Mere mortals complain of many things that the immortal doesn’t even recognize as inconveniences.
The other day, I was firmly entrenched in the middle of a line at the Motor Vehicle Administration. This line snaked around fourteen rope stanchions, extending beyond the front door before making a sharp left and ranging into the next County.
“Can you believe this?” said the guy in line behind me.
“Meh,” I said. “The passing of time is simply a frame of mind.”
“Yeah, okay,” he responded, seemingly annoyed.
The truth is: waiting in line, when you don’t fear your own death, can be a rather peaceful experience. I like to relive important events that I’ve witnessed in my lifetime. As an immortal, I have a plethora of material – several thousand years’ worth, in fact – to cull from.
In this case, I occupied my time by recounting, in vivid detail, my involvement in the French and Indian War. It’s a long and sordid story, so I won’t bore you with the details.
That does, however, remind me of another story . . .
Back in the 19th century, I had this bright idea to offer to wait in line for people. This was somewhat altruistic on my part, as I was genuinely interested in allowing regular mortals to go out and live their lives, unencumbered by the frustration of wasting their time. Admittedly, I required a fee for my services. However, it was mere farthings compared to what I could’ve required.
For those of you unaware of what a farthing was, it was one quarter of a penny. Don’t laugh. Back then, a couple of farthings could get you some decent beer.
I performed this task – rather admirably, I might add – for several decades. I waited in lines at the blacksmith’s, the butcher shop, the bank, even the saloon outhouse, though the individual I was working for in this instance was required to stick close by so we could switch at the last moment.
Like most other hobbies I’ve had over the course of my life, eventually this grew tiresome as well. Immortality does that to a person.
When a mortal complains of being stuck in the same career forever, they truly have no concept of what that really means. A mortal may have forty years as a database administrator. Wow (eye roll). To me, forty years is nothing. Four hundred years is nothing.
Not to get too philosophical here, but even immortality itself can get stale.
There isn’t much I can do about that, however. Once immortality is gained, it cannot be relinquished. Hell, even the Papacy guidelines have some flexibility built in. (I’m looking at you, Pope Benedict XVI). Not immortals, though. We are in it for the very long haul.
Obviously, the attrition rate is non-existent, but it does lead to career fatigue, which is why we supplement our lives with interesting ventures, such as waiting in line for people.
Back in the late 1950s, having grown tired of the mistrust erupting out of the second Red Scare incident, I called a meeting of the immortals. Generally, our meetings are covered under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and are therefore public information. However, this one was a closed-door session.
The statute of limitations is over now, and we discussed the potential for having term limits placed on our immortality. Unfortunately, the only ones who voted in favor of it were me – and Luigi, the European representative. Luigi is a very open-minded European. The Australian representative was simply enjoying himself too much to even contemplate term limits. He was so angry about even considering the possibility that he called us all “buggers” and stormed out.
So, you appear to be stuck with me for the rest of your lives. Well, beyond the rest of your lives. Beyond the rest of your children’s lives. Beyond the rest of their children’s lives. I could go on, but you have better things to do.