Memento Mori

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3

I was pissed.
Infuriated.
Irate.

I started to throw shit. Second hand store throw pillows. Printing and memo paper. Worthless knick knacks and household novelties. I hurled a ceramic cat figurine across the room and shattered a rustic ornate wall mirror. I was a tornado with a temper tantrum. My mother hollered down at me to shut up. Her words instigated me to get unpleasantly louder.
I flipped over the gold velvet sofa. I threw the pedestal end table. I put a hole in the drywall.

I heard mom start to cry. She would try to hide it, but her soft sobs were always a heartrending earful.

Menthol Cigarettes.

My mother had the tendency to light a cigarette every time she was angry or stressed out.
Müttley Crü destroyed her Horchow silk bee curtains.
She lit a cigarette.
The discharge drain pipe on the garbage disposal broke.
She lit a cigarette.
She wrestled with a pillow to get it inside a slipcover.
She lit a cigarette.
Mom shoves aside her discomforts, pouts in her cushioned-back, brown polyurethane dining chair, and smokes a menthol cigarette.
When I would be mischievous and lose my temper, mom would outburst. When I was a disturbing nuisance, mom would inhale half of a pack. Her pungent, saltish tears would sometimes disrupt the flames.
Sometimes, I would make up theories for her deep distress. Was she regretful and remorseful to have me as her son?
Don't blame me, mom.
Dad was the one that thought it was a good idea to drive it in rawdog.
The both of them were bombed on A-rocks and Wa-Hoo-Was, in some full-service resort vacationing in Waikiki.
Was she disappointed with an action I had brought about, that I did not know of?
Dad told me, it's worse to disappoint someone than to make the person angry. I swallowed it and used it as prudent guidance.
She cried.
She cried more tears than stars in the sky.
I was going to embrace her. Squeeze all of the hurt and aches away. Tell her I'm sorry and that everything was going to be alright.

But then my phone chimed. It was a DM invite from MementO_m0ri.

Mom was still crying.

I had to accept the invitation. Not only was MementO_m0ri the downfall of rainbowrods, she was also the reason for my unexpected departure from illnessanddisorder. Sure, it may have been my doing that asked for trouble, but she provoked me. I wanted to tell her off so bad.

Mom was still crying, gagging on the toxic fumes from her menthol cigarette.

I accepted the invite.

"YOU PATHETIC MEGABITCH!" I shouted.
"I looked it up," she typed.
"Looked what up?" I asked.
"Chesterhinde's disease. There's nothing on the internet. You're pathetic, you know that?"
It's real. It's very rare. Only one other person in history has had it, Mr. Chester Hinde.
"What's your problem with me?" She asked.
"You took something that wasn't yours."
"Grow up," she quickly replied. "I bet you still live with your parents, don't you?"
"FUCK YOU!" I shouted.
"Oh, I'm sorry. Did I hit a nerve?" She quipped.

I left the DM chat.

Mom started her gramophone. When I was a little boy, I remember thinking how neat it was when the stylus traced the groves of the disc to make music.
The sound of jazz roared from the flaring horn. The crackling sound that backed up the music was strangely relaxing to me.
I went upstairs to apologise to mom. We hugged. She embraced me in her arms. She smelt like peppermint and chemicals. "What's wrong with me?" I asked her. She was always apprehensive about how I would react to any information. She looked me in the eyes and smiled. "The Lord made you special."
She put her right hand on my back and placed my left hand on her shoulder. She clasped her other hand with mine and we began dancing. "I love you, son."
"I love you too," I said.

I went to bed early that night.

I laid in my pitch black bedroom. I stared upward at darkness. Beside me was my phone placed atop a double drawer nightstand. It chimed and lit up the room.
It was her again.

MementO_m0ri inviting me to DM.

I accepted.

"Are you awake?" She asked.
"I'm talking to you, aren't I?"
"I think we got off on the wrong foot," she said.

MementO_m0ri.

She's the grocery store buggy with one lousy wheel.
She's the utility service rep that doesn't arrive in the eight hour window.
She's the thuds and thunks of a rolling suitcase.
She's the sloppy napkin left on the table throughout dinner.
She's tangled hangers.

She was my disease.

"What do you do?" She asked.
I hesitated to tell her. My walk of life was tedious and dull.
"What do you want to do?" She changed the question.
I told her that I imagined art as a potential life-long profession.
"Do it," she said. "You have one life. You might as well live it to the fullest."
It's not that easy when you have a life threatening disease.

Life.
It's like the course of a raindrop, aerodynamically descending, then it abruptly splatters.
That's it.
The board game that shares the very same name is more enjoyable.
The noteworthy things are high priced, the mouthwatering things make you overweight and the entertaining things are immoral.
Unpredictable, but death is inevitable.
God's twisted, perverted idea of a joke.
He can't save us. No one can.

"Are you afraid of death?" MementO_m0ri asked me.
I didn't know how to answer. I was in denial with fate.
"Are you?" I snapped back.
"lol," she typed.
The conversation followed with a short pause. "I'm not like you," she said.
I asked her what she meant.
"I can only die by sunlight and Aspen wood."
I understood why the sunlight — because of her XP condition, but why Aspen wood?
"Because Christ's cross was Aspen."
I didn't follow.
"If you were to pierce through the skin of my chest with Aspen wood, I would die."

Uhh. Yeah.

"You were right. I don't have a genetic disorder. Xeroderma pigmentosum isn't the reason I can't be in direct sunlight."

Clearly, the girl was goofed up in the head. The personal chat included an action that allowed participants to view one another's profile. With just a click on a username, it shared a person's identity. Profile photo, name, age, sex, location, hobbies, interests, etc, etc, etc.

MementO_m0ri. Remember you shall die.

I clicked it.
Immediately I was attracted to her. She was gorgeous in an unusual way. Large, ultramarine blue eyes surrounded with a halo of black eyeliner. Her hair was corkscrewed and as black as charcoal. Her skin was ghostly and pale.
She was wearing a creamy lace ensemble accessorized with a black pearl half hoop ring necklace. She forced a little, bent smile for the camera. The darkness that she radiated was weirdly angelic looking.
My eyeballs were curious.
She didn't advertise her real name.
She was Memento Mori.
Fine.
Age - 289. Interesting.
Sex - female. Obviously.
Location - New Orleans, Louisiana. Okay.
Hobbies - poetry, Penny dreadfuls, and murder.
And I thought I was a weirdo.
Occupation - TV corpse.
Apparently she gets paid to pretend to be dead for local television programs. Interesting.
The girl was clearly strange.
I started to wonder if she was even real.
I told her she was pretty.
"Just a few hours ago you couldn't stand me," she said.

We became really close.
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