They might not exist in the physical dimension that we operate in, perhaps that is the problem and the reason we rarely view them. (To say that spacelings have never been to Earth is to invalidate all people who have had contact with spacelings heretofore… That is wrong, to invalidate people. You should be ashamed of yourself if you thought I should.)

I ate the pizza and summarily enjoyed it. I tried to chew slowly and savor each bit of flavor. God told me that naan pizza could work, though I’ll never eat a tomato again due to the acidic content. Plus, it’s a nightshade. Don’t we ever learn our lesson? Nightshades are poisonous. Do you know what else is a nightshade? POTATO.

You want to know why you can’t lose weight? Ditch nightshades. I bet it shaves off ten pounds without changing anything else. ‘Oh, but I’m in love with spaghetti and pizza and…’ just ditch the tomato already and stop whining at me how you don’t want to give up poison.

Dairy, too. Just throw it away and stop purchasing the pain. I know you’re addicted. I’ve been addicted to all these things, too. In fact, that’s why I’m having ‘pixxa’ (or faux pizza) — I don’t want to give it up. However, the pizza crust I discovered has xanthan gum in it and that’s the bane of my existence. I gain weight no matter how reasonable I am about my xanthan gum ingestion, sadly. And it’s in most things. I need to make my own, honestly. If I live for much longer, anyway.

I found an almond milk I like, though. Califia Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk. The ingredients are almond milk (water, almonds), natural vanilla flavor with other natural flavor, calcium carbonate, sunflower lecithin, sea salt, locust bean gum, gellan gum, potassium citrate.

I can do better, according to the internet, such as Three Trees Almond Milk, Organic, Vanilla Bean, Unsweetened. I guess I’ll keep an eye out for that brand at the store.

I feel terrible right now. I feel like I am in a war over my own body. It’s not mine, it’s on loan and I’m really not taking care of it the way I ought to.

He knew he’d hold her close to him soon, but it wasn’t time yet. She had to purge her soul of the evil planted there by assholes in her past. Her soul garden was polluted still, sadly. He mourned for her. He wanted to be with her months ago, but he knew she had to purge her past by herself. He knew she would do it quickly enough, but he was also getting impatient. He’d been waiting for years now for his beloved’s gaze to fall upon him as if he were the only man left on the planet. As if he was all she ever wanted. She was all he ever wanted and then some, he was happy to report. He would wait for her forever if he had to. He wanted to hold her in his arms every night for the rest of eternity. He knew it was a matter of her overcoming the struggle of a psychic connection in the back of her mind, too.

The man who raped her hundreds of times would not let go of her, no matter what. She was so used to being raped, she falls victim every time. My poor love. I wish she’d come back to me, but I must wait. They say when you love something, you must let it be free and see if it comes back. I’ve done that and it hurts every day we’re apart. “I love you, Sansara,” he whispered into the night, staring at the sky as he thought about how she was under the same moon as he.

“I’m disappointed in myself,” she whispered to nothing in particular. “I can’t kick this asshole from my past to the curb, whether I wear my curb-stomping boots or not.”

“Diego, you up?”

He replied as positively as he dared to. “Sansara, what’s the matter? Do you need to talk?”


“What’s wrong?” He could have called her, but she was happier using text messages, so he quelled his urge to do so and simply waited for her response.

“I haven’t been myself in years. I think she’s dead. I think I need a new name and a new location. I think I need a new identity. I think I need help.” That last word echoed through his brain after reading her text message. It wasn’t literally italicized, but that’s how it felt in his own thoughts. The woman never asked for help, no matter how difficult life became. She was hard-headed and strong-willed, determined to keep pace next to any man who got in her way. The fact that she admitted needing help was something extraordinary.

But it was more than that. Another text came through on his phone as he was contemplating the word help and how he’d never associate it with her in a million years. “I’m sick and tired of this house and these people I live with. It’s a pig sty and no matter how hard I try to clean it up, it never gets better. I’ve been here for nine months and I still cannot keep on top of the chores at all. My roommates are deadbeats! I need out of this hell hole and I’m not above ending myself to achieve that goal at this point. What can I do?”

His fingers flew over the phone’s keyboard. “Would you move in with me?” He pressed send before he could even give it a second thought. He’d never been more sure of anything in his life. This was the woman of his dreams and he needed her to be close by. He needed her presence and her finesse exerted on his home, at the very least. Any time he was near her, he felt aligned in mind, body, and soul.

Ms. Solsinger was a powerful healer who was founding a style of reiki. How could he say no to her? He was in awe of her even though she was in a jam. She’d wormed her way under his skin quite unintentionally. So much so that it seemed like an awfully long time as he waited for her reply, hoping she’d agree to his proposal. He continued to stare at the screen, as if he could will it to show her thoughts to him.

“How much room do I get to myself?” That was a good sign for sure, he thought. The woman always wanted to know all the facts behind a deal up front and he knew it. This meant she was seriously considering his proposal, which created a ray of hope inside his heart. It felt like it melted.

He looked around briefly at the room he was currently in and tapped out a response. “One room for whatever you want or need.” He launched into motion as if she was going to move in immediately. He turned up the volume on his phone from vibrate to maximum to listen for her texts and went into his spare bedroom to ready it as quickly as possible.

The room didn’t have much in it, since he’d been working on making it ready to rent via AirBnB for several months already. It had been his grandmother’s once upon a time. He’d given up most of gram’s things already since she passed. He had left a painting she had created and a couple of her things in the room up until now.

Diego never thought of Sansara’s presence as a chore to deal with, but thinking about anyone else existing in that space consistently sure seemed like it would be impossible to deal with for long. This circumstance was quite the opposite since he longed to see Sansara day and night. This was beyond serendipitous. He was also uncomfortable with hosting strangers presently, even though he had planned to join AirBnB as a host next month.

He looked through the room, top to bottom, making sure he hadn’t missed anything else to betray it’d been in use, albeit not very recently. It’d been six months since grams passed away. He was still grieving, but he was ready to fill the room with new life. He was a little worried about the pending move-in, though. She had three cats and he had a very rambunctious dog. Her felines were quite old comparatively and he was concerned the animals would fail to get along appropriately.

He checked his phone again to see if he’d missed a message from her or not while he spent those minutes emptying the room to make it ready. He hadn’t missed anything… She hadn’t texted back yet. This was not unusual; he assumed she was thinking it over. She knew he had a dog. Max. He was a great dog, he was just easily excited over newcomers. He loved Sansara already and he hadn’t even met her in person yet.

That is to say, the dog hadn’t met her yet, but Max loved everyone and everything. He became excited every time she texted or called, really. He assumed he was the reason, of course. Max would wag his tail so hard, his whole rear end would wiggle back and forth. He was that kind of a dog. He’d love the cats, too. Possibly too much, though only time could tell.

Her apartment was bigger than the space he was offering, he knew that. He expected her to say no any minute now. It seemed like it was taking too long and he began to pace. There was no way for him to play it cool and no reason to do so while she couldn’t see him fret.

He was surprised as another text came through while he was checking the phone again, certain he’d miss the chime. Ding! It chimed anyway, as if to spite him. There was no way he was going to miss that noise, he thought in retrospect and tried to calm himself down. He was putting too much attention into this, he thought. Still, he couldn’t stop himself. He continued to pace as he read the message. “Will you help me move things? I’m having trouble lifting and carrying anything over twenty pounds and my car is small.”

A tear escaped his eye as her question registered with him. Would he help her? Of course he would help her! He felt he owed her his life. He wanted to spend eternity with her, even if it would never be consummated in the physical world. He knew her story, the pain that haunted her continuously as she fought the memories of her rapists. No amount of reiki healing could remove the trauma she suffered.

“How about tomorrow?” he shot back to her. He typed another message, regretting hitting send so quickly on the first one and added onto it.

“I have the day off. I can help you all day.” He hoped he didn’t come across as too eager, but it was already implied by the speed at which he messaged her in return. He couldn’t take it back.

“Are you really able to help me tomorrow? I’d be so grateful! What time are you available? I have a lot of stuff… It won’t fit in one room. Maybe you know a storage place? I’m not all that familiar with the area even though I’ve been here a while.”

He wondered just then if she was in particular duress in that moment. She often texted a summary of what she had felt recently rather than a play-by-play like other friends he’d had, past or present. He hoped she was not in dire need. The fact she took him up on that offer meant that she’d already decided to leave and that meant something had gone down. He was perplexed. He wanted to know, but he also didn’t want to pry.

“I’ve had it! I hate living with smokers. I’ve had it with constantly cleaning up after six people and getting nowhere! I’ve had it with people holding the refrigerator door open for minutes at a time, spoiling everything inside. They open the freezer and fridge with a vacant stare, like they want to eat but nothing in there looks appetizing because they either spoiled it all or they’re allergic to it and won’t listen to me as I tell them so! I’m tired of telling people they’re intolerant of the shit they consume daily and nothing changes. I’m so tired. I just want to rest and recover.”

That’s the most Sansara had shared with him in over a year, he thought to himself. He noted that half her complaints were centered around food. That made sense, as he’d come to know her to be an extreme foodie. She loved flavor. He did, too, actually. It was one of the things they had in common, but she didn’t even know that yet.

He started to daydream about preparing food for the both of them. He knew her diet was very specific and finicky, though, so he wasn’t sure how that would go just yet. He knew a handful of her allergies and intolerances but he assumed he didn’t know all of them yet.

“I’m here for you, Sansara. I’ll help you with whatever you need. Just tell me what you need, my love.”

He added the term of endearment without hesitation even though he’d never said that to her before. He wanted her to know he had a romantic interest in her before she actually moved in. He figured that the safest way to break it to her was over text. She was the kind of person who preferred to see important things in writing.

Ding! “Do you really mean it when you call me your love?”
Ding! “I need refuge. Sanctuary.”

They were hardly acquainted, really, yet he loved her. He wanted to know everything about her and then some. He wanted to watch her grow and flourish. Especially since her text messages indicated she was withering away as of late. He always wanted her to have at least one reason to smile.

He replied: “Yes, I do mean that.”

“Why didn’t you tell me sooner? I wouldn’t be ready to kill a bitch if you had.”

He chuckled at the first part of that text and found himself laughing boisterously by the end of it. That was just like Sansara, you know. She was already at the end of her rope and was just now asking for a pair of helping hands. He wondered what she needed help with. Diego imagined her space filled with mountains of clothes, stuffed animals, books, movies, and more. He thought about the chores she mentioned in her rant. She’d told him before that she liked to clean, so it was odd that she couldn’t defeat them by herself.

“I didn’t think you’d believe me. I happen to love you very much.”

“Marry me.”

He laughed at that as he jumped for joy. She always made him laugh, no matter how serious she was, it seemed. He wanted very desperately to hold her in that moment and kiss her face and tell her everything would be alright, he’d kiss it all better. It was corny and he knew it, but the woman thrived on corny comments. She loved that shit more than she loved life, and boy did she love life.

“Of course.” He replied.

He laughed again when she shot back a text immediately: “So, when’s the date?” Boy, she had her mind made up. Or she was pulling his leg… but, she didn’t tend to pull legs, as it were.

“When do I get to be Ms. Solsinger?” was her follow-up question.

“How about tomorrow, as well?” He couldn’t set his phone down. This seemed like it would be the single most important conversation in his life. He’d been saving himself for marriage and he knew she was the one for him. He’d known it since the moment he’d become aware of her. He didn’t really know how he knew it, but he did.

“If we can do it that quickly, I’ll gladly marry you tomorrow. I love you, too, you ninny. You should have said something sooner, you lily-livered duckling.”

“We can’t, but I thought you’d appreciate to know I would like to right away.”

Let’s Get Married by Bleachers on Spotify

“Diego… you better kiss me soon or I’m going to kick you in the balls for making me wait.”

He laughed heartily at her reply. One part romantic and one part hard ass. That’s who Sansara had always been, that’s for sure. He was so happy to see her exhibiting her normal fighting spirit.

“Is tomorrow soon enough?”

She smiled at his inquiry. She contemplated texting him “NO. I WANT IT NOW.” She looked from one side to the other, contemplating the mischievous reply. She decided that he could wait and instead replied, “I suppose that’s quickly enough.” She laid down on her bed, still smiling. She’d hoped he would look her way for ages.

He changed his approach and sent her a song instead of trying to reply to that. He knew it was both genuine and a trap. She was positively skilled at entrapment, so he stepped sideways on her.

What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction on Spotify

Oh man, it seemed like forever before she responded after that. He had hoped she would type something to him while listening to that song. Little did he know, she was dancing around while singing along to it, and that was the real source of delay. She was skilled in neither of those pursuits, but that didn’t stop her from having fun doing it anyway.

She fell silent around the middle of the song, contemplating her conundrum. She was so happy he’d sent her that song, there was no doubt about that. It had nagged a terrible memory loose. She sent back a slightly more somber tune, ultimately, once she finished listening to the song he’d provided to her.

Hand in Hand by Aine Furey on Spotify

It seemed like they were stuck in a music loop, so he sent her another immediately, before he even played the Aine Furey track. He was still trying to figure out words to reply with as he listened to the song he’d never heard before: Hand in Hand by Aine Furey. What an odd name. What an odd song! “My hand in your hand and your hand in my and my hand in your hand and your hand in my hand…”

He had decided to return fire with another romantic song that spoke of his feelings: Für Immer by Warlock. He knew very well that she curated her music very carefully for the messages therein. The song she sent was a bit sideways, he decided, but it was most definitely a love song. So was his.

Fur Immer by Warlock on Spotify

After what seemed like an eternity (the length of both songs, as it turns out — the one she sent and the one she received), she sent one more song link. Until Eternity by Blackbriar. He wasn’t familiar with that one, either. He was curious about it as he tapped to listen to the link she sent him.

Until Eternity from Blackbriar on Spotify

During the very first verse, he knew she was romantically interested in him. Finally! Confirmation! His heart sang as he continued to listen to the song, relaxing for the first time in a millennia, it seemed. He found himself wishing he met her while they were both still teenagers; they could have been together for twenty years already.

“I loved you once, I loved you twice
I loved you in my previous lives
I know your voice, I know your eyes
You haunt me through my dreams at night
Oh my love we’ll meet again
We always do in the end
Our two souls destined to be
You and I until eternity”

The first verse of Blackbriar’s song “Until Eternity”

He realized with a start that he’d never given her a time and she asked for one. It was already nearly midnight and although both of them were night owls, it wasn’t the right time to move belongings from one place to another.

“Is ten in the morning too early?” he inquired.

“That’s about the time I get up… can we make it one in the afternoon?”

He wondered why she decided three hours after she woke up to be the best time as he replied, “Whenever you so choose, m’lady.”

“It takes me forever to wake up and get out of bed. I’m afraid if I agree to an earlier time, I won’t even be dressed. I mean… you could come over and have coffee with me in my pajamas, I suppose. You still drink coffee, right?”

He bit his lip as he read that message over and over again. Coffee with the girl of his dreams while she was in pajamas? So very tempting. He decided to give her the space she initially requested, though, and said, “Yeah, I drink decaf these days. I don’t mind spending time with you in your pjs but I don’t want to make you feel pressured to adhere to a schedule if you can’t. Just shoot me a text when you’re ready and I’ll be there.”

He almost typed up that he’d promise to do it quickly but the thought that his phone might not alert him bothered him and he left that out. If he made the lady a promise, he wanted to be sure to deliver and since life made fools and liars out of people who made promises, he opted to refrain.

“Decaf, huh? That might be wise for me, too, honestly. It makes my reiki weaker than it could be.”

He just about choked on his water when he read that. When she’d healed him in the past, it’d felt like the best day ever afterward. If it could get even stronger… Holy wow!

“Your reiki can be ~stronger?~” He desperately wished he could italicize in a text message. He hoped she got the implication of italics from the tildas he used.

She sent back a wink and that was that.

“Goodnight, Diego. Sleep well. I will text you whenever I get out of bed tomorrow and we’ll play it by ear from there.”

“Goodnight, princess. May you dream sweetly.”

They both went to sleep with a smile.

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