I am a huge fan of Anne Rice, I think we’ve established that in my blog. I’ve recently been reading (I should finish today) The Mummy or Ramses The Damned, and that got me thinking about how immortality is a common theme amongst her characters. There’s Ramses of course, numerous vampires including Lestat in her vampire chronicles, various spirits, angels, and the sort, and of course Azriel the servant of the bones. I’m not going to get into her reasoning why there is this common theme among her novels and characters, as I have not discussed it with her, nor have heard her speak on the topic. Every time I mention her in my blog, I send her the link, perhaps she will answer herself someday.
While reading about the story of an immortal character, it often makes me wonder about how I would feel if I were to live forever. Forever is a long time. A really, really, really long time. There are pros and cons to the idea, as there are with most of life’s situations.
-Well, I’d never die. I’d never have to experience my body failing me, or my loved ones saddened by my slow deterioration and inevitable loss of life.
– I could be around to witness the great moments of history that have yet to be made. (Some examples I hope that are in our future: the first female president, a cure for cancer, equality for all in all aspects of life, the end of war over religious differences, aircraft rides into space)
– I would not be sick, ever. Or suffer a life threatening injury.
– I could finally have time to read all the books I want to. As of now, my “to be read” pile is growing faster than my “read” pile.
– Eventually, with a little investing, I’d never have to work again. Though immortal, I’d still need money, so it would be inevitable for a while.
– I wouldn’t need sleep (according to her definition of immortality), so I could get more done having all 24 hours of the day.
– Things I love (bad foods, coffee, cigarettes, etc.) would have no effect on me, therefore I could indulge to my heart’s content.
– I could achieve long term goals that as of now seem unattainable in my lifetime.
– Again, I’d never die. I would be alive and unchanged by the hands of time, but those I love would inevitably age and die. I’d have to watch everyone I have ever loved get old, their body fail them, experience their slow death.
– While I could witness history in the making, I’m a fan of history as it is and eventually I’d be the only human on earth that remembered things that have already happened. I wouldn’t be able to go back and witness things I wish I could have seen like Martin Luther King Jr’s “I have a dream” speech, find out who really killed Kennedy, or see the Beatles perform together.
– My list of things to do would be forever changing, but would I accomplish them all? The list would grow faster than I could get them done and without reaching the end, I don’t know if I would have that feeling of achievement you get from completing a task.
– I’d probably get bored. Having endless time to do whatever you want would get old. Eventually, I’d have that “been there, done that” attitude.
– Most importantly, I’d be lonely. If I lived forever, I’d constantly be losing people I loved, always mourning the loss of someone, I’d live on while I cared for move on and die. I’m sure I would constantly be meeting new people, but to the same inevitable end. ON THE OTHER HAND, if i were not the only immortal person, would I tire of their company? Eventually, we’d know everything there is to know about each other and that could also get tiresome. I plan on being with my husband for the rest of my life as it is now, but we have different pasts, and different experiences now, so it is not the same. Sharing the same “forever” existence with another immortal may be troubling.
So, do I want to live forever? I don’t know. Would I like to live longer than the eighty (or so) years the average human lives? Definitely. Forever seems like a prison sentence at times. The endless torment of loss, boredom, and still unanswered questions. It is tempting though. Perhaps I am not taking into consideration all the positive aspects.
What about you, dear readers? Would you like to live forever?