There’s too many reasons why I speak to psychopomps in my sleep. I present pitch decks of how I want to die, from getting shot at point blank to disappearing into the deep. I embarrass myself desperately, hoping for promising chance. They tell me not to waste my time. My defeat brings me more distance. I return to square one at the flip of a dime.

I’ve been forced to live before, only to fail tried-and-true ways of improvement. Every attempt drains my optimism, leading me to disappointment. I’ve run out of blood writing prayers to God. I’ve shed tears so I could drown in my own flood. I’ve torn skin to make pain feel like a win. I’ve suffocated for every second I remember my sins. There are options in the dark, especially when I’m alone. Not even death will allow me to atone. I’ve risked for more risks, yet there is nothing I could gain. I’ve lost for more losses, yet success is all I could attain.

I bet my faith on the wheel of fortune. Strip me of any margins of error, sparing me any more torture. The multi-colored disk becomes the grand arbiter. It’s arrow pointing to fates that look like good answers. My flesh prison will soon fall apart, so why don’t we quicken the process. Time is the only rival in this pointless contest. Disappoint me if it matters, but tell me I deserve to die faster.

To me, reincarnation no longer counts as salvation. Leave me out of the lottery of mercy and contrition. I’ll donate my decades to someone who would need it more. Just like money, I’d rather tip the world than watch it burn to the floor. Let me have a taste of oblivion. I want to have an afterlife where death is merely a funny opinion. The void calls my name, as if I’ve met them in various lifetimes over and over. What should be part of the regular cycle becomes my lucky four-leaf clover.

But the wind tells me it has plans for this complacency. My hourglass clogs itself, forbidding me from pushing daisies. Another day passes with my death wishes left ungranted. I am told time and time again that this is not what they wanted. Instinct becomes intuition, and I no longer fight nor fly. I embellish my irises with memories of a clear sky. I take a step away from the ropes that may hang me above the lion’s den. Unfortunately, but with enough brevity, I choose to breathe again.

Ignorance isn’t bliss in the context of staring at paint dry. To spare oneself from the damages of a certain curtain call will only leave you with questions that start with “why". To live is a process that involves your desire to comply. To live is a decision that stops you from writing essays about goodbyes.

I nurse myself enough to walk on two feet. The steps in the mud become a reminder of the reality that has always been bittersweet. Run, for it’s the only thing you can do until you’re out of breath. Run, knowing you lived your life with every drop of sweat. Wanderlust, petrichor, serendipity, and more—a deal that beats the discount death gives at the store.

Live not to die, but to live some more until it’s time.

After all, we must finish our jobs here on this mortal plane, even if it eventually turns us a special kind of insane.

For now, our application will stay rejected. Eventually, we will have our death bed.

lost is found.