DEATH OF A KING
Come, my friends. Gather the lilacs and the lawnmowers. Stop the dogs with their lazy eyes and wet, wet noses. Unchain the maidens from their domestic travails. The king is dying, long live the king.
Mine have been a long hundred years. When I was born, man was on the brink of ignorance, now as I lie on this bed of cobwebs, man has taken a great, confident leap into the darkness of stupidity. That I could be with man as he slips headlong into foolishness, but that is not my journey. My journey is a simpler one, towards a tawdry and uncelebrated end. I have smoked too many cigarettes, I have looked into too many mirrors, I have smiled at too many simpering strangers. I have my regrets, stapled across my body like an office-born Messiah.
My father used to tell me: "You are not my son." I puzzled over the meaning of this statement. Years later I discovered he was not my real father and I was crushed. Sunsets come and go too casually nowdays, there is no permanence and my gums bleed too easily. Ah, I can hear the mermaids singing. I wish they would keep it down.
My adolescence was a struggle to reconcile myself to the darkness within. I was a man of power, but I felt powerless before maths, art, science, fruit, vegetables. The world confused me. I felt a void within me that I attempted to fill with home furnishings. It was a failure - I have never had taste, and so I erred on the side of conservatism. I married young and divorced younger. I shied away from love and intimacy, it seemed a weakness in my humourless stoicism. I knew I would outlive love, would conquer emotion, would rest my flag upon the unknown regions of unknowable emotions. I was wrong, of course, but I made a lot of money in the meantime.
Ah, jester, dance for me. You bring a poor smile to this old man's face. My beard grows old and my feet grow cold. Where is my family? Where are the melodies of yesteryear, scratched onto vinyl by the chancellor and his wife? I am a man out of time, out of space. I am out of milk, and the shops are all closed. The 24 hour garage seems so far away.
The servants will not gather flowers for my grave, for the flowers stopped growing too long ago. Ah, man should never have descended from the trees. Evolution is making a monkey of me, if only my old foe Darwin could see.