After my kitten went, I read as much about what killed her as possible. The person who came to speak to me in the purgatory room beforehand told me I could purchase drugs off the black market if I was desperate to keep her alive for a little more, and for a split second I thought about what purchasing unauthorized drugs for my terminally dying kitten would be like. She was so close to death already it seemed like a joke to go searching for life, what little it would be anyway. Was there a website I could peruse for a solution I did not believe in? The only time I’ve had someone explain the black market to me it was my ex, a computer nerd living in Manhattan, Kansas who loved me harder than I wanted to be loved. When I was seventeen, I leaned on his chest, sitting between his legs, screaming at the jump scares in the end-of-the-world scenario games we would play together, drunk off of the cheapest vodka in his parents’ sunroom. Death has made me reconsider everything, all the way down to my birth, the very first thing that ever happened to me, the explosion I can’t remember but deep down I do. I have been trying to get the dirt from under my nails, scraping tirelessly on my commute, as advertisements glare down at my scalp where the murky roots have begun to strike against the platinum. Euthanasia by definition means the good death. Belief falls apart at the seams once you start to apply it. The good death sounds like an orgasm to me. I orgasm so much with them, I didn’t know how much I could come before us. And they hold me tight when the waves of living without her shipwreck what’s left of me; they keep me from drowning in my bed at night, look at all the pictures of her in my phone and listen as I say death and life are two sides of the same coin, that the world goes on with all of us in it, eternally. My grief morphs into new forms everyday. It might be the tree I seek in the mornings outside my window, waving or still, dying all the time, which means living all the time, too. We could call it depression or we could call it waking up, refusing to sleepwalk the rest of my days. When she got the good death, I stared life in its inscrutable, shining face and understood that for the rest of mine I would struggle to understand it. I would keep asking why, like that’s all I was out here to do. Why. Euthanasia is pharmakon, the poison and the remedy. I’ve had enough time here to know nothing is ever itself alone. I’ve always hated the pearly gates and circles of hell, the ringing bells and virgins coiling around the body wanting. I watched the lights flicker out, out of her eyes like embers, and the room got remarkably colder along with her body. The needle entering you, everything suspended in air. Good, this is good, good world, good luck, goodbye, good travels, good day, good night, good life, good times, good for you. You are good, dying so peacefully I almost thought you were falling asleep, and I wanted to believe it.
megan finkel (she/her) is a queer writer and reader from Houston, TX studying Russian literature at NYU. her words may be found in Crow & Cross Keys, Daily Drunk Magazine, Sledgehammer lit, and elsewhere.
image: MM Kaufman